How to Choose the Best Beanies for Embroidery: 6 Expert Tips

How to Choose the Best Beanies for Embroidery: 6 Expert Tips

There are a lot of common choices for custom apparel -- shirts, hats, fleeces, jackets, and such -- where you expect to see a message of some kind. And, because you expect it to be there, chances are you barely notice it.

Less-expected custom apparel may be more likely to grab somebody's attention and something like a custom beanie can be particularly eye-catching.

Keeping warm during winter with her beanie cap.

 Why a custom beanie?   

Much like custom hats, beanies can convey a greater sense of value than other forms of custom apparel. And, like hats, custom beanies have a few promotional advantages over other apparel.

 -Custom headwear has high visibility   

Given beanies are on people's heads, they're in a prominent, highly-visible location.

Even in a tightly packed crowd -- where you can't see anything below a person's shoulders -- beanies will be readily seen. They're in a great spot to be noticed.

Nothing keeps the electicity flowing like a lightning bolt on your cap

-Promotional beanies be worn every day of the week  

How often do you wear most garments before cleaning them? And how many days in a row do you see somebody wearing the same outfit?

As with hats, it's not unusual to see somebody wearing the same beanie all week long. Beanies are more thought of in the same sense as jackets or shoes than shirts.

-The custom logo curiosity factor  

People tend to pay more attention to headwear. Whether it's due to the proximity to a person's face or headwear's association with sports, it's a heavily-noticed area.


Silver bird artwork on a beanie

-Promo beanies have a perceived value  

Not all promotional items are viewed equally. Custom pens are frequently lost, thrown away, or left behind. Custom mugs can wind up in the back of a cupboard, never to be seen again. Even custom tees sometimes sit at the bottom of a drawer or hanging at the end of a closet.

Embroidered beanies, on the other hand, feel more like a gift than just a giveaway item. There's a specialness to them that's sorely lacking from other items. A knit beanie is viewed along the same lines as a hat... which brings us to beanies' next big perk.

-Low cost (cheaper than custom hats)

Beanie hats are often much, much cheaper than custom hats despite serving a very similar role. In fact, Bolt Printing's embroidered beanies aren't much more expensive than ordering custom tees.

Note: The cost of custom beanies can vary dramatically between custom apparel companies. Not every company sells at Bolt Printing's incredible prices. How do we manage it? Bolt Printing handles the customization in-house at our own facility in sunny Brookfield, CT. Many other businesses outsource the production elsewhere, so they're paying another company to handle the customization for them.

In short, beanies are a terrific value -- low cost + high perceived value = bargain!

-Unique promotional product  

There's nothing quite like a beanie. Unlike shirts -- which are given out all the time -- and even hats, a beanie represents a less conventional item for giveaways and promotions.

If you're selling custom apparel for a fundraiser, custom beanies are incredible because you can have a very healthy profit margin. And, because it's such a different item, they can generate more interest.

Two guys possibly appreciating each other's beanie cap


-Custom knit hats are truly a one-size-fits-all item  

Although hats can be one-size-fits-all, there's a comfort factor -- each person has a different preference when it comes to hats. However, beanies offer a consistent kind of fit no matter a person's head size.

A guy in a cap whose eyes search the horizon


A few drawbacks associated with customized beanies   

While custom beanies are a great promotional item, they're by no means perfect. They have a few issues to keep in mind.

Beanies are seen as seasonal custom apparel  

First, unlike hats, beanies aren't a year-round piece of clothing. Even though they can be worn during summer, most people won't do that.

Like it or not, the focus of a beanie is to help people stay warm during those cold winter months (and sometimes those chilly autumn months). Although there are some beanie fans out there, they tend to be few and far between -- plus, hardcore beanie fans likely have a great selection of beanies they alternate between.

A beanie cap can provide warmth and style

Embroidered beanies have a smaller design space  

Beanies and hats don't give you as much space for a design as custom tees. You really need to prioritize your design elements -- such as just going with a logo.

Mountain View Foods logo

Design alignment can be an issue with custom beanie hats  

When somebody puts on a hat, the design will usually be facing a proper direction. After all, the hat's bill guides the way it's meant to be worn. And, although some people will tilt a hat a different way for style reasons, the days of backward-facing caps mostly went out with the 90s.

The same is true for tees -- people are usually going have the front where the front should be, meaning the design is facing the right direction.

