How to Charge for Custom Embroidery

Updated April 17, 2017

Embroidered bags, apparel and home items are highly desired, but many people don't have the skill or the time to complete projects. If you enjoy embroidery projects and have the equipment, you may consider starting a part-time or full-time business selling your work. Setting appropriate and competitive prices will help you attract customers and get your business off the ground.

Make a list of the custom embroidery services you will offer. Decide whether you will focus on one area, such as monogramming, or offer a variety of custom designs. Consider whether you will offer services for existing products that customers bring you or if you also will sell custom pieces on new products, such as garments or bags that you purchase wholesale.

Charge a standard set-up fee to cover the costs of setting up the job if you want. A set-up fee generally is a small amount, such as £3 or £6, that you apply to each order, regardless of the size of the job.

Determine your per-stitch rate. Most embroidery businesses charge by 1,000 stitches, with the rate varying between 20p and 90p, according to Deb Mundinger in "Making Money from Your Embroidery." Calculate the per 1,000-stitch rate by adding your desired monthly income to the cost of your materials and dividing the total by a realistic estimate of how many 1,000-stitch units you can complete each month.

Set a flat rate for standard embroidery jobs, such as monogramming. Set a price per letter, with a minimum charge, or a set price for complete names. Set prices for digitising, or converting images into a file that is compatible with your embroidery machine, if you wish to offer the service. Digitising services can be charged on a per-hour basis, with a minimum hour requirement, such as 30 minutes or one hour. Base the price on your desired hourly rate.

Create a price list for items you provide that are available for custom embroidery, such as jackets or pillowcases, if you decide to offer this service. Mark up items bought at wholesale prices by 100 to 200 per cent to remain competitive, suggests Mundinger. Indicate that these prices are in addition to the embroidery work, or include the embroidering charge in the overall price and indicate the specific stitch count offered with the price.

Research local competitors to determine if the rate you set is reasonable. If the rates are too high, you will drive away business. If the rates are too low, you will fail to make a profit and may even lose money. Publish your rates on your website or offer printed copies to customers.

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About the Author

Kathryn Roberts has worked in the culinary industry for nearly a decade in various roles, including pastry chef and bakery manager. After studying at the Culinary Institute of America, she earned her BFA from Goddard College and is pursing an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.