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Best Overall: Thread Logic
Thread Logic is the best all-around embroidery service because it’s ideal for both businesses and everyday consumers. The company's straightforward pricing includes basic logo embroidery with no stitch counts. Plus, there are no minimum orders, which is ideal for smaller companies and freelancers.
One of the best features is that Thread Logic's pricing is on the lower end of the companies we evaluated. For example, you'll pay between about $15 to $20 for a basic polo shirt with a logo. However, keep in mind that if you order less than $300 worth of product, you'll incur a small batch fee of $45.
On the plus side, it's easy to upload a logo into the system. On the downside, there isn't a built-in design program. You won't be able to see your logo on the shirt or come up with a design from scratch on the website.
From a customer service standpoint, Thread Logic has a comprehensive setup that includes a live, toll-free phone line. To help you gauge customer satisfaction, there are several online reviews on each product line. Turnaround time averages 10 days on regular orders and 6 days for rush orders.
Best Budget: Stitch America
If your main goal is to get the lowest possible price for a simple, embroidered product, check out Stitch America. Of all the evaluated companies, its pricing was the most economical despite having a minimum order requirement. You must order a minimum of roughly 12 items to qualify, but the price is still lower than other companies with minimums.
One of Stitch America's best sellers is its moisture-wicking polo shirt that sells for about $10. There's also a selection of hats available for around $8 apiece. This cost includes embroidery in one location, but remember that you'll need to order roughly a dozen to use this company.
To keep costs down, this company does not provide a proof of the embroidered product before you place your order. However, Stitch America will send you a visual before your item goes into production. Once you approve the proof, your order will be produced and shipped within five business days. If you plan on ordering a large number of shirts, you can request an embroidered sample for around $75. The cost will be deducted from your final order.
Best for Fulfillment: Printful
Are you trying to start a business selling custom embroidered apparel and accessories? If so, check out Printful. This company has a track record of success and has produced more than 22.8 million items since 2013. It has a seamless drop-shipping feature that pairs with several online selling platforms like Shopify, Etsy, and Woo Commerce.
This company is capable of responsible fulfillment, which means it can make an embroidery order only when one is purchased. This service is free to use, and you'll only need to pay for the product and shipping. There are no minimums, and you'll save yourself a lot of overhead by not needing to stock unsold inventory and shipping materials. Printful even ships your order using your brand labels and pack-ins so that your items don't have a generic "drop-shipper" feel.
Printful also has a mobile app that will help you streamline the process and keep track of current shipments. As your business grows, the sales team at Printful can help you scale and bring your overall costs down.
Best Turnaround Time: Rush Order Tees
Rush Order Tees has the capability of turning around a rush order in as quickly as overnight. When you consider what goes into proofing, producing, and then shipping a custom embroidered product, this seems nearly impossible.
But this company can complete orders quickly because it has a well-equipped staff and a built-in design program on their website. You can design, view a preview, then approve the product before you place your order. There are live project specialists you can chat with, and a toll-free number with representatives who can help you complete the process in a timely fashion.
This convenience comes at a cost. There are no minimums, but a polo T-shirt with a simple logo will run you around $35. However, there is so much flexibility around the delivery time that the extra cost and the convenience of seeing your design online might be worthwhile. If you plan on ordering more than 12 of each item, the price is significantly less but still more than some competitors. Check out the company's quote calculator for a more accurate estimate based on your specs.
Best Platform: Custom Ink
Custom Ink has invested a lot of resources into its Design Lab, which allows you to design and preview products right on the website. Unlike Rush Order Tees, this program is more sophisticated and includes more options. Custom Ink has an artwork library loaded with more than 68,000 graphics that you can add to your designs.
Overall, the website is easy to navigate, and there are several sections where you can reach out to a representative if you're having trouble. There are plenty of product options, and each item has specific minimum order requirements. For a basic polo with a logo, you'll pay around $35 per item with a minimum order of six.
Custom Ink is a highly reputable company that has been in business since 1999 and prides itself on creating professional-looking custom designs. However, screen printing is its main focus (not embroidery), so you may save more money by choosing one of the other companies on our list. If you select Custom Ink, expect your product to ship within two weeks.
Best for Business Attire: Broken Arrow Wear
Broken Arrow Wear's specialty is quality wholesale embroidery. The company's clientele speaks for itself. For example, it has produced custom apparel for top businesses like Google, Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods.
As far as embroidery goes, Broken Arrow Wear offers more technical services than most other providers. It specializes in standard embroidery, puff embroidery, layered embroidery, and appliques. A specialist proofs each design before they are sent to you for approval.
When shopping, you'll notice that each product has a different minimum requirement, but the more you buy, the more you'll save. You'll pay between roughly $20 for a basic polo shirt with a logo when you order a dozen. The pricing is reasonable for the quality, and the embroidery customization makes this company ideal for businesses that want to stand out.
Other features include a fast turnaround time of six days (or just three days for rush orders), live chat, and a free online design tool. This company also stands behind its product by offering a money-back guarantee and guaranteed delivery.
Best for DIY: Embroidery Online
Embroidery service providers tend to cater to people who want embroidery work done on a large scale. However, there's also a large market for DIY embroidery and design. If you're going to start embroidering on your own or have a machine, check out Embroidery Online. This company can help you get started with some basic and advanced embroidery designs. It also has a supply section where you can buy thread, stabilizers, and other accessories.
There are several websites where you can find embroidery designs, but this one stands out because of its experience, quality, and passion. Embroidery Online started out sharing its plans in sewing centers, but then moved its work to digital platforms and expanded its audience. Each design is thoroughly tested once it is digitized to ensure that it is easy and fun to use.
The company's goal is to "have the highest quality, widest variety, most useful designs, collections, and products that give you the tools to craft your passion." For the DIY embroiderer, this collection of designs could make the craft a lot more fulfilling.
How We Chose the Best Online Embroidery Services
First, we scanned hundreds of websites and came up with a list of 40 embroidery companies. Next, we selected the most appropriate categories that would be relevant to our readers. Then, each company was assessed on criteria like turnaround time, cost, reviews, services offered, and years in business. We also looked at other important features like user experience and domain authority.
Each category was rated differently. For instance, Broken Arrow Wear earned the title for best business attire because it had an ideal mix of features for a company, including a proven track record and fast turnaround time.
Thread Logic won best overall because it had the most experience with embroidery services and because it balanced fair pricing with positive reviews and ample customer service. These qualities seemed to be the most important to the largest pool of readers. Other companies scored better in areas like platform and fulfillment, which are more specific to the user.
Overall, each company has advantages and disadvantages, and this guide should help you pick the best among them depending on what you need.