If this cap was turned slighly, the letters would be missed

However, beanies are different. There's nothing necessarily guiding a person to put a beanie on so the logo faces a certain direction. As such, there's a chance somebody might have the custom embroidery near a part of their head where the design could be completely missed.

Are any of these custom beanie cap drawbacks serious?  

Should these drawbacks discourage you from creating customized beanies?

The short answer is no.

If you think a custom beanie will help promote your business, organization, or charity, you likely have compelling reasons for wanting custom beanies. And, for a lot of things, beanies will make a lot of sense -- particularly if your business has a seasonal component.

Racecraft Research logo

If your custom beanies are meant to commemorate an event or intended as holiday gifts, none of drawbacks may be an actual issue. Not just because it's the thought that counts, but also on account of it being a nice gesture. Or, in other words, you're not relying on them for promotional reasons. While you likely want to see people wear them, that's not their primary purpose -- their main point was being a gift.

And, if you're looking to sell custom beanies, the seasonal nature is just something you'd have to factor into your overall merchandise strategy. It's no different than any other kind of apparel where some items make more sense during certain times of the year (unless you're selling to a customer-base in a colder region).

Woman wearing a blank cap

Ways you might customize a beanie   

Beanies are a bit less restrictive than hats when it comes to customization.

Where a phone number isn't a great fit on a hat, it can work on a beanie. Likewise, a website would work on a beanie. (Just be careful to not overload it with information! You want people to look at specific elements and the more you have, the more distracted they'll be.)

Phone number on a cap

Or you can stick with something more basic, like an embroidered logo. There's also space to embroider your company's name on a beanie.

However, there are still limitations. Really small elements pose an issue, for instance. While our embroidery specialists are amazing when it comes to designs, there are certain things that just won't work well for feasibility reasons.

Can you decipher the small text used with this mermaid logo?

  "Why custom embroidery? Can't you screen print on a beanie?"   

No. Besides the practical issues around trying to print on a beanie, the print design wouldn't last.

The ideal print location is a flat, rigid surface. Beanie hats, as you've likely noticed, aren't exactly flat or rigid. They're also designed to stretch, which works with thread, but causes problems for custom prints.

This MTS logo wouldn't work as a print. Plus the letter threading is a close match to the material

 How to choose the best beanie for your custom embroidered design   

When it comes to selecting a beanie, you'll want to consider questions of style and functionality.

#1 - Will you go with a custom pom-pom beanie?  

Pom-poms can be a divisive fashion statement. Some people love pom-poms while others find them silly.

The appeal of a pom-pom beanie is often driven by gender and/or age. Women tend to prefer pom-poms more than men, and pom-poms tend to be popular among children.

Close-up of a pom-pom beanie

If your custom beanies will be going to specific people, look at the demographics. When it's mostly guys, you might avoid pom-poms. However, pom-pom beanies might be a hit with everybody else.


Overall, pom-pom beanies tend to be more popular than non-pom beanies.

#2 - Cuff or no cuff? (ie, custom skull caps)

While a pom-pom is purely decorative, cuffs have a practical component. When it's really cold out, you can pull down on a cuff to keep more of your head warm.

Additionally, a cuff offers a little more material in that area, which should provide extra warmth. And some people feel that a cuff helps lock heat in better.

A cuffed knit beanie vs an uncuffed one. The cuff is a great area to customize with embroidery

Style-wise, not everybody is a fan of cuffed beanies. Some people prefer a cuff-less look (these kinds of beanies are sometimes called skull caps).

Whether it's right for your beanie might come down to who's receiving them. However, unlike pom-poms, it's a feature a lot of people don't even notice.

#3 - Stripes or solid? The impact of a custom striped beanie  

Do you want a plain beanie or something a little more eye-catching? Stripes are an easy way to help a beanie stand out.

A blue Sport-Tek custom knit beanie with a white stripe. Here, it'd make sense to customize by using a white thread for the embroidery

However, keep in mind that stripes will impact your design choices. If you're going with a larger design, it might make sense to stick with a solid color for consistency. However, you can use the stripes to your advantage -- like trying to match the thread colors to the stripe.

A striped beanie will probably appeal to most people. It's also an easy way to draw attention to your custom beanie and, in turn, to your custom logo or message.

#4 - Do you want a custom fleece beanie? How about a fleece-lined beanie?  

Going with a fleece tends to add warmth, which is a massive plus when wearing a beanie during colder months. However, a fleece-lining is also a comfort consideration.

