Design, Products & Trends

Embroidery for print on demand items


Embroidery for print on demand items

Finding unique items in the crowded world of online shopping can be a challenge. We all crave more than the generic designs that saturate the market. This is where embroidery steps in, turning print-on-demand products into personalized works of art.

Imagine snuggling up in a cozy hoodie with your favorite saying embroidered on it. Or picture yourself feeling like royalty while wearing a bathrobe with gorgeous embroidery. The options are endless: trendy T-shirts, stylish purses, vibrant pillows, and cozy blankets.

In this article, you'll find everything you need to know about embroidery for print-on-demand products. Whether you're creating personalized items for yourself or for your valued clients, this guide has got you covered.

What is embroidered merchandise?

Embroidered merchandise refers to clothing or fabric items that feature detailed embroidered patterns. It blends artistry and skill to create a product that is both beautiful and long-lasting.

Embroidery is not like typical printing processes, which use ink to apply images. Instead, embroidery is the art of applying your text, pattern, and colors onto fabric using thread and stitches. This meticulous process creates unique and stunning outcomes.

Each stitch is executed with precision, resulting in a tactile masterpiece that catches the eye and adds a touch of luxury. Embroidery opens up a world of endless possibilities for customizing garments, whether it's monograms, logos, patterns, or pictures.

What does it look like?

When you submit a design to be digitised for embroidery, a printing company assesses it to ensure the best match of thread type, stitch type, and pattern. Once the design is digitised, it can be flawlessly applied to your chosen fabric item. The result is a high-quality, textured design that adds depth to your clothing and makes it truly stand out from the rest.

What products can be embroidered?

Embroidery is incredibly versatile and can be applied to various fabric products, including:


T-shirts can be elevated with embroidery, whether it's a small logo on the chest or an intricate pattern covering the entire shirt. This adds a touch of sophistication to your casual wear.


Whether you're wearing a cozy hoodie or a fashionable crewneck, sweatshirts come to life with embroidered designs. This extra layer of artistry and personality adds a unique touch to your loungewear or streetwear.


Whether it's a tote, backpack, or even a clutch, embroidery adds a unique touch that sets your bag apart from the rest.

But that's not all – embroidery can go beyond clothing. You can also apply it to hats, jackets, dresses, denim, and other fabric items. This versatile technique lets you personalize a wide range of products, making them a perfect reflection of your style.

How to start making embroidery print items

Making embroidered print items can be an interesting and fulfilling experience. The best part is you don't even need your own inventory or specialized equipment to get started. Here's how it works:

  1. Select a print-on-demand provider

Take the time to research and choose a print-on-demand platform. Look for a provider that offers embroidery services. Consider factors such as product selection, quality, pricing, and customization options to find the best fit for your needs.

  1. Choose your product

Take a look at the fabric goods accessible through the print-on-demand service. You'll find options such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, and bags. Evaluate and select the item that best compliments your design.

  1. Upload or create your design

Use the design tool provided by the print-on-demand platform. You have two options: a. Upload your existing embroidery design. b. Utilize their design capabilities to create a new design from scratch.

  1. Customize

Use the platform's customization tools and adjust the size, positioning, and colors of your embroidered design.

  1. Preview

Use preview features, such as mockups, to get a visual representation of how the finished project will look.

  1. Order

Once you're happy with your design and customization, make your order using the print-on-demand platform. They will handle the manufacturing process. Usually, it includes scanning your design, embroidering it onto the chosen product, and delivering the final result to your or your client’s doorstep.

Best practices for embroidered print on demand items

To ensure the best outcome for embroidered print on demand items, follow several best practices:

Design selection

To achieve the greatest results for embroidered print on demand goods, it is critical to begin with high-quality designs. Choose patterns that are clear, well-defined, and suited for embroidery. Avoid elaborate intricacies or extremely small lettering. It may not convert properly into embroidery due to the threading nature.

