How to use the best hat embroidery machines?

Here’s an interesting fact; over 80% of profitable digitizing agencies offer hat digitizing services. Yes, hat digitizing is one of the core components of any embroidery digitizing business. Honestly, it is also one of the most fun-filled components that give digitizers a chance to get creative with their skills. So, yeah, if you too are an aspiring embroidery digitizing agency looking to get profitable, you better start training your hands around hat digitizing.
Now, just like all other embroidery services, the key to achieving superb results for hat embroidery is by choosing the right hat embroidery machine. Obviously, all hat embroidery machines available in the market are designed to offer great embroidery results; however, not all of them are equal. Just like other embroidery machines, each hat embroidery machine comes with its strengths and limitations, and it’s essential to choose the right machine that meets your business requirements. Apart from the type of hat embroidery machine, skills are also necessary. You need to have the right skills to use a hat embroidery machine efficiently.
Here in this blow, we will exclusively discuss how you can master the art of hat embroidery. However, let’s start with some basics of hat embroidery.

Which is the best hat embroidery machine?

As mentioned above, multiple hat embroidery machines are available in the market, each with its unique strength and limitation. The key is to choose the one that perfectly suits your business requirements. Nonetheless, some of the best hat embroidery machines available in the market include;
  • Janome MB-4S Commercials
  • Brother PE770
  • Janome Memory Craft MC 9500
  • Singer Futura XL400
  • Brother SE1900

What are the basic components of a hat embroidery machine?

Just like regular embroidery machines, some of the core components that make up a hat embroidery machine includes;
  • Needle bar
  • Cap frame
  • Embroidery arm
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery frame
  • Frame sash;
  • LCD
  • Stitch selection displays
  • Thread break detectors
  • Memory cards
  • Reader or box

Choosing a hat for embroidery

Hats make up an important part of our daily apparel. There are a variety of hat types available everywhere. You can either choose a hat from your local store or even get one from an online website. You can easily access your favorite color, style, and pattern of the hat. While you may choose from hundreds of colors, styles and patterns, below are some of the main hat categories to choose from;

OPF (One-piece front) hats

These are also more commonly referred to as “Trucker” or “Farmer” hats. As can be taken by name, one-piece front hats of OPF are designed from a single piece of foam, which mainly covers the backing, whereas the leftover part of the hat is made up of fabric work. These are simple, classy, to wear and easy to embroider, thanks to the covered backing that doesn’t have any center created inside the hat.

Collegiate hats

Collegiate hats don’t have any structure or covered backing, which means there are more closely fitted to the wearer’s head. Since collegiate hats have an inclination to move, it’s important to hoop these hats to achieve desired embroidery results.

Sports hat

Sports hats are undoubtedly only of the most fashionable and widely used hats worldwide. These are also the type of hats that are most widely used for embroidery purposes. The sports hat has a center crease passing through the middle of the front board. This means that sports hats inherently tend to lose stitches within this center crease and thereby should be considered when embroidered.

How to embroider the hat?

Most of the time, the center or front part of the hat is used for embroidery purposes. This means that these areas will undergo hat embroidery machine and, thereby, should be prepared in advance to get the best results. Below are some of the basic steps that you can use for effective and precise hat embroidery;

Prepare the hat for embroidery

The first step for hat embroidery is to prepare the hat for the embroidery machine. This will include stabilizing the hat using a stabilizer since you can’t directly hoop the hat. A pro tip is to go with a slightly bigger hoop, which will give you more space to move the hat during the embroidery process.
Next, you need to hoop the stabilizer (preferably a sticky stabilizer) and attach the hat. Remove/cut any excess piece of stabilizer, when you are done with the embroidery process.

Tips to use the hat embroidery machine 

When using an embroidery machine for hat, it’s recommended to use a larger needle. That’s because the hat has thicker and harder material most of the time. Also, make sure you don’t dislodge the hat from the stabilizer before the entire embroidery process is completed.
Some key points to using a hat embroidery machine include;
  1. Thread cutters can disturb the hoop and bill during the embroidery process; thereby, make sure to flip all thread cutters to avoid any work dislodge
  2. It is highly recommended not to use the basting function during the hat embroidery process. That’s because basting could extend past the usable region.
  3. Keep the embroidery machine to a relatively low speed. This will help you to keep the hat fabric flat and not end up having a brim stuck in the machine
  4. At times, you may be required to string the needle manually. That’s because hats may also come within the manner of the embroidering when using an automated needling device
  5. Once the embroidering process is completed, you can remove any excess stabilizer from the hat


Well, getting the right hat embroidery machine certainly helps significantly in creating aesthetically pleasing and enticing embroidery designs. However, you also need to have the right skills and experience to masterfully use the embroidery machine to get perfect embroidery designs every time.
Remember, hats embroidery is one of the most significant components for all embroidery businesses and thereby, you need to master the service to stay profitable and sustain the competition. Above, we have tried to come up with an excellent brief description of how you can use a hat embroidery machine to great efficiency. While you may be nervous at first, you will definitely greatly improve your hat embroidery skills with the right guidance and practice.