What is Puff Embroidery?

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Puff embroidery is a three dimensional effect that raises the stitches off of the garment. It works best with large areas of simple block text or shapes. If you try to make puff work on really small lines most likely it will fail to impress. The foam under the stitches need some room to expand. Generally the width of the area needs to be at least three times as wide as the expected height. So if you want it to stand up 2 millimeters high, then the stitch needs to be 6 millimeters wide.  We can push these limits a little, but results will vary. 

Puff Embroidery and Flat Embroidery combined.

For added dimension and a really cool effect, puff embroidery can be used in conjunction with flat embroidery.  For example the “F” logo at the top of this article has a base of flat embroidery stitched first in white. Then the foam is put down (see the video below to help you visualize) and then the red thread is stitched. The result is a flat white edging, with a raised red inside stitch.

Where does Puff Embroidery work best?

The most common place for puff embroidery is on a ball cap. You see it all the time on sports caps. It adds a great layering effect that everyone loves.

Another place the puff embroidery can look amazing is on a toque. You have to keep it pretty basic on a toque because the knit fabric doesn’t have the structure that a ball cap does, but block letters and simple shapes can have a bold result on a toque.  Check out the image below.

Custom embroidery and applique


Puff embroidery on a sweatshirt can also be super sweet. It has been a super hot trend with some women’s brands lately. Below is an image of a snowflake that we embroidered onto a hoodie. It has a great three dimensional look to it that really stands out. It is comfortable to wear and doesn’t pinch or pucker after washing.

Custom embroidery and applique

Puff embroidery also looks great on aprons or jackets.  Any material that has some weight to it can support puff embroidery well and will give you a really great “pop” to your design.

How exactly is puff embroidery accomplished?

Here is a short video showing the process of puff embroidery.


When is puff embroidery not a good idea?

Generally puff embroidery on a light weight garment is going to feel strange to wear. It can be done, but give a thought to what it might be like when you put it on. A t-shirt with stiff, raised letters on it might be undesirable. Perhaps if it wasn’t too large and was near a seam, like the nape of the neck, or on a sleeve, it might work, but proceed with caution.

Does Puff Embroidery cost more?

Yes, there is an extra cost to the foam that will be over and above our standard embroidery price. When placing an order using our online system for a puff embroidery job, you can place it just like you would normal a embroidery job. If you want your order to be puff, just make that note in the comments section of order. We will see this note and adjust your proofs and pricing sheet accordingly and send it back to you for your approval.  Generally, the extra cost for puff is $2 per item and you will see this price adjustment when you get your proofing sheet. This extra charge for puff does somewhat depend on the size of the puff as sometimes it can be less.  We will let you know when we see your order. And don’t worry, we wont charge you anything until you approve. 

Puff Embroidery is next level!

If your design needs a lift, and you want to stand out from the crowd, you might want to consider puff embroidery. Especially for your baseball hat. At GetBold we have the expertise to make your puff embroidery job really stand out, and since it’s puff, that should be what you are after!