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What to charge for embroidery $$

EagleCO | Posted in Machine Embroidery on

What to charge $$ for embroidery?                                                                                I have heard the going rate is, $5.00  hoop charge, then the 1st. 5,000 stitches are free.  One time $25.00 to scan & digitize, Then what?  Is there a color change charge? Does anyone know of a simple format? 



  1. SewTruTerry | | #1

    Don't sell yourself short on the digitizing fee.  Around here digitizing starts at $75.00 for the first half hour and then goes up from there based on the complexity of the design.  I had one that I charged $200.00 for and the embroiderer didn't bat an eye.  Also it will depend on whether you are going to do the final stitching or handing it off to someone else to stitch out.  I usually do not charge the client for the digitizing if it is something that I can use for other jobs.  Just like if I did not have a German Shepherd dog in my stock designs,I have the choice to buy the design from someone else or digitize it myself.  It also depends if they want one or two garments or they want fifty items.  As far as a hooping charge that is again up to you and your market.  It also depends on whether you are using a commercial machine or a home embroidery machine.  For me I do not charge a set up fee or hooping fee and I never give anything for free.  I charge $1.00 per letter or per 1000 stitches minimum of $5.00 for monograms.  Also are you supplying the garment or is the customer.  If you are supplying the garment (I rarely take clients garments because of liability issues but will if they sign a form stating they understand the risk) then you have another area that you can gain income if you can get good wholesale prices on them. The reason this seems to work for me is I am not targeting the big companies but the mid size and small mom and pop type people that usually do not have enough volume to use the bigger embroiderers. Hope this makes sense.

    1. EagleCO | | #2

      Hi Terry,

      Thanks so much for your advise & prompt reply.  I received a jpeg, which I printed then scanned to paint.  I cleaned it up & went over the whole design to make it darker.  Then copy & paste to my Artista software.  I then digitized this design  on a piece of my own white duck fabric.  Ironed it on a piece of fusible fleece.  Zigzagged around the outline (which is a black diamond)  I then gave this to the customer, who had to get it approved by the group.  They loved it!!  It's for a pony club with a Morgan horse in the middle, with the name curved at the top & pony club curved at the bottom.   I hope you can picture this.  They want 25 of these patches which are one color & 17,000 stitches.  Sooooooo would you charge $17.00 per patch?


      Eagle, CO.

      1. SewTruTerry | | #3

        If I thought I could get $17.00 per patch that is what I would charge.  What size is this patch overall?  If it is small but very detailed that would justify the price in their minds.  However if it is very large like a salad plate or bread plate even more so.  Is this something that would look good going directly on the left chest of a polo shirt or denim shirt because you could always sell them on doing it directly on the shirt for them.  Also will you be sewing the patches on for them to their hats or whatever(actually had a client that wanted me do that I told them that it would make more sense to have it sewn directly).  As you can see there are so many variables that have to be taken into account.

        1. EagleCO | | #4

          Hi Terry,

          The patch is 5.25 x 5.25.  I can get 2 patches on my Bernina mega hoop.  The stitch out time on fast speed is 44 minuets for 2 patches.  Each patch is almost 17,000 stitches.  They are for a pony club & will be sewn on a horse blanket.

          I really appreciate all your help & input.  I hope others in this dilemma will also gain some insight on what to charge.  I live 30 miles from Vail, which is a very expensive ski resort.  It always amazes me what one will pay with out a blink.  So I'm going to charge $17.00 per patch & $25.00 for the digitizing.  I'm not sewing them on the horse blanket, I think the individual girl will be doing that. 

          Warm Regards


          Eagle, CO.

          1. stitchmd | | #5

            Absolutely charge that. Pony club members are affluent, it is an expensive hobby. This is custom work you are doing, not mass production.

          2. SewTruTerry | | #6

            Have you already quoted the customer?  Because you have not added in the cost of the materials for the badge or the edge finishing. Also sounds like you took their logo and digitized it so you should get more than the $25 because you will not be able to use that embroidery for anyone other than those people.  If however it was something more generic than that is reasonable.

          3. EagleCO | | #7


            Sorry this took so long to get back to you.  This is what I ended up doing, after reading all the wonderful advise,  I wrote out an invoice of what I could have charged ( material etc...) then I put N/C next to the items I gave away.  One of the reasons was she is working a ranch deal out with us. Long story.  Any way I thought she should see how much it could have cost.  I ended up charging $17.00 per patch & $25.00 for the digitizing.  But, now I know what to charge in the future, thanks to all that helped me figure this out.

            Thank You Again   Valerie 

          4. SewTruTerry | | #8

            Anytime.  I found some wonderful advice on pricing embroidery through a seminar that I went to that was sponsored by the Brother company several years ago. They had a formula that was really easy to follow and made lots of sense.  Only wish that I had that advise several years before when I first started my business as it was amazing when I look back and realize what I could have charged and gotten as well.  Plus I always try to quote my clients before hand as well as I don't want them to go into sticker shock.  Glad it worked out for you.

          5. Darlincarla | | #9

            HI,  I am new to this site.  I am trying to open an heirloom sewing and embroidery business. also trying to figure out which machine to buy? Is there anyway you can share this formula information?

            Thanks Carla

          6. SewTruTerry | | #10

            Darlincarla first things first.  Have you done research in your area to know that there is a great demand for your heirloom sewing services.  Because I could see you doing well in areas like Atlanta and Charleston South Carolina but maybe not so well in New York city but one never knows.  The second thing you must know is what the going rate is in your area.  Then you must factor in the cost of materials and build in a profit even before you add on the cost of labor or machines and of course a modest salary for yourself.  Also you must registar with a state agency for a business license so that they can track you for sales tax. You will also need to know how you plan on getting your name out to people to let them know what you are doing.  Then and only then can you even get an idea of what the market will bare.  These are just some of the things that need to be considered before getting started.

            That said I hope that I did not turn you away from doing this.  I will tell you that in my area around Chicago I can usually charge about $1 per thousand stitches for machine embroidery but can charge more if I am providing the garment and other things as well.

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