Frequently Asked Questions

The words "design", "logo" and "artwork" are used interchangeably, but generally refer to the original artwork file submitted to Frecklebelly for the purpose of embroidery and/or other custom embellishing methods.
Digitizing and Artwork
Copyright and Trademarks
The Frecklebelly Ordering Process
Custom Embroidered Garments
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What is Preproduction?

The Frecklebelly term, "Preproduction" encompasses all of the time and labor necessary to prepare your artwork for embroidery production. Before we can start to embroider your order we need to first create, prepare and test the new stitch file. This is the most vital element in the embroidery process as it determines the quality and final appearance of your embroidered design.

  Frecklebelly's Preproduction Service includes, but is not limited to:

  • The labor of translating artwork and/or lettering to thread stitching (digitizing) information
  • Determining proper thread size, type & color appropriate to logo, embroidery location and base material
  • Initial re-sizing and editing of design for each location as necessary
  • Test stitch the design on comparable material
  • Adjust and retest (stitch) the embroidery design as needed
  • Communication time with you, our client, relating to your logo
  • Additional editing of design file to accommodate your feedback regarding the test stitchout
  • Testing, editing and testing again, until the proper quality is achieved

We cannot this stress strongly enough: the Preproduction Process is *the* most important step in creating exceptional embroidery. Cutting corners to save money will result in a sloppy looking embroidery design, which will directly reflect on your organization - by no means a bargain.

How much does Preproduction cost?

Preproduction for a graphic logo, sized for left-chest or cap-front placement, generally ranges from $75 - $100. Large designs and designs that are very complex may run $300 or more. Basic Lettering (names, numbers, words - from a choice of select fonts) starts at $35. Lettering digitized directly from Artwork is charged the same as a Graphic Logo. Each client's needs are unique and deserve personal attention. Email us a copy of your artwork and we will be happy to prepare a custom preproduction quote. Let us know how you plan to use it - on hats? shirts? backpacks? or something more unusual? Keep in mind, the item and location will dictate the size and complexity of the resulting embroidery file.

What determines the price of Preproduction?

  • The Fee for Preproduction is based on:
    • Quality of supplied artwork
    • Additional labor needed to clean and convert design to vector
    • Size and Complexity of the desired embroidery design
    • Small lettering, fine details, special effects (gradients, blends)
    • Type of surface material to be embroidered
    • Time & Labor required to create the final stitch file

Will I be charged for preproduction each time I place an order?

Preproduction is a one-time labor fee for a particular design, size, location and surface material (knit sport shirt, canvas tote bag, cotton hat, leather jacket, etc.). When you order additional items and use the same design file - appropriate to the location and material - there is generally no additional preproduction charge. However, there will be a new preproduction fee should you decide to make a substantial change to your design file. For example, altering your design layout or changing from a left-chest size design to a jacket back size design.

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Will I get to see my embroidered design before you start production?

Yes, absolutely! To assure your complete satisfaction, upon completion of the initial digitized file, a scan or photograph of the actual stitchout will be emailed to you for approval. This will not be a graphic simulation, but your actual logo sewn on fabric. If essential to facilitating the order, a physical sample stitchout will also be mailed to you. Rest assured, no merchandise will be embroidered without your written approval of the sample stitchout. This may be done via email, fax or mail.

Is there a charge for the sample stitchout?

The first physical sample stitchout is free. It is included as part of the preproduction process. If edits are required after the first stitchout, we will email you a scan of the new stitchout for your approval. If you would like additional physical stitchouts, they are priced at $10 and up each (price determined by the size & complexity of the design) plus postage and sales tax

Will the embroidery look exactly like my logo?

Yes and No. Yes, the embroidered design will look like your logo. However, it may need to be modified to work within the parameters of embroidery. Keep in mind, your design is being recreated in thread, not printed with ink. Thread has dimension and takes up space, whereas ink is flat. Tiny lettering and fine details may need to be edited so that the overall effect is legible and clean.

How small can embroidered lettering be?

Generally, embroidered lettering needs to be a minimum of .25 inch high to look crisp and clear. Depending on the design and the material to be embroidered, we may utilize special thread and smaller needles to create letters that are less than .25 inch high.

