This is a set of guidelines that I have found useful from embroidery forums of embroiders across the country. It’s just a guideline to use for pricing. I did not create it, but use it. I have adjusted it slightly to apply to me just as others have adjusted it to apply to them. Please keep in mind that I do not stock a lot of items for resale. Normally if I do a job for someone, it’s for an item that they bring to me.
Set Up of Loading the Design/Hooping the item: FEE 5.00
- No matter what type of embroidery job I have there is a base set up fee worked in the price. Whether I need to just copy a design from my computer to my machine or if I need to work in my embroidery software to combine letters/ design, it takes a bit of time. I have spent up to an hour and a half on this step. Another time consuming step is the hooping of the item. To hoop the item, a lot of time is spent on placement and getting the hoop straight. I have spent thirty minutes on hooping sometimes. Thirty minutes and an hour and a half is NOT ALWAYS the case. Sometimes I can do these two steps in twenty-thirty minutes. I’m not even sure I’m working for minimum wage doing this part of the embroidery process…….LOL!!! The set up fee not only covers my time, stabilizer but it helps with the cost of the design. As stated in my Embroidery 411, I explained how all of my designs are purchased from digitizers on the web. I have collected designs since 2007 so I have quite the collection. I will purchase requested designs and split the cost with the requester.
Stitch Count for a Monogram or Fill Design: 1.00 per 1,000 stitches
- This helps cover the cost of the thread and time on the machine. The machine is like an engine on a car. Every stitch is wear and tear. Remember the price of the machines..some are the price of a car. Machines need servicing just like a car. I am providing pictures so you can see just what I mean about stitch count. Of course the larger the design, the more stitches.
- I used a fairly standard size monogram below…..3″ 3 letter monogram. The total stitch count is 5,222 which would equal 5.00.
Pricing: 5.00 Hooping + 5.00 (5,222 stitches) = 10.00
- The next picture will show you how a larger single monogram can actually be more stitches than a smaller three-letter monogram. I want you to also notice the “fill pattern”. Some larger letters have larger/wider density in them. If these larger/wider letters are stitched with a satin stitch (which is the zig zag stitch that goes back and forth to form the letter and what we all think of as a monogramming stitch) the stitch is loose. Overtime of wear and tear on an item, a loose stitch is more likely to pop. The larger monograms are safer done with what is called a fill stitch or a split stitch (which is made up of several stitches moving back and forth the create the monogram). In turn, a fill stitch or a split stitch contains a little more stitches and may cost a 1.00 or so more, but in the long-term it is the nicer stitch for larger monograms.
Pricing: 5.00 Hooping + 6.00 (6,919 stitches) = 11.00
For an average size monogram expect to pay anywhere from 7.00-10.00. Anything 4″ and up will usually cost more. Names are usually in the 8.00-10.00 price range as well. Names that go beyond 2′ high and 5″ wide will cost more. Remember that a tighter stitch is required which means more stitches.
This next picture shows the stitch count and size of a fill design. It’s of a 2″ cupcake using two colors.
Pricing: 5.00 Hooping +3.00 (3,333 stitches) = 8.00
- I have a six needle machine which means it can handle six different color threads at one time. Most designs I have are six thread colors or less. If there is a design that requires a lot more thread colors, there may possibly be an additional charge for additional thread changes….. .25 -.50 a color.
Stitch Count and Fabric for an Applique Design: 1.00 per 1,000 stitches + 1.00 per fabric change/fabric cut
- An applique design can add up quickly depending on the design. It involves a lot more work and a lot more consumables. An applique design as stated above is an embroidery design that is made up of stitches and fabric. An applique is a three-step process: 1.placement stitches 2. tack down 3. final stitch (usually a satin stitch finish) The machine basically has to stop between each step. The example below is an applique of the three letters of a middle school (Little Oak Middle).
Pricing: 5.00 Hooping + 9.00 (9,809 stitches) + 3 Fabric cuts = 17.00
- The design will stitch out the placement of the design. This shows me where I need to place my fabric. Once it stitches out, the machine will stop and I will put the fabric (which has been prepped with Heat Bond Lite an additional cost to me which is factored into the cost of 1.00 fabric cuts/colors) over the placement stitches.
- The next step in the applique process is the tack down of the fabric. This means the stitches will stitch directly over the placement stitches, tacking down the fabric to the embroidery blank. Once this step has finished, the hoop must be removed from the machine so the excess fabric can be trimmed around each stitch of the design. In the design sample above, most people want the same fabric for all three letters which means 1.00 for the one fabric color chosen. HOWEVER, this is a three-letter applique. It takes more to cut around three letters than it does say one letter with one fabric color. Depending on the size of the word, I may charge 1.00 per fabric cut. So instead of 1.00 per fabric color, it’s 1.00 per fabric cut. Again this will depend on the difficulty of cutting around the letters. Cutting around the L is a lot different from cutting around the O or the M.
- This final step is satin stitch finish. It gives the design the bold thick outline.
- Please know that if I have to purchase requested fabric, I will share that cost with a customer.
I hope that this guideline may help some of you who have wondered about the cost of embroidery. I hope I was not too confusing. Embroidering is a costly and timely process. REMEMBER: This is just a guideline to use for pricing. Although this formula has been shared across the country, all embroidery design pricing is subjective depending on the market in a particular area (I’m in Southeast Louisiana) as well as the difficulty of the job. Just as I stated above that I adjusted it to apply to me, sometimes I have to adjust it to apply to the job.
A BIG IMPORTANT FYI: I also never put anything on my machine for under 7.00 no matter what the stitch count. Not many designs from start to finish take under 30 minutes so time plays a role there. How many people work for that????? I know of a lot of embroiders who won’t put anything on the machine for less than 10.00.