June 1st, 2023

Guide to Embroidery

Embroidery is not just a needle & thread; it is a world filled with boundless design possibilities where you can let your imagination run wild. If you value the finer, more intricate details, this blog about custom embroidery will open up a whole new realm of creative potential for you!
Guide to Emrbroidery / Blog

Ah yes, a world filled with boundless design possibilities. Embroidery is an easy way to transform your ordinary apparel and merch products into something extraordinary. Embroidery also just so happens to be one of Threadbird's areas of expertise of specialty, and we feel excited about that. From hats, pullovers, hoodies, tees, and more, we offer a wide array of options for you to embroider with your designs!



How does the process of embroidery work?

Simply put, embroidery is the art of applying decorative designs onto fabric, using a needle and thread. A custom embroidery machine is computerized to take a file of your artwork and uses thread to turn your artwork into a wearable reality. Your designs are created with sturdy polyester thread that is harmoniously stitched onto the product fabric. In a way, it’s kind of like painting with stitches. 


These automated machines keep the process streamlined and consistent, as hold the products steady in place and stitches the fabric with multiple needles according to the colors and scale of your digitized design. 

Don’t get us wrong, we love screen printing! But embroidery decoration also comes definitely comes with its own advantages! When your designs are created, the stitching of the polyester thread into the product fabric essentially binds  the two together for a lifetime. This unique process makes them long lasting and durable, especially when it comes to washing the product and the normal wear & tear of them over time. For this reason, embroidery is a popular choice for creating athletic and work wear (jerseys, uniforms, etc).

Another thing that makes embroidery shine is the professional, high-end look and feel that your final product will have. Embroidery is ideal for capturing intricate design details with smooth edges. From flat/standard embroidery, 3D to Puff Embroidery, and embroidered patches are all options that will give depth to your artwork and make your refined designs POP.


(Left to right)
Flat/Standard Embroidery, Mixed Embroidery (3D + Flat), 3D Puff Embroidery

As for Threadbird’s embroidery services, versatility is definitely another one of its noteworthy perks. From the range of embroidery styles that we offer to the wide array of products we have for you to choose from to decorate, there's a technique to suit every design preference.

When exploring the design possibilities for embroidery with your artwork, our team of specialists will work with you to determine which embroidery type is best for bringing your vision to life and meeting your expectations. 

Things to keep in mind: 

  • The minimum order quantity for embroidery is 24 pieces per design. 
  • Light-weight garments (anything under 5 oz.) are not ideal for embroidery decoration. 
  • Artwork with complex designs may not be capable of embroidery. The scale of designs also factors into this; anything over 5x5” will need to be custom quoted. Consult with our team to discuss these details.
  • Artwork with gradient shading typically does not work for embroidery.

What works best for each embroidery type?

Embroidery is ideal for products made of thicker, heavier weight materials. Products like hoodies, pullover jackets, beanies, backpacks, and even socks are all great canvases to decorate with your embroidered designs or logo. Some products and fabrics work better for certain embroidery types than others, so it's important to understand their differences. 

Flat/Standard Embroidery: artwork is stitched directly onto the fabric surface, creating a flat and smooth texture. 

  • Best suited for traditional and detailed logos i.e. patterns with multiple colors. 
  • Great for jackets, heavy t-shirts, polos, pullovers, hoodies, unstructured and structured hats, tote bags, etc.

3D/ Puff Embroidery: thread is stitched onto the fabric and an underlying foam layer that is pre-cut to the design shape and placed beneath it. This foam layer gives the embroidered thread read a raised, 'puffy' three-dimension look to the design. 

  • Best for designs with a bold and textured look to them. 
  • Works perfectly for sports logos, numbers, and designs that need to stand out.

Mixed Embroideryportion of the design is stitched directly onto the product fabric, while the other part of the design is stitched to the fabric with a foam layer beneath it.

  • Best for logo designs with simple shapes i.e. text and smooth edges, to create a subtle yet bold appearance. 
  • Works great for hats, embroidered patches, and tote bags. 

From left to right, you can see how one hat design has a flat & raised look, while the other has a raised 3-D appearance. 

Another unique method of embroidery that we offer is embroidered patches! Patches are an excellent alternative option when working with larger designs, or more complex artwork with finer details (shapes and words with thin lines). Contrary to apparel embroidery, embroidered patches are thread that has been stitched onto a substrate material rather than the garment fabric itself. Depending on the fabric type, the embroidered patches are then sewn or heat pressed onto the garment. This process creates a very durable, polished look while also giving some depth to the design. 

Click here to learn more about our embroidered patches!


Embroidered Patch on left chest of Button- Up Shirt
& Patch logo on left sleeve of Tie-dye Sweatshirt

Contrary to embroidery, embroidered patches are thread that has been stitched onto a substrate material rather than the garment fabric itself. Depending on the fabric type, the embroidered patches are then sewn or heat pressed onto the garment. This process creates a very sturdy,  polished look while also giving some depth to the design. 

The embroidery possibilities options don’t stop here, we can also take your designs to new heights with custom embroidery options like chain stitch embroidery and more! 


From intricate patterns that tell stories to vibrant designs that make a statement, embroidery allows you to express your unique style & personality by creating tangible and memorable products. Get in touch with us and embark on your embroidery journey today! 

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