Custom Patch Sizes
To determine the proper size category, add the width and the height together and divide by 2.
EXAMPLE: The emblem measures 2" x 4"
2 + 4 = 6 divided by 2 = 3"
Important Note: Fractional results 1/8" or larger round up to the next size category. Fractional results less than 1/8" round down.
EXAMPLE A: 3 3/8 + 3 = 6 3/8 divided by 2 = 3 3/16
Use the 3 ½" price.
EXAMPLE B: 2 5/8 + 3 ½ = 6 1/8 divided by 2 = 3 1/16
Use the 3" price.
General Tips for Creating Graphics for Embroidered Patches
1. Bolder is better.
Keep in mind that bold letters and design elements embroider better and are more visible for your
2. Strong contrast is better
Strong contrast is better than light on light or dark on dark colors.
3. Open block lettering is more legible.
Narrow type styles, condensed letter does not embroider well. Tall and Skinny Font Styles are to be
avoided. Squat and Bold (not extra bold) are preferable. Other type styles that embroider well are,
Simple Script, bold font styles with serifs, Free Hand Styles, and many other styles that conform to
4. Blank Spaces are Boring.
Effective use of space for your custom patch is important. Enlarging graphic elements, extending and/or
enlarging text, and introducing other graphic elements, are ways to better utilize blank space.
a. Most geometrically simple embroidered emblems (circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles,
rhomboids, trapezoids, egg shapes, pill shapes, tombstone shapes, simple shields) have a ravel proof
(overlock) border applied to the edge after the emblem is die cut. Allow 1/8 inch along the outer
edge of the emblem for the overlock border. IMPORTANT - 3/32" of space must be allowed between
any concentric elements and/or lettering running parallel to the border.
b. Geometrically simple custom emblems (circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, rhomboids,
trapezoids, egg shapes, pill shapes, tombstone shapes, simple shields) and geometrically complex
emblems ( badge shapes, arrow heads, crescent shapes, chevron shapes, free forms) that have an
embroidered border applied and are subsequently hand cut or hot needle cut, the following rules
apply. Allow a minimum 1/16" inch along the outer edge of the emblem for the embroidered border.
IMPORTANT - 1/16" of space must be allowed between any concentric elements and/or lettering
running parallel to the border.
c. Bleeds - Design elements (backgrounds fills, landscapes, bars, clouds, etc.) can bleed
into the border.
6. Capture Lines.
Capture lines, usually thin black lines defining graphic details, are difficult to embroider and difficult to
keep in registry. Because of the thinness of the capture line, often the only way it can be
represented in embroidery is with a stepstitch (running stitch). A capture line embroidered in
stepstitch is a series of short straight stitches going from one needle entry point to another (dot to
dot), resulting in a line that is neither smooth or unbroken. Because the line is so thin it is very difficult
to embroider it exactly on the edge of a graphic element. Even the slightest displacement will cause
the line to wander away from or encroach into the graphic element it is supposed to outline.
a. When evaluating a new graphic, question the need for capture lines... are they, some or all,
necessary to the graphic? If some or all of them can be removed the end result will be better
b. If the graphic source material is black and white, the capture lines (wire frames) are the
only way to show the graphic. Example: the black and white (not half-tones) graphic of a fish would
be a multitude of black lines on white background, detailing everything from each fish scale, to the
eye, to the fin. Done in color, the fish scales would-be visibility is at issue.
Exception - the starkest contrast, black on white, is difficult to embroider, many times resulting in
poor quality embroidery.
7. Positioning Graphic Elements and Fonts.
Care should be given to the relative position of design elements and fonts. In the embroidery process
the needle embroidering must "travel" from one design element or font to another. Consideration should
be given to how easily, using the least number of stitches, can the needle embroidering travel to the
next element or font to be embroidered. The proximity of elements and fonts to one another is very
important. Having elements that are touching and close in proximity allows them to be connected, with
the embroidering needle traveling directly from one element to another. Having elements that are spaced
apart does not allow them to be connected, the embroidering needle cannot travel directly from one
star to another. In multihead embroidery, for each star spaced far apart, the embroidery machine must
stop, trim, move slowly to the next position, and resume stitching. This process is not only time consuming,
it is a major cause of defects.