Embroidery Basics

While we do a ton of custom screen printing in the Madison area, if you are looking for high quality corporate apparel, you’ll want to include an embroidered logo. From sports polos and coaches shirts to pullovers or staff shirts, your logo needs to stand out. An embroidered logo on a shirt can be a difference-maker in impression and feel for logoed apparel. We want to cover some of the basics of embroidery in this post.

While ordering an embroidered garment is just as easy as ordering some screen printed t-shirts, there is a different process involved in getting your logo onto your apparel.

Let’s go over some of the most frequently asked questions we get about embroidery:

Which promotion or apparel items can I have embroidered?

In general you can embroider hats, jackets, polo shirts, backpacks, padfolios, towels, tote bags, and blankets. For a full list of items, to our embroidery page.


Is embroidery or screen printing better?

There are pros and cons to both embroidered and screen printed items.

Embroidered items can cost a little more, but their perceived value is much higher. The imprint will also last a lot longer since the embroidery won’t fade away with the passing of years and tons of washes.

You should also consider the fact that an embroidered logo literally stands out from your item. Screen printing sets a very fine layer of ink to your product; embroidery has more mass to it so it will rest slightly higher than your item.

Also the majority of embroidered items allow you to have multiple colors without having to pay extra. The allowance of extra colors makes embroidery ideal for schools and organizations who have a multi-color logo and don’t want to simplify their color palate.

Neat Idea: if you’re looking at a fuzzy and/or fleece item, it’s better to go with an embroidered imprint. Due to the uneven nature of fleece, screen printed logos have the tendency to crack or flake off.


What kind of artwork do I need?

While most promotional products distributors like Think it Then ink it generally need vector artwork (.eps or .ai) to process your order, this is not the case with embroidery. While we strongly encourage using vector artwork, any high-quality image file will work. This is because all of the images are digitized and then programmed into the embroidery machine.

If you do chose to use raster artwork (.jpeg, .gif, etc.), make sure the image is a little bigger than the area you’re going to have embroidered. The clearer the image, the better quality of embroidery.

Unsure if your image is good enough? Just submit it through our contact page and we’ll let you know.

What is digitizing?

Digitizing is the act of taking your artwork and turning it into a digital file that the embroidery machines can read. Once that digital file is uploaded, the embroidery machines can stitch out your logo onto your garments. Digitizing lets the factory know exactly how many stitches it will take to recreate your logo.


Who does the digitizing?

Different promotional companies have different policies and fees for digitizing artwork. One of the advantages of working with Think it Then ink it is that we have our artwork team that can digitize your logo or design. Depending on the apparel piece you want embroidered, our reps will work with you to make sure that you get the best bang for your buck.


What is stitch count?

Stitch count is how many stitches it will take to replicate your logo or design on your item. Surprisingly, it takes a lot of stitches to recreate a logo on a garment. It’s important because the more stitches required for a project, the higher the embroidery charge.

How does Think it Then ink it determine the stitch count?

Once Think it Then ink it has your artwork, we’ll create a stitch count estimate to get you the most accurate pricing.

What thread colors can I use?

There are endless thread color possibilities, so we usually try to select something that best matches your logo.

Can I use multiple thread colors on my items?

We know that the majority of company logos and eye-catching designs have more than one color in them. Since embroidered imprints are programmed into a machine and don’t require any kind of screens, it’s easy to switch from one color of thread to another.


Can I have garments embroidered in more than one location?

Of course – as long as there is an option for that.

However, as with all promotional items, if you add another location to your product, you are going to have to pay more. Another location means that we will need to create a second digitized file and our team will have to send the shirts through the production line again.


There are too many places in Madison that have the embroidery capabilities and experience that we have at Think it Then ink it. We are ready for your order!



Think it Then ink it is a local, Madison promotional products and branded apparel company in Verona, WI. We build brands with logoed corporate, team, and event products from our vertically integrated design and fulfillment center. One of our unique capabilities is our specialized corporate branded stocking program that provides on-demand access to your customized products. Find out about our custom web apparel stores or our available products and services at ThinkitTheninkit.com or call us at 608-845-5300.