Many embroiderers find that embroidering Small Lettering is very challenging, but once you learn how to cope with many of the issues, it is easier. In order to control these challenges, there are some key elements that must be considered.

  • Fabric
  • Needles
  • Thread
  • Style of Lettering
  • Underlay

The small lettering in the design, ONTARIO COUNTY, NEW YORK is only 3.6mm in height. This would not work well if it was upper and lower case. It is best to keep lettering that small in all upper case letters. It also helps to use a plain block letter rather than one with serifs when you are embroidering lettering that small.

Making small lettering work to your satisfaction often means making adjustments to allow for your fabric type and the size and style of the lettering that the customer is requesting. Many times what they are requesting is not acceptable for embroidery. They are used to seeing their logos in type set usually in ink or screen printing ink and this does not always work with needles and thread. It is not uncommon for a customer to request an unreasonable amount of letters all to be placed on one line.

With Small Lettering you have to create a balance between the fabric, needles, thread and the size and style of your lettering. You cannot have letters so small that you are creating stitches that will be stitching on top of each other. This causes holes in the fabric and thread breaks. Your stitch length must be a minimum of 1 millimeter in order for it to sew and not create holes.

Another Key factor in sewing Small Lettering is Underlay

Many people do not use underlay under their small letters, they use a heavy density instead. This can also create holes in your fabric and bird-nesting. With underlay added, you lighten your density, therefore, you do not have as many stitch penetrations in the same place.

The average embroiderer uses either a 75/11 needle or an 80/12 needle. Both of these needles are too large if you are sewing small lettering. The diameter of a 75/11 needle is .75 millimeters. If you are creating a stitch length of 1 millimeter your stitch penetration points are only .25 millimeters apart. This is not much fabric left between the stitches. Technically letters smaller than 6 millimeters should not be sewn with any needle larger than a 70/10 needle and 4 millimeters letters or smaller should be sewn with a 65/9 needle. If it is a knit fabric, you must use a ball point needle. If it is a woven fabric, you will use a sharp needle.

It is best to keep your Small Letters at 6 millimeters if at all possible

This is one fourth of an inch. On numerous corporate logo‚’s requested today, it is necessary to go below that quarter of an inch, many times down as low as 4 millimeters. The lower case letters of a font run at 4 millimeters measure about 3 millimeters, depending on the font. That is only one eight of an inch. This is extremely small. The center opening of the lower case letters such as an o or an a or b must be a minimum of 1 millimeter across. If it is not, you will cut a hole into the fabric as it is sewing. This is why it is so important to use a smaller needle. The smaller your needle is the clearer and cleaner your lettering will look.

Fabric is yet another key element in this equation of balance with Small Lettering

We have many fabric styles and types in both knits and wovens. The more stable the fabric is, the easier it is for the small lettering to sew. Knits such as piques are tough and create many problems with small lettering. With these knits the stitches want to sink into the fabric and you have to control this with underlay and yet not create too many stitches.

Embroidering Small Lettering is not hard and you can learn to embroidery small lettering on any type of fabric once you learn to control the factors that seem to make it difficult. Check out my course on How to Embroider Small Lettering. I make it easy to help you understand how to use the right settings to make your lettering look great!