5 Tips for Better Hat Embroidery

Caps are king at Creations In Thread in Wickenburg, AZ. “It’s a cowboy town, so I do a lot of caps,” explains owner Bobbi Brooks. Here are some of Joyce Jagger’s tips for better hat embroidery.

  • Invest in a cap-hooping device. A tool like the Third-Hand Cap Hooper decreases hooping time and improves design registration. As an added bonus, it also takes pressure off the hands, according to Jagger.
  • Always use clips when hooping. “I’ve been to so many shops that didn’t use clips on hats and then don’t understand why they aren’t in registration,” Jagger says. “I have to prove to them it’s better.”
  • Stick with 3mm foam for puff designs. It gives a 3-D embroidery design a good lift, without requiring as many digitizing changes as 4mm would, Jagger says. And never use the craft foam sold at fabric stores. You may think you’re saving a few bucks, but it doesn’t work as well as the denser foam designed specifically for embroidery, she adds.
  • Always use cap backing. Use it whether or not your cap is stiff or heavy. A 3-oz. tearaway cap backing will help produce high-quality embroidery.
  • Put the design in the proper position. Your embroidery design for a standard cap shouldn’t be more than 2.1 inches high. Make sure the bottom of the design is at least half an inch up from the cap’s seam. For best results, sew out your design from the bottom up and center out.