Custom embroidery — from monogramming towels to personalizing blankets, ballcaps, tote bags, and all kinds of garments and textiles — is an increasingly popular way to apply a company logo or create gifts or souvenirs for company picnics, family reunions and other special occasions. Several factors affect the cost for embroidery services and embroidered merchandise:
The amount of detail in a logo or image
The number of thread colors needed
The type of item being embroidered
The cost of purchasing merchandise from the embroidery service if you don’t supply it yourself
The choice of direct embroidery on the object or creation of custom patches to be sewn onto the object
- The number of items to be embroidered, which may mean a volume discount
Embroiderers often charge by the number of stitches per garment as well as thread color changes. You could expect to pay anywhere from $5-$10 each for custom embroidered ballcaps to $20-$30 each for golf shirts, in addition to a digitizing fee.
A logo or image to be embroidered must first be digitized to create a file that an embroidery machine can interpret in order to stitch it directly onto a garment, or onto a patch that can be sewn onto fabric items like tote bags or backpacks. Digitizing usually incurs a one-time fee because once the image is digitized, the embroidery service can use it again for future jobs. The cost for digitizing is based on the number of stitches and thread color changes required to re-create the logo in embroidery. Digitizing fees usually average $20-$30, but may be as low as $10 or as high as $60 or more. Marty Byrnes, owner of I’m Sew Crazy in Mesa, Arizona, usually charges $10-$40 to digitize a logo, depending on the number of colors and stitches required. Timely Expressions in St. Paul, Minnesota, charges $30-$60 for digitization.
Thread (color) changes
An embroidery job with more than two colors will cost more, because the embroiderer must load multiple spools of colored thread into the machine. Two-color logos or text-only embroidery jobs are the least expensive. Byrnes of I’m Sew Crazy can personalize baby blankets with the baby’s name and birthdate using the font and colors of the client’s choice for about $10. She can embroider a two-color logo or graphic on 20-25 hats for about $5 per hat. Aunt Linda’s Closet - Machine Embroidery in Aurora, Colorado, charges per 1,000 stitches of a given design. To digitize and embroider two garments usually runs $45-$65. Timely Expressions charges $10 to mount each item, which includes the first 10,000 stitches, then $1 per additional 1,000 stitches. Timely Expressions can negotiate volume discounts for large quantities of an image with a low stitch count and simple mounting.
Direct embroidery or embroidering a patch
Directly embroidering a graphic and/or text onto a textile or garment will usually cost more than creating embroidered patches of the image to sew onto an item. Byrnes often uses patches to fill requests from clients who want to personalize a backpack, duffel bag or other item that will not fit in her embroidery machine. She can create a patch with a name or initials in a client’s chosen colors and sew it onto a backpack for $10.
Merchandise and embroidery
Aunt Linda’s Closet and Timely Expressions both offer extensive catalogs of merchandise that can be purchased through them for custom embroidery. Both offer volume discounts for larger orders (usually 100 or more of a given item). Byrnes of I’m Sew Crazy only embroiders garments or items provided by her clients and does not offer merchandise for purchase.
In addition to digitization and embroidery services, some embroiderers offer similar, related services. Wendy’s Treasures, based in Fayetteville, Georgia, aso offers dye sublimation/heat transfer, which allows a logo or graphic to be printed on a garment, a textile or even paper. This technique typically costs less than embroidery because the materials are less expensive and the job is less time-intensive.
The embroidery services featured here also have access to catalogs of existing embroidery designs they can embroider onto merchandise for you with the addition of text customization such as names and dates.