Contract Embroidery "the correct way"

Custom Embroidery, Custom Uniforms & Digital Shirt Printing

Contract Embroidery "the correct way"

Caribbean Embroidery’s Order Guide for Contract Embroidery

We appreciate your selection of Caribbean Embroidery as your embroidery provider. This section details the fundamentals of placing an embroidery order. This is a basic outline for beginning to sell embroidery. This article was written by Maritza van Grieken, who has over 20 years of experience in the industry. We have stated Caribbean Embroidery’s policy in each section.


Good embroidery begins with good artwork, so you must exert the most effort here. You’ve probably heard the expression “Garbage in, garbage out” Your embroiderer may be able to salvage low-quality artwork so that you’re not stuck with trash, but providing him with exactly what he needs will go a long way toward ensuring that you’re satisfied with the final product.
If clean artwork in vector format is unavailable, at least provide an image with a resolution of 300 dots per inch (DPI) or higher. This artwork for left chest logos is typically 2 inches by 4 inches. Consider the size of the lettering as well. Plan on letters being no smaller than a quarter inch in height, or you may encounter legibility issues.
If you cannot provide artwork of the required quality and format, expect to pay art fees, which are typically billed on an hourly basis.
Due to the fact that the price of most designs is based on stitch count, stitch counts may come into play when you’re trying to hit a specific price point for a customer. If this is a concern, please inform the embroiderer. In many instances, it is possible to digitize the design so that fewer stitches are used without sacrificing quality. However, it is optimal to allow the digitizer to use the stitch coverage and underlay he deems necessary for beautiful sewouts.

Policy of Caribbean Embroidery:

We require a high-resolution.jpg. Please ensure that the image is crisp and not pixelated. If we need to clean up your logo, additional art fees will be incurred. We outsource all of our graphic design work. We charge a rate of $45.00 per hour.

Next, the embroiderer must know which types of apparel the design will be applied to. The manner in which a design is digitized is contingent on the design’s size and the fabric used. If it is to be sewn on a cap and a jacket back, for example, adjustments must be made and two digital files are required. Digitizing is the process of translating a design into a format that an embroidery machine can read and stitch. The digitizer will likely have to digitize it one way for the jacket and another way for the cap. In general, having a design edited at the time of the initial order is less expensive.

Let your embroiderer know if you want your design in a non-standard location; otherwise, he will use industry-standard placements. The embroiderer must be informed of any nonstandard placement, such as a design on the cuff or collar, or a left-chest logo that must sit unusually high for some reason. On rare occasions, the embroiderer may request to see a sample when you need something unusual embroidered, such as a golf bag with an unusual shape or an item requiring special hooping to get it onto the machine. The embroiderer will want to confirm that he or she can embroider on your item and will inform you of any restrictions. Additionally, you should anticipate higher prices for more difficult items.
You may also wish to inquire beforehand about minimums. In most larger stores, the minimum order quantity is 36 pieces. Many small stores will not have a minimum purchase requirement, but expect to pay more for smaller quantities. If your relationship with your embroiderer is strong, you may be able to negotiate smaller quantities for fill-in orders after the initial order has been placed.

Caribbean Embroidery Policy:

Be mindful of design size restrictions. Maximum embroidery size for a cap front is 2 inches by 4 inches. Please ensure that your item is suitable for embroidery. Bags are notoriously difficult to embroider due to their numerous zippers. Because we cannot guarantee quality, we do not recommend that you provide the digitized design. If you have any questions, please contact us by phone.

When mistakes happen
What happens if your embroiderer damages two of the 36 caps you order? Do you or the embroiderer have to order and pay for the additional caps? Ask your embroiderer about his or her policy, even though a 1 percent loss is fairly standard. Some may charge higher embroidery prices across the board because they promise to replace any damaged items; in a sense, you are paying insurance.

The damage rate at Caribbean Embroidery is 3%, which is standard for the industry. We will replace at market value for essentials (tee shirts, sweatshirts, caps). Jackets and luxury items will be replaced. The maximum total replacement cost for an order is $500. The customer assumes the risk for luxury items (leather jackets, handbags, etc.). We make every effort to prevent errors, but needle breaks and other situations do occur.

