What is Puff Embroidery, and How Does It Achieve a 3-Dimensional Look?

puff embroidery

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Looking for a unique way to customize clothing and accessories? Look no further than the world of embroidery. Embroidered designs can add personality and design to otherwise plain pieces.

Embroidery’s origins can be traced back to 30,000 BC, when archeologists found remains of embroidered clothing. Now, this craft is practiced across the world, with contemporary artists building upon the classic technique.

From traditional hoops to machine-stitched clothing to puff embroidery on hats, this is a lasting trend within the art and fashion communities.

Let’s learn how you can use puff embroidery to make custom clothing and accessories that make your brand stand out.

Flat Embroidery vs. Puff Embroidery

Both flat embroidery and puff embroidery use thread and needles to decorate fabric. While there are other forms of embroidery, these two are the most common. Both types of embroidery can be done traditionally and by machine.

Flat embroidery is the most common of all embroidery types. In this technique, the decorative patterns are stitched directly onto the fabric. While the stitches can be slightly raised, the designs overall are flat against the surface.

With flat embroidery, you’re able to create intricate designs with incredible detail. While flat embroidery is more popular, puff embroidery can add its own unique detail to apparel.

With puff embroidery, the thread is stitched over a piece of foam. This gives the design a three-dimensional look. Puff embroidery is a great way to make a design stand out against the fabric.

Because of the foam underneath the embroidery, the designs should be simple. Initials, letters, and numbers are common but basic art can also be a candidate for puff embroidery.

How Do You Create Puff Embroidery?

While the process of puff embroidery is different from traditional flat embroidery, it’s not a harder technique to learn. The major difference is that you’ll need more stitches to create more coats on your design.

Here are the basic steps to create puff embroidery.

Start by placing a piece of foam in front of the hat. Once the foam is placed, you can sew your design on top of the foam. The piece of foam will be secured to the hat by the design’s stitched.

When the design is complete, remove the extra foam, clean up the edges of the design, and trim excess thread. 

What Foam Do You Need?

The essential part of puff embroidery is the foam used to make the design three-dimensional. Choosing the right foam will ensure that you end with not only a raised design but one that is neatly done.

It’s important to use foam that’s made specifically for embroidery. This type of foam can stand up to the repeated punctures of embroidery needles without ripping or tearing.

Embroidery foam comes in two millimeters, three millimeters, and 4 millimeters in thickness. All will offer excellent results once stitched.

The embroidery foam is available in various colors and a good rule of thumb to use a foam color similar to the design color and/or similar to the fabric color.

Embroidering With a Machine

Embroidery done on a machine is much preferred for businesses. Embroidery sewing machines are a more efficient way to stitch on designs no matter how complicated they are.

A single design can take minutes to complete. And a person only needs to oversee the process to ensure there are no errors or malfunctions while the machine completes the stitches.

Because of this efficiency, machines can offer the productivity businesses need. Embroidery businesses can produce the necessary units in a timely manner, no matter who the client is.

Machines are also preferred for embroidery businesses because they can offer a cleaner look to the finished design. When the design is programmed into the machine, you are ensured to have a precise finished project.

The machine’s precision is clean and consistent across the entire order. Your pieces will come not only quickly but also uniformly. This is essential for both quality and marketing.

So whether you’re embroidering your own brand image or a well-known logo, the designs will match from one piece to the next. Customers will get excellent quality whether it’s the first, hundredth, or thousandth piece.

What Designs Can You Make With Puff Embroidery?

While traditional embroidery can have very intricate designs with lots of colors and different stitches, puff embroidery designs are much simpler.

For puff embroidery, the only stitch you can use in the design is a satin stitch. This ensures full coverage of the foam and a clean look. Other more complicated fill stitches won’t work with the foam.

Most puff embroidery designs feature letters or numbers. Initials, words, or letter logos are the most common. Simply drawn designs are also good candidates for puff embroidery.

You also want your design to be relatively small. This allows for the maximum amount of dimension in the design.

When it comes to using text in your design, you want it to be no more than 8 millimeters. Text that’s too skinny is not as easily readable and won’t have the proper three-dimensional look.

Where Can You Use Puff Embroidery?

Puff embroidery is most common on caps and hats. This is a common style for sports teams and brand designs. However, you can use this method on other types of apparel and accessories.

You can also use puff embroidery on jackets, bags, and other garments that aren’t washed often. Frequent washing or chemicals from dry cleaning can damage the foam and ruin the design.

For something different, create patches with puff embroidery that will go on bags and garments.

Custom Embroidery Elevates Your Brand Apparel

While embroidery is an old art form, there are many people keeping it alive today. The craft is still used to create modern art and decorate clothing by individuals and companies alike.

Whether you use flat or embroidery or puff embroidery, this art can add extra to the designs on your brand apparel and accessories.

Trying to find a way for your appeal to stand out from the crowd? Check out our embroidery services for custom clothing and accessories.

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