What if I don't like the sample?

If you are not happy with the initial sample stitchout, we will gladly work with you to correct any design issues and email you a scan of the revised stitchout. Keep in mind, a revision or two is not a problem. However, multiple editing changes and multiple sample stitchouts of the embroidery file may result in additional fees.

Can I change my design after I approve the stitched sample?

Once you have approved the stitched sample, the design file will be considered Complete and Final. Any subsequent changes to that design file will be billed at the current design editing rate.

What does it cost to edit my design?

Editing the original design file's details or layout or resizing that file by +/- 15% of it's original size, made at the client's request after the initial preproduction stitchout has been approved, will be billed at the current design editing rate, with a minimum charge of $45.

Can my embroidered design be used on other merchandise?

If we determine minor tweaking of the design file is necessary to produce embroidery on a similar size location, but different material, such as changing from a left-chest polo to a left-chest fleece or spandex fabric, that is not a problem. Generally, we will not charge you for such minor edits.

Enlarging or reducing the original design by +/- 15% of its original size may involve major editing to avoid compromising stitch quality and therefore result in either design editing fees or a new preproduction charge.
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Digitizing and Artwork

What is Digitizing?

In reference to embroidery, Digitizing is the art of rendering a graphic design as a three dimensional stitch pattern that only embroidery machines and digitizing software can interpret. It is both a creative and a technical process. The file that a digitizer creates can be read by the embroidery machine, which in turn lays the thread on the material in a logical stitching order, recreating the original artwork. A digitizer may also be known as a "puncher", which heralds back to the time when the design was literally punched onto a paper tape that the embroidery machine then read.

Often people hear the word "digitizing" and equate the term with a "digital" photo. Others believe the business of embroidery is as easy as putting a picture in a scanner and pushing a button to start the embroidery machine. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

True digitizing is a manual process that, like many professional skills, takes years to master. One must understand how to analyze the artwork, break it down into segments and determines, stitch by stitch, an organized sewing path. The digitizer establishes the stitching order, filling in the design one element at a time, with different types of stitches creating different effects, as an artist would create a painting. Throughout the process the digitizer must keep in mind the way each type of fabric will react to the "push" and "pull" of the thread. The end result is an embroidery file that runs smoothly, with the stitches floating upon the fabric, filling in the design layer by layer, "painting" the design in thread. Your design is transformed from a simple flat graphic into a work of three dimensional embroidery art.

Can you use the logo from my website or business card?

No. A scan of a business card or a graphic taken from a website is NOT quality artwork. The Original Artwork that you provide us with is a vital factor in producing Quality Embroidery. Your company or organization's image will be reflected in the final work. Put your best foot forward from the beginning. The better the artwork, the better the stitched design - and the lower the Preproduction Cost will be.

What type of artwork do you need?

Vector Format is best, preferably EPS or AI. This allows the most ease of manipulation, enabling us to produce the best embroidery results. If you are unsure if you have such a file, ask your printer, sign maker or the artist who originally created your design to send us the camera-ready file directly. Most likely, one of these professionals has a copy on file.

If no vector file is available, then a high resolution - at least 300 dpi or more - JPG or TIFF file would be suitable. If that is not an option, we can still create beautiful embroidery for you, even from a low quality image. However, providing us with a low resolution image of your logo may result in a graphic art charge for converting the file to vector format.

How do I send you my Logo?

Attach your logo artwork file to an Email and send it to

I don't have a logo. Can you help?

We'd be happy to work with you to create your logo! Contact Frecklebelly Customer Service to arrange a consultation. Our talented artists can help you with logo design, artwork editing, format conversion and more. Currently, Frecklebelly graphic art services are priced from $55 per hour, minimum $55.

Copyright and Trademarks

How does Frecklebelly handle Copyrighted logos and designs?

Prior to the start of preproduction, Frecklebelly requires each client to sign a Logo Authorization Form stating that the client or client's representative has full authority to grant Frecklebelly permission to work with the client's logo. We believe in protecting the copyright and/ trademark of our clients. Work cannot proceed without written authorization.

