Headwear embroidery is an enormous piece of the overall embroidery industry. It appears that the application of caps far outnumbers all other blank good products. That being said, applying embroidery to a finished product is much more difficult and normally is accompanied by a much higher spoilage rate than traditional shirts and jackets. Why? Because shirts are flat and finished caps have to be sewn on a radius.
Keep in mind that no matter how accomplished the operator is when it comes to applying the logo, he is never any better than the software that tells the computer how to sew it.
A logo that was digitized to be sewn on a radius will always work on flat goods, but that same image that was digitized for flat apparel will not always work on a radius.
The operator is never any better than the software that tells the machine what to do.
The most common problem that is incurred is registration issues. Sometimes the image will have a tendency to shift out of position. Trying to take a round surface and flattening it out, lends itself to distortion.
I have found that investing in the proper hooping frames can lend itself to keeping problems to a minimum. They cost a little bit more upfront, but will quickly pay for themselves by offsetting the amount of misprints.
Even after investing in top quality hoops you may still have problems. The curve of the finished cap must perfectly meet the curve of the frame and if it doesn’t you were most likely to incur problems.