In addition, you may want to make it a habit to order a few extra items so that you never run out. In the worst case scenario, you will have a few samples to show other customers or send to the embroiderer as a reference when placing a subsequent order.

It is customary for the vendor to drop-ship garments directly to the embroider, regardless of the quantity of items ordered. You are responsible for providing the embroiderer with a comprehensive list of items to be embroidered. This list should contain measurements, styles, colors, and quantities. Errors are less likely the more information you provide. The majority of embroiderers will compare your list to the order when it arrives and let you know if anything is incorrect.

We inspect and count the garments at the machine, per Caribbean Embroidery’s policy. We assume that the quantities, products, and colors supplied by the vendor are accurate. For an additional $8.00 per box, we will count and sort orders. If you waive the $8.00, we will only count the total number of pieces at the machine. You are responsible for the replacement costs if the vendor ships an incorrect product.

Expense Concerns
Digitizing costs average around $25 to $195 depending on size of embroidery design.

In general, the number of colors in a design does not affect pricing because most embroidery machines can handle at least a dozen colors without changing threads, and the vast majority of designs will not have more than that. Because polyester thread is slightly less expensive and more durable than rayon thread, it is now used for the majority of embroidery. Nevertheless, you may be charged slightly more for special effects such as metallic thread or 3-D embroidery, which achieves a raised appearance by stitching over foam. Despite the fact that metallic threads have vastly improved, it is sometimes necessary to slow down the machine to prevent breaks, which may incur an increased cost. Also more expensive is the thread itself.

We have an established embroidery price list under the Caribbean Embroidery policy. Metallic thread is not-avoided and three-dimensional embroidery is offered. IsaCord & Madeira provides us with the finest and durable color fastness threads on the market. Prices for garments and headgear are sold individually. Carhartt jackets and bags are priced separately because they are difficult to embroider. We have our own in house digitizing department, which allows us to offer extremely competitive digitizing prices.

Order Approval
Before beginning production, it is strongly advised to always request a sewout from the embroiderer. The embroiderer may need to make minor adjustments to a design so that it appears better, or he may have used the incorrect color. You want to identify issues in advance to guarantee that your client will be satisfied with the final product.

Three types of sewouts are available. Sewouts are best viewed in-store or by mail. This is particularly important when collaborating with a shop whose work you are unfamiliar with. However, it is common practice, once you have established a relationship with an embroiderer and are familiar with the quality of their work, to have your sewout emailed to you or posted on a website for your approval. In this case, the embroiderer will provide either a simulated stitch file or will scan the sewout.

Depending on the size of the order, anticipate a turnaround time of approximately ten business days. Some of the most technologically advanced retailers in the industry allow customers to check the status of their orders online, and a large number also send out email updates. In any event, you should receive a timely response to a query about the status of your order.

Good communication is unquestionably the key to producing quality embroidery for customers. By doing everything on your end to collect and communicate the essential information your embroiderer requires, leaving no room for the embroiderer to make any assumptions.

New designs are always accompanied by a sewout at Caribbean Embroidery, per company policy. Typically, we take digital photos and send them via email. In addition, we can mail the customer a physical sample. Our turnaround is less than 10 business days. A rush order is always possible. We do not start working until the client approves the logo.


Who Is Given the Digitization File?
Since you are paying for the digitization, you may wonder whether it will be yours once the job is complete. There are two opposing viewpoints on this matter. Some contract embroiderers believe that until you pay an additional fee, you do not own the digitizing. Others believe that if you paid the digitizing price, you own the design. Ask your embroiderer in advance if you can receive a copy of the digitized design file, if there is an additional charge for it, or if they will sell it to you at all. Most embroiderers charge a lower fee for digitizing a design that they plan to sew. However, if the job is taken away from them, they wish to recover the expense of digitizing.

For digitizing and sampling, Caribbean Embroidery charges a discounted fee of $10. We do provide the digital disk to the customer by written request if and when the digitzing fee has been paid.