Tips to make an embroidered emblem


How to manufacturer embroidered emblems

The first thing you need to get started is the equipment. I have listed what is absolutely necessary to start up an emblem operation.

  • Digitizing software to create a program to operate a embroidery machineembroidery-machine-615
  • A 20 head embroidery machine (or more) with a border frame to allow mass production of emblems.
  • A fusing machine to apply plastic or heat seal backing to the emblem
  • A die cutting machine or a laser cutter to cut out the emblem from the sewn panels.
  • A merrow machine to apply the over lock border on the emblems.

The manufacturing process

  1. A skilled digitizer is assigned the task of converting the design into a program which will direct the embroidery machine to sew the pattern of the design to be made.
  2. Run a sample emblem in the correct thread colors to review the programming which will drive the embroidery machine.
  3. Obtain customer approval of the sample emblem.
  4. Load the correct thread colors and material on the 20 head embroidery machine. Enter the approved design program and start sewing the emblems. Running the machine at 800 stitches per minute will optimally allow you to make approximately 80-100 emblems per hour.
  5. When the stitched panels are complete the backing should be applied. This is done with a fusing machine which can apply plastic backing or heat seal backing. The most popular backing is plastic because it is assumed that the patches will be sewn on to something.
  6. There are three ways to cut the emblems from the sewn panels. The first way is with a mechanical clicker press and a steel rule die. The most efficient is a laser cutter which is very efficient and faster than using a die cutter with a steel rule die. Some factories still cut by hand with labor so cheap in Asia.
  7. Now it is time to put the over lock border on the emblem to give it that finished look. This process is painfully slow done one emblem at a time. However skilled operators can merrow 300 emblems per hour.
  8. The emblems next go the inspection and packing department. Each emblem is individually inspected and packed for final deliver to the customer.


In conclusion if you want to get in the emblem business you need large volume orders to justify the expense of the equipment and labor. This is why most of the emblems made in the world today are made in Asian factories where the labor is inexpensive.

Here are a fee examples of what we have manufactured in the past. Northwest Custom Apparel has been making emblems for 37 years.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!