Additionally, Frecklebelly reserves the right to use any and all embellished products from any client order in the course of advertising Frecklebelly's company and services. For more information, see Use of Creative Works.

Can I use a famous person, team, cartoon, etc. as my logo/design?

The short answer: "NO". A very good article entitled, "Can I use someone else's work? Can someone else use mine?" may be found here. Visit the United States Copyright Office website for detailed, up-to-date information.

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The Frecklebelly Ordering Process

I have shirts that I want customized. Can I bring them to you for embroidery?

We do NOT accept orders for Custom Embellishment on Customer Supplied Merchandise. Should you have additional questions about this policy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

How do I place an order?

Contact us and let us know what you need. Be sure to email your artwork to so we may prepare a preproduction quote for you. This will also allow us to determine any special needs your logo may require, such as adjusting for small lettering or design details.

As for blank (undecorated) merchandise, we have several catalogs available on our website. If you do not see what you are looking for, not to worry. We have numerous suppliers and manufacturers that we work with. Tell us what you need and what your budget is and we will source the items for you to find the best quality at the best price.

Do I need to place a minimum order?

Depending on individual circumstances, we generally require minimums for most Embroidery orders. Whether you need 6 pieces or six hundred, we will gladly work with you to meet your custom embroidery needs. Please note that small orders may not be cost-effective - you will pay more per item and not be eligible for volume discounts.

NOTE: With the exception of headwear (see below), embroidery orders of less than 12 items from a single supplier warehouse and/or item(s) that need to be Special Ordered, will be subject to a processing fee, minimum $8.50.

All headwear - caps, bucket hats, visors, knit beanies, etc. - requires a minimum order of 12 headwear pieces. A small order processing fee applies to orders of less than 24 headwear pieces from a single supplier warehouse, minimum $8.50.

Can I mix different styles, sizes and colors?

Yes, if each item in your order uses the same embroidery design, embroidery placement and thread colors and the blank merchandise is from the same manufacturer's family of products. For example, within the same manufacturer line (examples: Hanes, Port Authority, Bella, Dri Duck, Champion, etc.) you can combine ladies, mens and youth styles, in a variety of sizes and colors to meet minimums and avoid a small order processing fee.

Can I get a sample of an item in your catalog?

Yes and No. There are far too many brands and styles available to keep samples of each on hand. Not only is it not cost-effective, but Fashion changes all the time. If you are concerned about the size and fit of a particular item, let us know. Most manufacturers have Size Charts and Spec Sheets on their products. Our Frecklebelly Consultants will be happy to help you get the information you need to make an informed decision.

Should you absolutely need us to order samples of particular styles or sizes for you and your staff, we'll do our best to accommodate you, depending on the manufacturer's policies. Note: sample charges may apply. Contact Frecklebelly Customer Service for details.

How do I determine my size?

Most apparel falls within the chart below. This Chart is only a Guideline. Actual garment size may vary depending on individual manufacturer brand and silhouette. If your measurements fall between sizes, consider ordering the next larger size.

Be sure of apparel size before you purchase. Returns will not be accepted for reasons of size if you received the size you ordered. As mentioned above, specific size charts/spec sheets are available for most items.

Men's Sizes
NECK 15 15.5 16 16.5 17.5 18.5 19.5 20.5 21.5
SLEEVE 31.5 32.5 33.5 34.5 35.5 36.5 37.5 38.5 39.5
CHEST 30-32 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 58-60 62-64
Ladies' Sizes
DRESS 0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 16-18 20-22 24-26  
CHEST 32-33 34-35 36-37.5 38.5-40.5 41.5-44.5 46-48.5 50-52.5  
WAIST 24-25 26-27 28-29.5 30.5-32.5 34-36.5 38.5-40.5 42.5-44.5  
HIP 34-35 36-37 38-39 40.5-42.5 44-46.5 48-50.5 52-54.5  
Unisex Size Scale
Youth Sizes
SCALE 2-4 6-8 10-12 14-16 18-20  
Adult Flexfit Caps
INCHES 21 - 22.5 23 - 24.5 25 - 26  
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Do you have a guarantee?

