Baseball caps, snapback rapper caps, trucker caps, the list goes on but if you are starting out as an embroioiderer you will encounter all of these at some point. Everyone loves caps and they are great for promoting a business logo or company event for a limited budget. It's quite impressive what you can actually fit onto a cap but with the correct guidelines and an understanding of what can be achieved will help you on your way to creating a great quality promotional garment.
I think the biggest concern with caps is the restriction on the size of embroidery that can be possible. If you walk into any sports shop and look at the snapback caps available there are some large embroideries that cover almost the entire front area of the cap. You will also most likely see some 3D embroidery in those designs too that looks flawless. The only way this is produced is by embroidering the material of the cap before manufacturing and sewing the cap together. This makes it so much easier to embroider large designs with 3D effect as the panels of the caps can be hooped onto the machine as per any normal garment embroidery.
So the next question is "How is it possible to embroider the same quality onto ready-made caps?" The image below shows the largest I have managed to embroider onto a ready made cap, which is 120mm x 50mm.
This was using a cylinder cap frame on a Brother PR600 and I still had to reduce it slightly on the machine to get it right. Other models such as SWF will go up to 55mm height at a push but to avoid distorting the design and giving yourself a headache try to keep within the guidelines of 110mm x 50mm for any front of cap design. You can also see in the image above that there is a clear gap underneath and above the design. It is crucial that when framing your cap you have a good 1-1.5cm (finger width) under the design. The higher the design the less problems you should have. If you have a design with text at the bottom and it embroiders too low then the letters may have a squashed appearance.
So if you remember the "safe area" 110mmx50mm on the front of a cap and asses the design first you can avoid any issues that may come up later. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more help and advice or leave a comment on the home page.