Embroidery Hooping: What You Need To Know Before You Stitch

If you’re currently running an embroidery business and are feeling more than a little frustrated with your results on your headwear accessories, you’re certainly not alone. While hats and caps can potentially account for a vast majority of a business’ total embroidery revenue, these popular garments can also prove tricky and unwieldy for a variety of reasons. If you’re ready to finally master embroidery hooping on a vast selection of headwear, read on. Recognizing some common procedural missteps as well as stitching issues to avoid can quickly help you and your team get on the right track when it comes to delivering stellar customized headwear.

Problems You May Encounter Throughout The Embroidery Process

In order to best recognize proper hooping techniques, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the most prominent issues headwear can present during the process. One of the first things that embroiderers notice about stitching on lids is that they can sometimes prove a bit structurally unpredictable. Yes, the caps purchased from a reputable wholesale hats and cap store can come in a wide range of styles and colors to suit every taste. However, these garments are also both curvy and flexible; if not project managed properly, embroiderers may inadequately hoop the item and find themselves delivering less than stellar stitching results. Other common issues that may arise throughout the process include:

Flagging: By definition, flagging happens when the material of the garment moves during the stitching, resulting in frayed threading, broken needles and even a lid frame that eventually tears apart.

Registration inconsistencies: When a garment is not hooped correctly, various design areas can move and rotate out of their appropriate placements, thus skewing the entire final finished look.

Fabric depth changes: If changing fabric depths are not accounted for during the hooping process, the stitching will not hold consistently and can quickly show thread breakage and other design interruptions.

Preparing Your Headwear For Successful Hooping

Do any of the above potential issues sound familiar? Fortunately there is hope. Now that you know what to expect, there are valid tactics you can employ to successfully avoid potential problems. When prepping to hoop the accessory, always ensure that the selected design, logo and/or graphic fit the designated “canvas” of the hat. If the layout proves too big for your item, you’ll instantly run into spacing issues. Additionally, (and this cannot be emphasized enough), ONLY use hats that fit into your existing machine frame. Once you’ve found a lid that works well with your current machinery, stock up on them at your chosen wholesale hats and cap store to ensure you have a plentiful inventory on hand whenever your clients need them.

Congratulations! You’re officially ready to start stitching. In order to successfully cross the project finish line, it’s important to keep a few final hooping rules of thumb in mind. Remember that strategizing various hoop gauges based on the structural makeup of the lid can help give you a seamless customized stitch. Also, always secure caps and hats with clips while stitching to keep the product as taut as possible, minimizing garment slippage and potential thread misfires.

Finally, always use bubble cap backing on any lid your business customizes. Bubble cap backing (aka “soft piece of apparel-specific foam”) helps close any gaps or spaces between the lid’s brim and the back. When used appropriately, backing will instantly minimize flagging and help you deliver a final product that your customers will clamor for!