From Thread To Head: The Making Of Custom Embroidered Hats

by John Amato

Few accessories hold the power of custom embroidered hats.

From logos to text to bold embroidered designs, every stitch enables businesses and brands to convey their passions and values.

Custom embroidered hats are personalized to your preferences. You are the boss, and the design, its placement, and colors used are at your command.

Today we delve deeper into the world of custom embroidered hats and also let you in on the journey they take before putting them on your head. 

Here are the topics we’ll look at:

  • How brands and individuals use hats for expression
  • Embroidery techniques used and where applicable 
  • A few things to know before getting a hat embroidered
  • The process of embroidery from digitizing to delivery

Introduction to Custom Embroidered Hats

Michigan Vacationland Patch Beanie

Hats are fashion accessories that transcend time. Their journey began long ago when ancient civilizations used them to shield their heads from the sun.

After hand embroidery was introduced as a method of adorning clothes, it also found its way onto hats. From there, they became canvases for displaying emblems and expressing one’s connection to a group.

Today, custom embroidered hats have carved a niche for themselves. With the evergrowing trend of hats as fashion for both men and women, the opportunities to connect and build brand have increased.

Embroidered hats are now a platform for individuals and brands to showcase their identity during:

  • Fundraising and charity work: Branded hats are often sold during these events to raise awareness about an organization’s cause.
  • Special retail sales: Fashion and lifestyle industries include custom embroidered hats to add exclusivity to some of their offerings. 
  • Sports events: Fans wear hats with their favorite team’s name, logo, or favorite player’s number to express loyalty and team spirit.
  • Celebrations: They can be personalized with messages and given to loved ones as gifts during graduations, birthdays, family reunions, and other significant celebrations.
  • Brand promos: During trade shows and conferences, custom embroidered hats make excellent giveaways to employees and customers.

Hats come in many forms. Just take a look around and you’ll see all shapes and sizes. However, those suitable for embroidery fall under two categories:

  • Structured hats: They have a reinforced front panel that’s excellent for displaying brand and sports team logos. These hats have a slightly formal look and include baseball hats and trucker hats
  • Unstructured hats: Their front panel isn’t rigid, which gives them a relaxed fit and a casual appearance. Examples are dad hats, bucket hats, and beanies.

Whichever you choose for custom embroidery, you can be sure that when done professionally, the design will leave a lasting impression.

To get custom embroidered hats for your brand, get in touch with us by filling out this form or emailing us directly at

Benefits of Custom Embroidered Hats

Old West Ender Hat

Today’s world is brimming with self-expression, and custom embroidered hats are the accessory that’s helping broadcast that identity with flair.

Whether you’re an individual or a brand, using flat embroidery, puff embroidery, or embroidered patches on your hats has benefits:

  • Personal Expression: As an individual, they help you communicate your passions. 
  • Walking billboards: They’re mobile billboards that offer unlimited advertising for your brand. When integrated into employee uniforms, they portray professionalism.
  • Unisex: They're an expression of all genders. The neutral design construction and adjustable sizing makes them suitable for anyone.
  • Resistant to fading and breaking: Embroidered designs are usually stitched using thread made from nylon, polyester, and other durable materials, making the design last long.

Custom embroidered hats are also a way of showing affiliation, whether religious beliefs, political affiliations, or love for a certain community.

Embroidery Techniques Used on Hats

Embroidery is a broad term encompassing several techniques that produce stunning designs. We’ll look at three techniques and how each brings its magic to your hat.

1 - Puff (3-D) Embroidery

Toledo Denim Hat

Ever been amazed at how some embroidery designs seem to stand tall from the fabric? That’s the magic of puff embroidery.

It’s a specialized embroidery technique that creates three-dimensional designs through a thread and foam combination. 

Foam is laid where the raised effect is desired, then the machine stitches over it. Watch the video below to learn more about this process.


Baseball season means time for hats. #learnontiktok #fyp #toledoohio #customembroidery #customhats #embroidery #jupmode

♬ Wondering - Oliver Hazard

This technique works best for bold designs that require depth and texture, as evident on this Toledo Denim Hat.

Expert Tip: Puff embroidery isn’t suitable for designs with small details such as text. If you have a design with fine detail that you want to incorporate into puff embroidery, we recommend using flat embroidery for that portion of art. The combination of puff and flat embroidery on the same item provides depth and texture.

2 - Flat Embroidery

Flat embroidery is traditional embroidery in its purest form. The design is stitched directly onto the garment.

This kind of technique is suitable for all types of designs and apparel. 

Embroidery is popular with our corporate accounts because it is known for producing a more professional look. We commonly embroider hats, polos, and button down shirts as part of uniforms.

