Embroidery Placement – Where to embroider on clothes, accessories and linen

The best locations to add embroidered designs to various items like clothing, accessories, and linen, considering factors like aesthetics, functionality, and practicality.
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So you have some beautiful embroidery designs and have mastered the basic embroidery stitches.  But do you know where to do the embroidery? I am not talking about the random embroidery every new embroidery enthusiast does on all the things she could get her hands on; I am talking about the way the professionals do it.

There are some guidelines the experts follow for embroidering on clothes, accessories, and linen. They do not eyeball like a novice would. They measure and do it precisely following the correct placement guidelines which is what you should also do for that extra special finish for your embroidery.

placement guidelines for embroidery

How to determine the embroidery placement measurement.

For finding exactly where you should place the design accurately, measure the width of the item, usually on clothes from one side seam to the other side seam or if there is a placket, from the placket to the side seam. Divide this measurement by two. Mark this measure as a small vertical line. Mark the distance from the top seam/edge. Mark this as a horizontal line. The center point of these two lines will form the middle of your embroidery design placement unless otherwise mentioned.

Where to place embroidery designs on different clothes

Embroidery placement on formal Shirts

On Formal Button down shirts, you can place embroidery designs on pockets, plackets, chest area, shirt cuffs, collars and near the hem. The guidelines for monogram placements work in embroidery placement as well for most of the clothes especially for shirts

what is a monogram

Shirts without pockets

correct placement guidelines of embroidery on shirts

For embroidering on formal shirts without pockets you should be placing the embroidery on the left chest .

Place the design in the middle of the button placket and side seam  (or markdown from where the shoulder seam meets the collar seam) about 7″ – 9″ down from the shoulder seam. Another alternative is to place it on the same level as the second button on the button placket.

Shirts with pockets

For embroidering on formal shirts with pockets, You can embroider on the pocket or just above the pocket.

Center the design on the pocket. Some pockets have embroidery designs (monograms) on the top left corner. You will have to do the embroidery before sewing the pocket to the shirt. If you are embroidering on a ready-made shirt place the design so that it is some 1/2 inch above the pocket, centered.

Back of the shirt

For embroidering on the back of shirts place the embroidery design 4 -5 inch down from the collar; Another alternative is to find the middle of the shoulder seam and armpit and draw a straight line and then correspond it with the center of the side seams.

On the collar of shirts

You can place the design ( usually a monogram ) so that the bottom edge of the design is 1/4 inch above the buttonhole on the collar point

On button plackets

Keep the design between the 2nd and 3rd buttonholes on the button plackets

On short shirt sleeves.

Keep the design 1/2 inches above the hemstitching line on the sleeve

On sleeve cuffs of long sleeved shirts

Fold the cuff by half. Mark  the center of the middle fold. Mark 1.5 inch from the center towards the buttonhole. This should be the middle of your design.  Mark 1/4 inch up from the middle fold. This should be the bottom edge.

Near the hem

Mark a horizontal line 1.5 inch from the hem edge of the shirt. Mark a small vertical line 7 inch from the placket to the side seams. Place the design there. 

On Tshirts

embroidery placement guidelines for shirt

If you have decided to embroider your design on the front of the t-shirt place the design 2-4 inches down from the neckline (definitely above the armhole line), on the center of the front bodice (middle of the two side seams accurately). If you have a large design ensure that it is not below the tuck line. You need the design to be visible even when the t-shirt is tucked inside the pant waistband.

For embroidering on back of a t-shirt/sweatshirts/hooded shirts  place the design 7-9 inches below the neckline.

If you wish to place the embroidery on one side of the Tshirt, make it on the left chest area. Find the center of the middle of the t-shirt (or placket) and the side seam. Mark a small vertical line. Mark a small horizontal line down from the shoulder seam – for adults 7″-9″ & for kids 3- 4″. Place the center of the design on this meeting point. 

