Here at parsonsKellogg, we sell quite a bit of embroidered apparel. Whether it’s golf polos for a corporate event, custom duffel bags for employee recognition, or branded outerwear for a company store, embroidery is a great decorating technique that can yield very high quality but also subtle results (two reasons why it is popular with our corporate customers).
Unlike many companies that sell promotional products, parsonsKellogg is both a distributor of products AND a decorator, with in-house embroidery machines that allow us to deliver quality products to our customers quickly and at a competitive price. One of the factors that determines how embroidery jobs are priced is stitch count.
What is embroidery stitch count?
Embroidery is typically priced on a cost per thousand stitch basis. Because every job is different, embroiderers must estimate the stitch count in order to provide customers with pricing for the particular logo or design that they wish to have embroidered. As a customer, knowing your embroidery stitch count enables you to more accurately estimate the cost of a job, and compare prices from multiple vendors prior to ordering.
How to estimate embroidery stitch count?
When estimating the stitch count of a design or logo there are basically three elements or areas that you need to take into consideration:
- Fills” or “Steps” are blocks of colored areas. When estimating a good rule of thumb to use is that one square inch of fill will have roughly 1250 stitches.
- “Satin” or “Column” stitches are typically used for lettering or slightly wider borders. Usually each linear inch of a Satin border will be around 200 stitches however lettering counts can vary depending on the font and size. To estimate a plain font without serifs is around 100 stitches per 1/4 inch high letter or 200 stitches for a 1/2 inch high letter. Allow 25% more stitches if the lettering is fancier and has serifs.
- “Running” or “Bean” stitches are used for outlining very small elements that are less than 1mm wide. Sometimes Running stitches are used to go from one part of the design to another. When estimating a linear inch of Running is around 50 stitches.
If you are planning to place an order for an item that will be embroidered you can use the above guidelines to come up with a rough embroidery stitch count for your design. It also pays to develop a relationship with your decorator. By working regularly with one vendor your stitch counts will become easier to predict – and if you are putting the same logo or design on multiple items throughout the year your embroidery costs and therefore the cost of embroidery should remain consistent on a per piece basis.