Published on Monday, September 14, 2015

Cap Stitching and Design

Getting your Cap Designs Perfect!

If you’ve ever attempted to stitch a design onto a cap you’d know first-hand just how difficult it can be! While there are many reasons cap stitching (especially stitching a chest logo) is difficult, the main factor is the way the cap is hooped due to the cap frame and machine movement and that the needle plate gap is further away than when you are using a standard hoop.

If you are insistent on using your existing logo, you may need to compensate for the factors which affect the stitch results. To do this, take a look at the list below. 

1. Resize the design to fit the cap frame area. Depending on the brand, most cap frames are around 50mm high. You can break up the logo and do the text on the back of the cap or to the side of the logo as the area is usually wider. There are three possible examples below.  

2. We will use the 1st option, once you are happy with the layout and size. 

Due to the distance from the needle plate and cap we will increase the pull compensation to 0.45.

The best way to explain ‘Pull Compensation’ is to imagine the side profile of a satin stitch; ‘Pull compensation’ is the distance from the bobbin to the top stitch. The thicker the garment more pull is needed, hence we increase this due to the curvature of the cap and distance from the needle plate. Some machines may have a raised needle plate used in conjunction with its cap frame.

3. When possible try and get the ‘Tatami Fills’ objects to end in the middle as this method will help push the stitching together instead of splitting the objects. Select the tatami fill, in properties>Special>change the ‘Overlap’ to about 3 in case there is a gap.

4. When it comes to lettering, you should always use centre out sequence as this will help reduce the push and pull effect. 

5. Remove underlays for lettering (this will also reduce the amount of movements. If you have a high contrasting cap, you can use a zigzag underlay to lift the embroidery.

6. Change the “Auto spacing” settings to 80 which will increase your stitch count.

7. For Set up and alignment, Design>Method>select the base. 


'Bottom, start, end' is a great way to align the machine so you know how much distance you have from the peak of the cap. Machine speed is also important, it is best to run it slower than usual, between 500 and 700rpm.

Digitizing and designing for caps is definitely both a useful and unique skill to have! It helps get you acclimated to different and sometimes harder to manage surfaces and textures. Although this may seem a little overwhelming, once you can grasp the concept it becomes second nature almost instantly! The next time you run into issues with cap designs, you’ll be good to get it right in one go! It helps you acclimate to different, and harder to manage, surfaces and textures. Although this may seem a little overwhelming, once you understand the concept it becomes second nature instantly! 

Good luck with all your future designs 

The Wilcom Team

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