Our work is guaranteed. Our goal is Complete Customer Satisfaction. The staff of Frecklebelly strives to maintain the highest degree of quality and workmanship. We want you to be happy with the products and services you receive from us. Each item in every order is thoroughly inspected, both during production and prior to shipping, to insure your complete satisfaction.

Check your merchandise upon delivery and notify us of any claims within 5 days of receipt of goods. We will make every effort to correct errors. If the original item was provided by Frecklebelly, is returned to Frecklebelly in a timely manner (see below) and is shown to be defective upon its return to us, Frecklebelly will replace the original item, with an identical embroidered one, at no additional charge (shipping not included).

How do I pay for my order?

Merchandise is customized for each client. Therefore, all orders must be paid for in FULL prior to delivery. A 50% deposit is required upon approval of order, before preproduction begins. Balance is due upon order completion and before the order is delivered. Orders of $500 or less, as well as all RUSH orders, must be Paid for in Full upon order placement. We currently accept business checks and money orders. Note that orders paid by check will be placed on Hold until the check has cleared the bank.

What if my check bounces?

Any and all checks returned to Frecklebelly as unpaid will be subject to a minimum fee of $30.00. Any and all fees, legal or non-legal, that may occur during the collection process will be charged to the party responsible. This policy extends to credit card fraud.

Do you charge Sales Tax?

Frecklebelly is obligated to collect Sale Tax on all orders within New York State. Proof of valid exemption status must be on file before an order is placed or the order will be subject to appropriate New York State Sales Tax.

Who pays for shipping?

Unless stated otherwise, the client is responsible for all shipping costs. All shipping charges are non-refundable. The exception to this would be, in the event of an error on our part, Frecklebelly will reimburse for shipping costs on the exchanged merchandise.

What is your turnaround time?

Custom embroidered items are made to order. Unless specified differently, turnaround time is generally 7-10 business days from approval of sample stitchout (new orders) or receipt of deposit (re-orders). Turnaround time may be longer during the Holiday Season and/or with large orders.

Do you offer rush service?

Tell us your deadline and we will do our best to meet your needs, dependent upon time and scheduling constraints. For orders needed in less than 10 business days, a Rush Charge may apply. Contact us for details.

NOTE: Due to the shortened turnaround time, all Rush orders must be Paid in Full upon order placement.

Can I cancel my order?

Orders cannot be canceled once actual production (the embellishment process) has begun. Orders for custom embellished (embroidered, decorated, or personalized in any way) items may only be cancelled Prior to Production. A 20% restocking charge will apply to orders that are cancelled prior to their embellishment. See "Restocking Fee" below. Should you need to cancel or revise your order, contact Frecklebelly Customer Service immediately.

What is non-refundable?

Preproduction, editing, graphic art fees and any and all related service and shipping fees are non-refundable. Additionally, once production has begun, no refunds will be issued on any part of the order.

What if there is a problem with my order? Can I return something?


Custom embellished items are made to order and All sales are final on customized merchandise.

Our goal is Complete Customer Satisfaction. We take the time to work closely with you, especially during Preproduction, to ensure the details of your order are to your satisfaction. A proof, in the form of a simulated stitchout of your design, will be provided via email prior to beginning production. This proof must be approved in writing before production begins. If color is critical to your logo, please provide Pantone numbers along with your artwork and we will match the thread colors as closely as possible. Should you wish to see a physical sample of the stitchout, we will gladly mail one to you. Keep in mind, this will add additional time to completing your order.

Be sure to double-check your order invoice prior to signing your approval. Spec sheets and size charts are available for most merchandise to help with sizes and color choices.

Check your merchandise upon delivery. Should you happen to receive an item with a manufacturer's defect, please contact Frecklebelly Customer Service immediately for a Return Authorization. A defective item may be eligible for an exchange providing Frecklebelly is notified, within five (5) business days of receiving your package, of the merchandise being defective, damaged, or if incorrect items were shipped. If the original item was provided by Frecklebelly and proves to be defective upon its return, Frecklebelly will replace the original item, with an identical embellished one, at no additional charge, shipping not included.

All returned defective items must be in new, unworn, unwashed, odor free condition with the original packing slip.

