How to Use a Hat Embroidery Machine

Wondering how to use a hat embroidery machine? Then you came to the right place.

As beautiful as an embroidered piece of fabric may look, the process in itself is pretty complicated and takes a considerable amount of time to get right. And one of the trickiest things is to drive a needle through for creating a pattern on a hat or a cap.

How to use a hat embroidery machine


Working on a Hat Embroidery Machine

Although, certain commercial, as well as non-commercial hat embroidery machines, come with specific hoops and drivers to better maneuver the round shape of a hat, knowing how to work it still takes patience.

If you are interested in finding the most suitable machine for the job, you can check out our guide to finding the best embroidery machine for custom designs.


How does the hat embroidery machine work?

Hat or cap embroidery machines are designed to swivel the hat from the side as it gets stitched up.

It would be a bit challenging for you to use such a machine if it’s not equipped with a cap driver; however, it can be still pretty much achieved.

Check out this video of Brother PE 800 used as a hat embroidery machine:

In this case, you will have to hoop a stabilizer and then attach the hat to it, instead of hooping the cap itself.


Steps to use a hat embroidery machine

Get to know the steps behind creating on your hat embroidery machine.


Step 1: Prepare and layout the pattern for embroidering your cap

Since hats and caps have a considerably smaller area available for stitching, go for a small design, like a monogram, for the purpose. If the design is originally larger in dimension, try to reduce the size of the pattern so that it fits the available space.

It’s best to flatten out the top-front portion of the hat or cap as it provides you with the maximum space to get your design laid out just right.

Opt for softer un-structured fabric materials, as it will get increasingly difficult to put the stitches if the hat is rigidly structured.

The best way to put the pattern on the cap is to print a template of the design as this will maximize the area for embroidery.

You could also get embroidery software programs to print your design template with a center mark for easy stitching. Once you’re sure, mark the center on your design.


Step 2: Prep the hat up for embroidery

To prepare the hat for embroidery you will need to hoop the stabilizer first since you won’t be able to directly hoop the cap. Usually, it’s easier to work with a slightly bigger hoop than what’s required for the design so that you get a bit of space to maneuver the moves.

It is also advisable to embroider with the bill facing you at the machine, as it gives you ample control over the process.

Start by hooping a piece of StabilStick which is “a peel and stick stabilizer”.

The stabilizer can be hooped by itself with the paper backside up and then scoring the paper backing. Tear the paperback away to reveal the sticky stabilizer underneath and mark the center of the hoop.

After this, you’ll be able to attach the hat by pressing the required area of embroidery onto the stabilizer, going along the marked center on the hat. You can tear away the excess stabilizer once you’re done with the embroidery.


Step 3: Embroider your hat!

Generally, all hats will need a needle larger than the standard one due to the thickness of the fabric and also because you’ll be piercing through the seam. An ideal choice for the purpose would be a size 90/14 for most hats.

How to use a Hat Embroidery Machine

While embroidering the design, make sure you don’t dislodge the hat from the stabilizer.


Things to Remember

  • Turn all thread cutters off during the process as they can disturb the hoop and the bill, causing the work to dislodge.
  • Avoid using the basting function as it can form a box around the design or may extend past the usable area.
  • Reduce the embroidery speed if you can since you will be required to make sure that the hat fabric stays flat and no part of the brim gets caught during the process.
  • Be very careful not to get your fingers under the needle or the needle bar while having to hold the parts of the hat for embroidering.
  • You may be required to thread your needle manually as a portion of the hat may get in the way of your embroidering if you rely on the automatic needling system.
  • Once you’re done with everything, you may remove the hat from the hoop and gently peel off the stabilizer from the back of the cap.


Final words

Embroidered hats and embroidered caps can look immensely cool anyway if you know how to pair them up with just the right outfit. And, although to embroider a hat may seem a bit tough at first, it could be learned easily with patience and practice.

How to Use a Hat Embroidery Machine

And if you’d like to buy an embroidery machine that gets the job done just right, check out Brother EP800 Review.
Hope you liked the read.