Can you embroider on foam trucker hats?

A foam trucker can technically be embroidered but rarely ever is. The reason for this is that almost all foam trucker hats are constructed with five panels. The front of the hat is one panel whereas most hats have a seam coming down the center making them six panel hats. Since the front panel of the foam trucker hat does not have a seam coming down it, the best method of decoration is screen printing. Typically, screen printing on hats is not the most popular print process because of that center seam. It tends to bump the screens and causes an irregular print. This can take the registration off and causes the multiple colors to not be as close as the design needs them to be.

Also, the softness and porousness of the foam makes it difficult for embroidery because the needle needs to fully penetrate the hat for the thread to stay. Embroidery can be done but it isn't recommended with screen printing being the optimal choice for decoration.

Foam trucker hats are very popular in the retail world. Most of the foam trucker hat you find in retail stores have print decoration on them that is very extensive and cannot be reproduced domestically by a print shop working with finished hats. What this means is, many of the hats being sold in retail are actually printed and produced on the materials before they are sewn together to become a finished hat. When this is the case, the print options are almost endless because the pre-sewn materials are still flat and much easier to manipulate. In the United States when we print on an already finished hat, we have much more limitations to deal with because we had is much less maneuverable.

Your next question may be - why not just get them done overseas? There are many trade-offs to getting foam trucker hats printed and produced overseas. Some of those include a 90 to 120 day turnaround from order to delivery and a very large minimum order usually starting around 544 pieces. While the price of the hats may be low, the volume usually drives the overall spend much higher than they need warrants.

Unfortunately this just means we have to play within the rules we have to make foam trucker hats economical and still good-looking.

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