Embroidery Digitizing


High quality custom embroidery begins with digitizing. Digitizing is the process of creating “stitches” from text or printed graphic art. It provides a unique set of stitching instructions for commercial embroidery machines. Our state-of-the-art digitizing software uses advanced vector art graphics to quickly turn artwork and text into high-precision custom embroidery.

What To Know About 123Shirt Digitizing Process: 

  • All Digitizing is done in-house. We do not outsource any part of the custom logo embroidery production process.
  • Digitizing is a one-time expense. Once your has been digitized, you can re-order as many times as you’d like without paying the digitizing fee again.
  • We do not charge digitizing fees for simple text, monograms, or names using standard fonts.
  • We accept Tajima DST file formats from customers who already have a Digitized file.
  • We offer FREE digitizing for apparel orders over $150.

Embroidery Thread Colors:


We do our best to match the most accurate stitch color to your artwork. However, embroidery thread colors may vary from the actual colors in your logo. Pantone PMS and RGB color matching are NOT used for embroidery colors. Our Digitizing software analyzes the colors in your logo and recommends a thread color that appears to be a close match. The resulting color is very similar, and slight color variations are usually unnoticeable to the naked eye.

Click here to Select Embroidery Thread Colors.

With your order, please provide us with the proper thread color. Keep in mind that colors on your computer monitor may vary slightly from the actual thread color based on your computer monitor settings.


Special Color Effects


There are several aspects of your artwork to keep in mind when it comes to embroidery. Unlike printing, artwork that includes drop shadows, color gradients, or shading does not translate easily into embroidery. If your files include any of the aforementioned color effects, we will have to discuss how to make the color scheme conform to embroidery.  We can do color gradients in Large Objects such as our fish example below:

What to keep in mind about color effects: 

  • We cannot duplicate color gradients within small individual letters, numbers or other objects. Gradient effects can only be reproduced only within larger objects or shapes.
  • Certain color gradients can be handled using thread layering and over stitching. However, although this achieves a gradient effect, it also adds considerable stitching to any logo.
  • The use of gradients may increase the overall embroidery cost by as much as 30% to 60% or more depending on the number of layered colors and overall size of the logo or design.
  • Because layering adds significantly more stitches, it is not suitable for certain types of fabrics, like lightweight, thin, or stretchy knits.
  • Typically, we can do a 2-3 color gradient effect. Otherwise, embroidery isn’t best approach, unless the embroidered image is very large, such as a full-size jacket back.

While we have some tricks, but there are limits on what we can achieve with needle and thread. However, we will always do our best to work with to achieve the highest-quality custom results. Our fish example shown below demonstrates this technique. Notice that there are several areas where colors are layered over colors at the tail and gills.


Embroidery Size Guidelines


Logos placed on shirts or jackets in a left chest position should not exceed 3.75″ x 3.75″ in size. Most Logos are usually sized to fit within 3 to 3 1/2″ wide. Logos are placed above pockets —  not on them. Typically, embroidery on the back of jackets or hoodies is sized to fit within 13″ x 16″, but larger areas are possible.

If you want to consider Large Format embroidery for jacket or hoodies, check out our page for:

Tackle Twill and Custom Applique