Colour choice

Consider contrast and visibility while picking colours to ensure the design shines out. To strengthen brand identification and consistency, align colour selections with branding. Remember to stick to plain colours. Gradients will not function since transitioning from one colour thread to another is not possible.

Fabric selection

The fabric you use is critical to the success of your embroidered print on demand goods. Choose embroidery-compatible materials such as cotton, denim, or twill. Check that the fabric is of excellent quality and that it can endure the embroidery process without losing its form or damaging the stitch integrity.

Placement and sizing

Consider the placement and size of your embroidered design on the product carefully. Examine how the design fits and aligns with the product's measurements. To create a visually pleasing and balanced completed result, make sure the design is centred, aligned, or suitably positioned.

Placement of embroidery

The placement of embroidery plays a crucial role in the overall design and impact of the personalised garment. Here are the most popular options:

Above or on the chest pocket

Embroidery can be positioned above or directly on the chest pocket of a garment. This placement adds a touch of sophistication and personalization to the item. It is a popular choice for logos, monograms, or small designs.

Along the centre of the chest (below the collar) 

Embroidery along the centre of the chest, just below the collar, creates a focal point for the design. It provides a prominent and eye-catching placement option. Placement along the centre of the chest is suitable for showcasing larger designs or text.

On one or both sleeves (above the elbow or below the shoulder)

 Embroidery on sleeves allows for additional design elements and creativity. It can be placed above the elbow or below the shoulder, adding a unique touch to garments like shirts or jackets. Sleeve embroidery is often used to display logos, names, or decorative patterns.

On the back (across the shoulders or below the collar)

Embroidery on the back of a garment offers a larger canvas for designs. It can be positioned across the shoulders or below the collar, making it visible even from a distance. This placement is commonly used for displaying larger logos, artwork, or text on items like jackets or hoodies.

Other creative placements

Embroidery is a versatile technique that offers endless possibilities for creative placements. Some of the examples are collars, cuffs, hems, or even on accessories like hats, caps, bags, or trousers.

Custom embroidery VS printing

To make an informed decision between custom embroidery and printing, it's helpful to consider the following factors: Cost-effectiveness, design size, quality, and placement. Let's explore the unique qualities and benefits of each method:

Cost effectiveness

When it comes to cost-effectiveness, the decision between custom embroidery and printing depends on several factors. For large-scale production of mass-produced graphics, printing is generally more cost-effective. This is due to its efficiency in handling high volumes. However, for smaller and more intricate designs, custom embroidery can be a more economical option. This is especially true when considering the setup fees associated with screen printing orders.

Design size

Design size plays a significant role in determining the optimal method for customization. If you require large-scale graphics that demand visual impact, printing is often the better choice. It excels at reproducing intricate details and vibrant colors on a larger canvas, making it suitable for bold and eye-catching designs. On the other hand, when it comes to smaller designs or logos, custom embroidery shines. Its ability to create intricate stitching and textures is well-suited for smaller-scale designs. This results in a visually appealing and detailed finished product.


Quality is an important consideration when choosing between custom embroidery and printing. Embroidery offers a timeless and classic look with its textured finish and raised appearance. The durability of embroidery is also notable. The threads used in embroidery are less prone to fading or peeling, ensuring that the design remains intact for a longer period. On the other hand, printing can achieve vibrant and intricate designs with a smooth finish. However, it's worth noting that printed designs may be more susceptible to fading or cracking over time, especially with frequent washing or wear.


Placement is another aspect to consider when deciding between custom embroidery and printing. Custom embroidery offers versatile placement options as it can be stitched into various areas of the garment. You can place the design on the front, back, sleeves, or pockets of clothing items. This flexibility allows for creating unique and visually appealing designs on different parts of the garment. In contrast, printing is typically limited to flat surfaces, such as the front or back of shirts, due to the nature of the printing process. This restricts the placement options compared to embroidery.

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