Embroidery placement on jackets

Front of the jacket

Mark the middle of placket and side seam on level with the second button of the jacket, on the left chest area.

Back of the jacket

embroidery placements

You can place embroidery designs on the back of the jackets as per your preference from about 2 inches to 8 inches down from the neckline/bottom edge of the collar stand. A good position is between the shoulder blades. 7-8 inches would bring you there.

Embroidery placement on Ties

where to embroider on ties

When you are embroidering on neckties place the embroidery design about 3″ up from the bottom tip of the tie. For a middle placement, you can place this about 6 inches from the bottom tip. 

Embroidery placement on blouses

Embroidery placement on blouses

For a center embroidery on blouses Place the embroidery design 2- 4 inches from the neck of the blouse.

If you have a Vneck blouse and you want to embroider on one side only ( say left side)  place the design on a level with the end of the V. Find the center of the space between the v tip and the side seams on a level with the end of the V.

Embroidery design placement on dresses and skirts

Ensure that all designs are placed at least 1.5 inches up from the hemline. Maintaining a uniform distance between embroidery motifs will give a balance to the garment.

Embroidery design placement on socks

On socks, embroidery is usually done on the cuff right side down on the inside. This way when the cuff is folded down the embroidery design will be visible rightly on the outside.

Embroidering on bags 

Place the embroidery design 2 – 4 inches down from the top edge , centered between the straps for bags and totes

On Aprons the embroidery is placed some 4 inch down from the top edge.

Embroidering on household linen

Table clothes 

Usually, the embroidery is done  on corners; about 5 inches from the corners after the hem is done would make it visible for most types of table cloths.

Placemats and napkins 

You can center the design on a placemat or place it on corners. On napkins, the designs are always placed on one corner diagonally at a 45-degree angle. Place the design diagonally 3 inches from the corner. 


Bedspreads are embroidered centered. But on top sheets, the bottom edge of the embroidery designs are placed 2 inches from the top wide hem, upside down, on the back of the sheet. When the bed is made the top hem is folded down on top of the blanket, so the embroidery design will be turned towards you. Fitted sheets usually are not embroidered.

Pillowcases and cushions

On pillowcases and cushions, embroidery designs are usually centered. On Pillowcases with a wide hem the embroidery design is placed on the wide hem of the open edge, facing the opening. They are placed in the center of the space between the edges on the wide hem at the opening. 


Place the embroidery design 10 inch from the top corner of the blanket 

Embroidering on Bath linen 

Bath towels & Hand towels 

If you have a towel with a border print place the design so that the bottom edge of the design is 1.5 inches above the border. If the towel doesnot have a border place the design 2 inches from the hem of a hand towel and 4 inches on a big bath towel. Place the design on the opposite side of  where the label is fixed.

Embroidery placement on handkerchiefs

You can place the embroidery design 1.5 inches from the corner of the kerchief at a 45 degree angle. Checkout this post on different ways to embroider a handkerchief 

embroidered handkerchief sewing

Related posts : Household linen – numbers and dimensions 

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

10 thoughts on “Embroidery Placement – Where to embroider on clothes, accessories and linen”

  1. Hi
    My name is Faye and I am trying to do my first embroidery design to look like it is coming out of the top of a shirt pocket and have no clue how to place it on the shirt

  2. I am doing pillowcases for Christmas. I want 3” Monogram on Queen cases.
    The pillowcase has a narrow hem. Would the proper position be centered
    above the hem.

  3. Sew Guide,
    So helpful, as always! Thank you!
    I do have a question. I have seen videos of neckline embroideries being done on fabric before the garment is cut. Some of the finished garments show the embroidery ending right at the edge. How is the final neckline finished after cutting to keep that line so clean; facing?

    • Hi Catherine
      You are right, facing is used.
      The embroidery is marked and done on uncut fabric and after the embroidery is finished, the facing is kept on top and stitched and turned to the inside

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