One of New Era's fleece-lined custom embroidered beanies that shows off stripes

#5 - How are your personalized beanies going to be used?  

The best beanie for a trade worker is going to look different from the best beanie for a hiker or college student. What's considered great will vary based on how it's being used.

If you're giving beanies to employees who work outside in dirty jobs, you can expect the beanie to get dirty, too -- so it wouldn't make sense to go with an expensive, patterned beanie. You'd probably want a solid color that could hide stains and isn't too expensive in case it needs to be replaced.

There are a lot of specific considerations that depend on who's using the beanie. However, for a general purpose beanie, any kind might do.

American plumber logo

#6 - Will you go with a specific beanie brand?  

Name brands are closely associated with a perception of quality and value. However, even if somebody doesn't realize the brand -- or isn't familiar with it -- oftentimes the quality will shine through.

For a giveaway, the brand might encourage people to use the beanies. However, if you're selling your custom embroidered beanies, these things can matter a lot more. In fact, spending an extra two or three bucks on a beanie could make it easier to charge an extra five bucks (putting an extra two or three dollars of profit in your pocket!)

Note: Because Bolt Printing only carries high-quality brands, any beanie hats on our site will be a solid choice.


 Top customizable beanie brands   

Here are just a few of the top brands you can use for a custom embroidered beanie.

New Era beanies  

As with other custom apparel, New Era is an extremely well-recognized, well-regarded maker of beanie hats.

A fantastic-looking New Era knit hat beanie

Pictured above is the NE902G, which is available in two color patterns. Similar designs include the NE902B (available in three color patterns) and the NE902 (available in a single color pattern -- a gorgeous red, white, and gray design).

New Era has a wide range of beanie styles, which are perfect for embroidery

New Era also offers several designs without stripes, such as the NE904 (pictured above; available in four color patterns).

Although a bit higher in price, New Era produces some of the finest-quality beanies. They're also notable for being the official manufacturer of apparel for multiple sports franchises, such as the maker of MLB teams' hats. If your goal is to sell your custom beanies, New Era is a great choice.


Port Authority beanies  

Port Authority is known for providing a solid value. Its products offer a good deal of quality while staying within an affordable price range.

A white embroidered logo will stand out on a black fabric, as seen with the CP90

Pictured above is the CP90 (available in 23 colors), which is Bolt Printing's #1-selling custom beanie. This beanie is popular for its reasonable price, quality, and large selection of colors. It's a solid offering that makes sense for a lot of uses.

An embroidered logo on a CP91 is something your potential customers should notice

Not a fan of the CP90's cuffed design? The CP91 is a cuff-less version of the CP90. Same reasonable price, making it a solid value. However, the CP91 is available in fewer colors (8 instead of 23).


Sport-Tek beanies  

Spot-Tek is a recognized manufacturer of athletic apparel and it's no surprise they have winter-themed offerings like custom knit beanies.

Imagine seeing your logo embroidered across the fabric of a Sport-Tek beanie cap

The STC20MC is available in 4 colors.

North Face beanies  

While a lot of people know the company best for its jackets, North Face also produces beanies -- meaning you can really deck yourself out in North Face apparel to ward off winter's chill.

North Face is among the most-recognized brands for winter clothing

Whether you're giving away or selling custom beanies, you'll benefit from using a recognizable brand. Even if the quality wasn't readily apparent, North Face is a trusted name.

Bolt Printing is adding new North Face styles to our catalog this fall.


Carhartt beanies  

Carhartt has a strong reputation as a workperson's brand and is known for making high-quality, durable apparel.

Carhartt is known for being a working person's brand

While you might not need to worry about how well a beanie holds up like you would other clothing, the Carhartt logo is a good sign that a piece of apparel is going to hold up winter after winter.

Bolt Printing is adding new Carhartt styles to our catalog this fall.


 Create your own custom embroidered beanie today   

If you've ever wanted to customize your own beanie -- whether for a business, charity, special event, or even to get into the exciting world of beanie fashion -- Bolt Printing is here to help.

Our design studio will give you an idea how your logo, artwork, or text will look on any number of styles of beanies.

Our design studio lets you customize beanies, knit hats, caps, and other apparel

Unlike other companies, we don't charge setup fees. We believe in all-inclusive pricing and try to be as upfront as possible.

You'll love our quality and speedy turnaround times