Embroidery Reference Guide

Everything you need to know about our embroidery services

About our embroidery program

At Scalable Press, we pride ourselves on creating high quality embroidered apparel that’s stitches above the rest. In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into our embroidery program, and provide some best practices and tips to ensure your artwork and the finished product looks great every time. 

In this guide, we’ll cover:

Program features and capabilities


  • Tajima embroidery machines
  • Super bride polyester (40 Wt) Robson Anton thread
  • Sophisticated digitization software that converts art files into stitch-ready designs

Thousands of products from top brands

We’re integrated with top suppliers to offer popular products from top brands, including Adidas, Carhartt, Nike, The North Face, Ogio, and more. 

  • Aprons
  • Athletic apparel
  • Bags (backpacks, messenger bags, totes, and more)
  • Casual apparel
  • Dress shirts
  • Hats (caps, beanies, and more)
  • Outwear
  • Workwear
  • Youth sizes

Fast turnarounds, no minimums, and nationwide production

Once we have an approved design, we print and ship the order in 7 business days, guaranteed, regardless of the order size. There are no order minimums, ever. And with multiple facilities nationwide, we’re able to get products from your favorite suppliers fast, and ship to your customers even faster.
Finishing services
For a nominal fee, we can put the finishing touch on your custom goods orders with folding and poly bagging services.

Artwork best practices

What to think about for your design

The are many factors to consider when creating a design that will work for embroidery.  Here’s a list of the artwork issues we see most frequently and some tips on how to avoid them. 

  • Complicated designs: Heavily detailed designs with borders, backgrounds, and secondary text can create problems and are not recommended for embroidery. The design rule of thumb should always be simplicity is best. 
  • Small text and lines: Bigger is generally better for readability. When working with text, opt for a point size that’s at least 0.25” high and 0.05” thick. We also recommend a sans serif font and using all caps for the best results, with no more than 20 characters per line. When working with lines, we recommend lines are no less than 0.05″ for a regular satin stitch.
  • Gradients: This effect is very difficult to accurate replicate with embroidery. To prepare designs featuring gradients for stitching, colors must be divided or substituted for a solid color. If dividing colors within gradients does not work with your design, consider selecting a primary solid color as a substitution for best results.
  • Distressed or textured effects: The effect is also nearly impossible to replicate and may result in loss of detail depending on the size and nature of the texture included. If your design has textures, consider removing them to preserve detail. Print a sample if you decide to leave textures in artwork.
  • Negative space: Empty spaces in your design affects stitching accuracy. If your design has empty (negative) space, consider filling it with a solid color background. 
Keep your designs simple
Gradients may not translate
Be mindful of negative space
Avoid distressed effects and textures

Converting your artwork into a stitch-ready design

Art files have to be redrawn as stitch files in order for them to be embroidered. This conversion process is called digitization and is done by a digitzer who understands design and the technical requirements that go into preparing a file for embroidery machines to read. For our Tajima embroidery machines to read your file, it needs to be saved in a .dst (Data Stitch Tajima) format.

 If you’re not familiar with this format, you can have the file converted by a digitizer of your choice, or you can request to have us digitize your design. This video will show you how to submit a digitization request and when to expect your converted file.

Print sizes and locations

It’s important to consider the size of the artwork space for the type of garment being embroidered. To ensure your designs are accurately executed and yield the best outcome, follow the guidelines below closely. 


  • 5″ x 5.2″ (hat front)
  • 5″ x 5″ (hat back) 
  • 3″ x 3″ (hat side)


  • 4.5″ x 4.5″ (front)
  • 3″ x 3″ (sleeve, pants, shorts)  

Placing an order

We’re all about making ordering with us as fast and easy as possible. These steps will guide you through the ordering process and what to expect, which includes full visibility of your order from click to print to ship.

Visit scalablepress.com and select the products you want to embroider.
Upload your design. Remember, it must be in a .DST format. You can also have us convert your art into a .DST file by submitting a digitization request. And choose your thread. We have 15 standard colors of Robson Anton thread. For specialty colors, the full catalog of Robson Anton thread colors is available for $0.25  per color per item. 
Review your cart, select your shipping and any finishing services, and submit your order. We’ll take care of the rest!

Ready to get started with Scalable Press?

With Scalable Press, you can expect

High quality| Fast turns | Live customer support