3 - Patch Embroidery

Patch embroidery, also known as applique embroidery, involves embroidering logos and other designs onto separate patches, then stitching them onto a hat.

The patches are cut from fabric such as denim, felt, and twill. When stitched onto a hat, the contrasting textures and colors add an interesting visual effect. 

What to Know Before Getting Your Hats Embroidered

Toledo Arched Hat

There are several factors to consider before getting your hats embroidered. This will ensure that the end result meets your expectations.

1 - Select Thread Colors Appropriate for the Hat

  • Ensure there’s contrast and visibility: Contrasting colors prevent the hat and design from merging, ensuring that the design stands out from a distance.
  • Consider color psychology: Different colors evoke different memories. Therefore, choose colors that resonate with your brand’s message. For example, blue for trustworthiness and red for energy.
  • Stay true to your brand colors: We believe that few things are as important as your brand integrity. When choosing thread colors for your hat design, ask us which threads will best match your official brand colors.

Remember: Colors may appear different on a computer screen, so it’s alright to ask for real thread samples or color charts to have an accurate idea of the result.

2 - Choose the Right Design Proportion and Placement

The best size for the embroidered design depends on the hat’s dimensions, while the placement depends on the desired visual impact

Therefore, let it be large enough to be seen from a distance, but not too large that it overwhelms the hat.

Placement of the design can be in any of these areas:

  • Front center: It’s a bold and straightforward way of showcasing your logo, making it the most common placement area.
  • Side: Placed near the temple. It’s mostly used when you want to add a secondary logo or motto to your hat.
  • Back: Placed just above the closure: It’s suitable when you desire a less intrusive design, or when you want to advertise on both the front and back.

Here’s the thing, at the end of the day, these are just hats. Don't over think it and, when in doubt, keep it simple. A clean, clear design is always a professional look.

If you’re not sure about proportions and placement, we are willing to help you understand. After all, we’ve been in this business for more than 15 years and know a thing or two about making awesome stuff.

3 - Start With High-Quality Design Files

When you start with high resolution or vectore art files, you ensure that we will be able to reproduce the design with the highest quality.

Clear details increase the possibility of clean edges and sharp detail, allowing for fine lines and giving the design a professional look.

At Jupmode, we prefer that you upload your logo or design in .ai, .eps, and .pdf formats. No matter what you have, our in-house design team is here to help!

A Hat’s Journey: From Digitizing to Delivery

Retro Ohio Patch Beanie

Alright, let’s now dive into the nitty gritty of custom embroidery, from digitizing designs to packaging and delivery.

Step 1 - Digitizing Design files

The first step in the making of custom embroidered hats is to convert the customer’s files into a format the embroidery machine understands.

The process is known as digitizing. It involves converting graphic images into a digital format that the embroidery machine can read.

Digitization software is used to create the design’s blueprint, which specifies the stitch types, color mapping, and thread thickness that will be used.

At Jupmode, we use Tajima embroidery machines. So our artwork files are conversted to .DST embroidery files.

Step 2 - Embroidering Process

The second step is where the action lies. The embroiderer hoops the hat onto the machine’s frame to stretch it tight for accurate stitching.

To prevent the hat from moving around and distorting the stitches, a stabilizer or backing is used. The stabilizer is placed underneath the design and hooped together with the hat.

Next, the embroidery settings (speed, thread color, and placement) are configured and the machine is set in motion, with several hats getting embroidered at once.

Fun Fact: Jupmode embroidery machines run at about 600 stitches per minute and we can embroider six hats at a time.

Check out the video below. It shows the digitization and embroidery of beanie hats.

Step 3 - Finishing Checks and Pressing

Once the embroidery is done, loose threads are trimmed and the backing is removed. On hats, backing can typically be torn away or trimmed around the design, leaving just enough for support.

Step 4 - Packaging and Delivery

When all checks are complete, It’s time for customers to receive their much-awaited custom embroidered hats.

Hats are typically packaged in boxes. These are excellent for protection during shipping. They ensure that you don’t receive a flattened hat.

For brands whose hats are part of a promotional campaign, it may be necessary to attach tags, care instructions, and other information specified by the customer.

Express Your Identity With Custom Embroidered Hats

Retro Michigan Patch Beanie

"It's so stylish."

Sam S., Verified Buyer, United States

Organizations use embroidered hats for branding by distributing them to employees and customers.

They are one of the most popular custom products that we produce for our customers for a reason.

Jupmode is more than just a destination for proud Midwesterners seeking cute and comfy tees. Our embroidery experts are ready to bring your idea to life with custom embroidered hats you’ll be proud to own or give away.

We provide embroidery services that offer a seamless blend of simplicity and style. Fill out a quick no-obligation project quote and we’ll send a response within 24 business hours.


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