What does "Made to Order" mean?

Basically, the products you order from Frecklebelly are custom created to your specifications, just for you. Each is unique, in that the product bears your custom logo and cannot be resold to other clients.

How do I make an exchange?

Contact Frecklebelly Customer Service to obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA). Be sure to do so within five (5) business days of receiving your package. If you do not contact Frecklebelly within that time period, all sales will be considered Final.

Merchandise returned to Frecklebelly for an exchange must be in new, unused condition. All tags must be attached and intact; all original packaging must be included. Merchandise must not be altered, hemmed, laundered, dry cleaned, worn or otherwise damaged or changed in any way.

Merchandise to be exchanged must be well packaged and insured, with the box clearly labeled. Merchandise that is improperly packaged, causing tears, wrinkles, creases or other damage to the item(s) will be refused. We recommend shipping items back to Frecklebelly in the original cartons. All associated shipping charges are the responsibility of the sender.

The RMA number must be printed clearly on the outside of the shipping box. Any items shipped to us without the RMA number will not be credited to the client's account.

Returned merchandise received by Frecklebelly in unsuitable condition (damaged, worn, altered in any way, etc., per above) will not be accepted. No exchange or refund will be issued on merchandise returned in damaged condition due to customer misuse. Such merchandise will be sent back to the client. If the client refuses to accept the return of the aforementioned damaged merchandise, Frecklebelly reserves the right to liquidate the merchandise, withhold credit and the sale will be considered Final.

The merchandise to be exchanged must be received by Frecklebelly within seven (7) days after the RMA is issued. If your merchandise is not received within this time frame, Frecklebelly reserves the right to refuse an exchange and the sale will be considered Final.

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What is your Privacy Policy?

The owners and staff of Frecklebelly and Caprezi, Inc. respect your privacy. We do not and will not sell, rent, lease, barter, donate, or share email addresses or any other personal, identifiable information regarding our clients. Any and all information collected regarding our clients is held in the strictest confidence, utilizing appropriate security measures for business purposes only. In the event a need arises, we will not use such information without your prior notification and permission.

What About Price Changes?

The price of products and services will be determined by the prices in effect at time the order is placed. In the event of price changes passed down from manufacturers and suppliers, Frecklebelly reserves the right to alter prices as deemed appropriate or necessary. As a result, all prices are subject to change without notice. When you are quoted a price for an order, we will confirm that price, as well as availability of product stock, at the time you place your order.

Ownership of Creative Works

All creative works, meaning logos, graphic designs, digitizing services, etc., created by, or contracted on behalf of, Frecklebelly, remain the property of Frecklebelly and will be maintained at our facility for our exclusive use in producing client orders. Because Frecklebelly's policy is to render such services for production orders in whole or in part, depending on the circumstances, on a cost recovery basis, any transfer to the client of rights to such materials prepared or contracted by Frecklebelly personnel is subject to reasonable release fees, commensurate with the creative services rendered at a value as determined solely by Frecklebelly.

Use of Creative Works

By utilizing our services, the client understands, agrees and grants Frecklebelly permission, for any and all work created by, or contracted on behalf of, Frecklebelly on the client's behalf, to be used by Frecklebelly in the course of advertising our company and services. This includes, but is not limited to, physical product samples and photographs of finished pieces that may be used in advertising and on our website. Keep in mind, this is a form of advertising, benefiting the Client as well.

Right of Refusal

Frecklebelly reserves the right, without prior notification, to refuse service to any client or limit the order quantity on any item as we deem necessary. Verification of pertinent information prior to the acceptance of any order may be required.

Pricing, Policy & Procedure Updates

All Pricing, Policies and Procedures are subject to change without notice. Kindly revisit this page periodically for updates or contact Frecklebelly Customer Service directly should you have any questions regarding our products and services.

In Closing...

Keep in mind, embroidery is a mechanical process. A needle is doing the sewing. The embroidery on each item will have its own unique characteristics. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for care and laundering of the merchandise. For questions regarding the care and laundering of the embroidery itself, please feel free to contact Frecklebelly Customer Service. Frecklebelly will not be held liable for improper care of the merchandise.

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