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35 Embroidery Business Ideas

Brainstorming ways to make money with your commercial embroidery machine.

ColDesi has sold thousands of embroidery machines to entrepreneurs launching new businesses or expanding existing ones. It seems that everyone interested in starting in the custom apparel world has at least one great idea, and sometimes more, but they also ALWAYS ask what else they can do.

You can approach your business either with an Item specialty, like embroidering on Caps or Hats, or a Vertical Market focus. vertical market is a general industry, like athletic wear, baby clothes and accessories, etc. We gathered all of our answers together with our customers own ideas and came up with these 35 Embroidery Business Ideas to share with you. They’re broken up into Items for inspiration and Markets

  1. Aprons – both uniform aprons for food businesses and novelty aprons for consumers. Barbecue aprons, cook aprons, mom aprons, dad aprons
  2. Place Mats – once again, both commercial and personal. Place mats with restaurant names, kids names, baseball/football themes.
  3. Beach-wear –  Towels, wraps, umbrellas
  4. Golf related – golf towels for the golfers to carry, either personalized for them or for the Club. Golf bags, golf flags for events
  5. Baseball Caps – this one may seem obvious but it’s important not to overlook it. There are even kiosks and stores in shopping malls specializing in embroidered caps.
  6. Shirt sleeves – put employee names or company names on the sleeve instead of or in addition to left chest logos
  7. Dance wear – embroidery is great for dance performance wear because it’s soft, won’t scratch and metallic thread look great under the lights
  8. Pageant Sashes – Miss Tampa, Mrs. Universe, Mr. Tomato Festival or any sash for beauty contests is a great business
  9. Custom Bibs – name drops on bibs and other baby clothing
  10. Baby Blankets
  11. Karate Belts – martial arts clubs put names, ranks and styles on the belts and sashes they wear
  12. Name Tapes – military and other name tapes are removable name badges.
  13. Jacket Backs – Motorcycle clubs and other groups that wear denim jackets  or leather jackets are a profitable market because the designs are always large.
  14. Tack Twill – Letterman jackets and sweats are a easy and fast to add names and number onto
  15. Medical Scrubs – many Doctors and Nurses like to have their uniforms embroidered with their names on them.
  16. Lab Coats – just like scrubs, lab coats all look alike. Lab techs, scientists and other professionals want them personalized.
  17. Running Shorts – especially for competitive teams like in High School Athletics, College, etc, where running shorts are the only uniform
  18. Pillows – boutique hotels and resorts are great prospects for having customized embroidery on pillows and bedding as well as towels
  19. Patches – embroidered or iron on patches are simple to make and can be profitable if you offer low volume. Colman and Company has an embroidered patch kit that makes it easy.
  20. Gym Bags – anytime a company sells gym bags (tennis bags, etc) or a gives them away as a promotion, they may want the company logo or persons name added.
  1. Medical – scrubs and lab coats
  2. Uniforms – direct embroidery and/or patches, janitorial, auto, etc.
  3. Golf Specialty Items – towels, bags, flags, club sleeves
  4. Schools – uniforms, sports uniforms, shorts, spirit wear, letterman jackets, cheer
  5. Pageant Market – sashes, event décor, booster wear
  6. Wedding – bridal party sashes, gift items, ring pillows, chair sashes, table décor
  7. Food Service – uniforms, aprons, caps, chef hats, iron on patches
  8. Resort – custom resort wear; robes, towels, polo shirts, beach towels, uniforms
  9. Tourism – tour guide uniforms, caps, location-based towels, blankets, shirts
  10. Infant wear – personalized blankets, bibs, socks, diaper bags, stroller flags
  11. Pet Items – pet blankets, beds, doggie shirts, breed tees for owners
  12. Athletics – local League caps, jerseys for baseball, hockey, kickball, adults and kids
  13. Corporate – company shirts, day planners, caps, bags, trade show give-a-ways
  14. Fashion Accessories – wrist bands, hair clips, bows, belts, handbags
  15. Equine – horse blankets, saddles, riding clothing and accessories

Embroidery is a versatile and potentially very profitable business to get into, and all you really need is the right idea, the right commercial embroidery machine and the right strategy to market your abilities. We hope this brainstorming session helps get you started in the right direction!

Ready to Start or Expand Your Embroidery Business?

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