Five Steps: Sew Top-Notch Tiny Lettering

Drew Coufal, president of Ohio-based Sew & Sew Embroidery, demonstrates how to create the optimal circumstances to sew out a client logo with small lettering.


Plan artwork and digitize for the specific material on which you’ll be stitching.
With small text in particular, set up the initial artwork file to scale. Remember that careful editing and programming for the specific material to be stitched on is critical at this early point.


Make your adjustments before sewing.
Small text letters that have holes in them like “p,” “o” and “a” will benefit by opening up that space. Even a small amount can make or break the look and prevent closing in the opening and making text look poor. Keep sharp corners and turns to a minimum, which can cause production issues on small text. Also consider using all capital letters, instead of an upper/lower case font, because capital lettering often stitches more legibly.


Consider trims on small fonts.
You can usually get better quality if letters in a word run from letter to letter and only trim out at each word. Each trim leaves the chance of having threads not pick up quickly when you’re starting each letter. This might leave extra stitches/loops that will need to be trimmed out, so plan stitch types that complement the design.


Know your backings.
Choose the best option for the intended garment. Should you use a cut-away or tear-away, for example? In this logo example, a twill shirt material is used, so a single piece of heavy cut-away is best.


Stitch a sample for client approval.
Allow time and any pre-production costs required to do so. This enables your digitizer to make any edits to any parts of the logo that need adjustment. If possible, stitch a final proof on the actual ordered garment. This is the only way to know exactly how your digitized file will stitch on that material specifically, and will allow an additional opportunity for a final logo edit.