Hat Embroidery Machine Options | Learn Before You Buy

Look for these Features in a Hat Embroider Machine

Hat Embroidery Machine (s) are commercial or professional embroidery machines that are designed to do well embroidering on caps and hats as well as traditional flat garments.

So basically, a good professional machine is a good hat and shirt embroidery machine too.

Embroidery machines for business in general are different from those meant for home or hobby use. Even though consumer embroidery machines are getting more sophisticated, and expensive they are not designed to create custom caps and hats.

Home machines like the Viking / Husqvarna or Brother machines for the PRS100 are not designed to last like the big boys.  Neither are many of the 6 needle machines made by commercial machine makers – they reduce the reliability,the commercial TOUGHNESS that even a small business needs when the reduce the number of needles.

So if you’re serious about doing business you’ll want to look into the commercial hat embroidery machines.

Important Features in Hat Embroidery Equipment

Hat Embroidery Machines you can find in shopping malls across the US and Canada.

Look in any mall and you’ve got a good chance you will find a hat kiosk . Or one of the popular Lids custom embroidered cap stores, often combined with a DTG t-shirt printer. 

There are even more you’ll never see in home based businesses and at big commercial cap manufacturers.

Here’s are some of the features that set them apart from their sewing machine cousins.

Features to look for:

  • 15 Needles –15 needles is the standard in commercial and custom hat embroidery. While few projects demand 15 different colors on one custom hat logo for example, you will probably have multiple jobs going on at once. And it just takes too much time to switch thread cones on a on or even 6 needle embroidery machine.
  • Wide Sewing Field – many cap embroidery jobs call for “ear to ear” embroidery. An embroidery field for caps should be 270 degrees and come with at least 2 cap frames (hoops) that will allow that, like the Avancé 1501C Embroidery Machine
  • Programmed Color Stops – a color stop is one of the 1501Cs neatest tricks – and absolutely vital to doing 3D Embroidery. You program the design to stop to add the 3D foam, then to start again from the same spot. [see the picture]
  • Automatic Color Changes – if you’re using a single needle machine and trying to do a multi-color design.. it’s almost impossible to stop the machine as it sews. With a 15 need hat embroidery machine that’s automatic.
  • 2 of Each – a professional or industrial hat embroidery machine, one that’s meant for business use, will come with 2 of each size hoop for both hats and flat garments. The idea is that while one hat is sewing a custom design you can be getting the next cap “hooped” so you’re ready to sew the next one. This is how production is done! Once again using the Avancé brand as an example, it comes standard with 11 hoops with TWO cap drivers. You can find a list of everything else that comes with it.
  • Embroidery Speed – embroidery speed is measured in “stitches per minute” or SPM. A higher SPM means you’ll be able to make more hats per hour, which means more money in your pocket. A professional machine will run up to 1200spm. A consumer version will only run effectively at about 1/3 of that speed.
  • All Day Sewing – commercial cap machines WILL run all day, every day and for more than one shift of work. It’s design to manufacture caps and hats. Consumer machines are designed to be used for a few hours on weekends.

Corporate and Small Business Uniforms with Embroidered Caps and Polos

Create 3D Baseball Caps Using Foam Inside Embroidery

You can also use embroidered patches for caps and hats by using Colman and Company’s Patch Kit.

Patch Value – Even with the Perfect Hat Embroidery Machine for Sale

There really TWO ways to get an embroidery design onto a cap or hat for sale. The first you’ve already seen – embroider a design directly onto a cap.

But the second way is a secret tip that’s especially valuable for new embroiderers. Embroidery FLAT designs onto Colman and Company’s Patch Kit material, then heat press them onto the cap. 

Creating custom patches that you can apply to a cap instead of direct embroidery has a few real advantages:

  1. It’s simpler. Many people learn how to embroidery on flats first – those include polo shirts, sashes, blankets, etc. Doing direct embroidery on caps is different. The PatchKit lets you create flat designs, “cut” them out, then press them onto hats. Easy. 
  2. It’s faster. Many times, even using a professional hat embroidery machine, you’re going to slow your machine down to embroidery a cap. When you’re making patches you can run the machine at your regular speed – very productive!
  3. More flexibility. Because you take that same patch and press it onto a cap, a shirt, a bag – a lot of different materials! And more options means more money!


Now, as you can see from the pictures above, applying a patch does not give you the same look as direct embroidery – but it’s a great option.

Patches are SO popular we created a special bundle: the Avancé PatchKit Pro Bundle. All you need to do is add a hat heat press to it!

Financing an Embroidery Machine

Most people searching for a product like this are starting a new business doing cap embroidery or custom embroidery in general, so financing is part of the decision on which machine to purchase.

A BIG advantage of getting a professional machine vs a consumer one for business purposes is that you can apply for a business lease or financing line of credit. Financing has the advantage of leaving your cash for:

One of the best parts though, is that it does not show up on your consumer credit reporting. Apply without hurting your personal credit score. 

Believe it or not, your credit will probably be less affected leasing an Avancé 1501C for $240-290/month (typical payment range), than buying a less expensive consumer one on your credit card – and it won’t make nearly the same profits!

To learn more about caps and hats and the different kinds you can visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap