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Letter Placement

Placement of Letters for Monograms

There is some flexibility to these placement guidelines, and creativity of placement is as much a part of making interesting monograms as the choice of design and the choice of thread color.

What follows are traditional placements for several categories of item.

We recommend that you sew out a sample of what you are intending to monogram, make a photocopy, cut away the excess paper, and place the photocopy where you intend to put the monogram.

Find the center of the design by measuring the height and width, then drawing crossed lines half way between each dimension. By cutting away a 1/4" square in the photocopy,or punching a hole with a standard holepunch at the center point, you will be able to locate the design center on the finished garment with a disappearing marker (a purple-colored marker with water soluble or air soluble ink).

Alternately, you can use a dot placed on a small piece of masking tape, and slide the tape under the hole in the photocopy until it is centered, then hold both the photocopy and the tape together, and place the two where you want the design to go. The photocopy will lift off, and the tape will stay in place, marking the center.

After hooping, make sure that the center mark is in the center of the hoop. If using the tape method, remove the tape before sewing the design.

Note: All placements refer to the center point of the design unless otherwise noted. None of these placements should be considered as inflexible rules, but rather a suggestions.

Item Placement
Golf-shirts, etc.
As with corporate logos, 7" - 9" inches down from the left shoulder seam, and 4" - 6" over from the center.

Wash Cloths
1 1/2" above the hem, or 1" above the border for placement parallel to the edge. For placements in the corner, turn the washcloth diagonally until the shape is a diamond, then determine placement based on the design size.

Hand Towels
2" above the hem, or 1 1/2" above the border, on the opposite edge from the label.

Bath Towels
4" above the hem, or 2" above the border, on the opposite edge from the label.

The bottom of the monogram should be centered at the midpoint of the sheet width, and should be approximately 2" above the wide hemline at the top of the sheet.

Pillow Cases
The monogram should be centered at the midpoint of the width of the open end, and also centered midway between the edge of the pillowcase and the hem edge.

Shirt Cuffs
Placement on the top of the wrist, and from 1" - 1 3/8" toward the buttonhole from the center of the cuff. Cuff monograms are typically small, and are placed so that the bottom of the design is 1/4' to 1/2" above the cuff edge

Coat Linings
On the right side at approximately waist level on the lining

Feedback or Questions about "Letter Placement" (29)

Do the same rules apply for monograms on men's shirt cuffs for regular cuff and French cuff?

Embroideryarts Support answers:

The same rules of placement and letter order apply to both cuff styles.

--Posted by: Libby Harris at March 5, 2007 01:33 PM

Hi, What is the standard size for right chest script name on sweatshirt or jacket?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

There is no firm standard, but 3/4" tall letters are most common. We used this size for our Big Name Dropper products.

As with a corporate logo, the design width is important, which of course would vary with the number of letters in the name. Another consideration is the jacket or sweatshirt size. A long name that produces a design width longer than approx. 3" will tend to wrap under the armpit on a small size when it is worn - so it might be worthwhile using a smaller letter height, or resizing the completed name in that situation.

--Posted by: trish at November 2, 2006 11:20 AM

where do you monogram a man's sweater?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

A monogram on a sweater would typically follow the convention used for corporate logos on golf shirts: left chest 7" - 9" inches down from the left shoulder seam, and 4" - 6" over from the center.

--Posted by: Dottie at October 6, 2006 01:29 PM


Can you please tell me how to monogram a name on a baby blanket? I like the monogram to be on the diagonal in the corner but do not know how much room I should allow up from the corner.


EmbroideryArts Support answers:

It's traditional to embroider the baby's first and middle names, and to spell out the date, rather than using numerals. Placement away from the corner depends on the size of the name and date - the design shouldn't be crowded into the corner.

Our Monogram Manager has further instructions and a pre-printed template for receiving blankets and 14 other monogramming situations.

Go to Monogram Manager

--Posted by: Heather Whiting at August 23, 2006 08:08 PM

I have been asked to place a two letter monogram on a terry robe. Where should the placement be? Is there a standard placement for this? What is the standard size for a monogram on a robe? The customer wants the letters to be placed diagonally. Please help.

Thank you

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

The only standard issue here is the general placement - like a dress shirt, the monogram would go on the left side of the robe. From there, everything else is a question of preference. Size? - currently there is a renewed interest in larger monograms - 4 inches or larger - but some people find this ostentatious. Placement height on the robe? - in general the placement is similar to the placement on a dress shirt - pocket height - but this also has alot to do with the size of the monogram. Diagonal letters? - we have seen this done with the first initial higher than the last initial, and also in the opposite relationship.

This is a situation that cries out for customer participation. You and your customer should decide on size and placement before the job is undertaken. A photocopy machine that can enlarge a sewout or printout of the monogram can be very helpful. Have the customer try on the robe, pin the sample on it, and look in a mirror.

--Posted by: Linda Corrales at July 16, 2006 01:14 AM

What is the proper placement for monograms ondining chair slipcovers (on the side facing the table or the side facing away from the table)?

Thank you for your time!

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

Although there isn't a long and well-known tradition for placing monograms on chair backs or slip-covers, the usual placement seems to be taken from the convention for putting names on director chairs - the monogram goes on the inside of the chair, facing the table.

--Posted by: Mendy at July 9, 2006 09:37 PM

can you tell me if you use a one letter monogram on a mans handkerchief should it be the first or last name

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

The conventional usage for any single initial would be the last name initial. However, a handkerchief might be considered a bit more "personal" and we have seen handkerchiefs monogrammer with the first initial only.

We all remember the TV show "Laverne & Shirley", where Penny Marshall wore a cardigan sweater with an oversized initial L on the left shoulder, which is a concept first introduced in the 1940s.

With anything where the convention isn't 100% firm the best answer is to ask the owner of the item to be monogrammed what they prefer.

--Posted by: mari at May 3, 2006 02:45 AM

please tell me How do I Monogram Tim McGraw?
thank you

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

In our Rules of Monogramming survey Rules of Monogramming most respondants thought that with compound initials like this the last initial should be converted to "M" alone, but not all agreed. The best solution would be to ask Tim McGraw what he prefers.

--Posted by: cindys at April 25, 2006 08:42 PM

hi, I am monogramming on toddlers bathrobes. On the left front side and right front side. I just dont know where to place the design?

Also on a babys turtle neck top, size 6 to 9 months size. I am not sure how far to come down on the front center to place the design?
Thank you

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

For both of these situations, the size of the monogram will influence placement more than it would on a larger garment - there is much less space to work with.

The best way to determine placement in situations where there are no obvious rules is to sew a sample - or print out a facsimile if your embroidery software program allows it - then move the sample around on the garment until you are happy with the way the placement looks. If you are doing this for a customer you might also consider having the customer sign off on the placement decision.

--Posted by: Linda at February 10, 2006 12:41 PM

can a 1 inch block intials on a golf shirt be removed and redone?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

If you have Peggy's Stitch Eraser - a device like an old-fashioned electric razor - and are VERY patient, you might try trimming away from the back side of the design. If you are even more patient you might try snipping the bobbin thread from the back. To be honest, it's very unlikely that you will be able to remove the design without either inadvertently snipping the fabric or at least compromising it.

Many monogrammers save these "mistake" shirts for future use for sampling. Some suggest that even with a hole in the shirt another design - one that is larger and has a full filled area - a crest is a good example - can be sewn over the spot.

--Posted by: jennifer at February 1, 2006 10:14 PM

How do you monogram a name on the band of the pillowcase and allow for left and right postioning of the pillows on the bed, so as to have a name such as Morgan line up where the beginning letter M is at the top of the pillowcase and the bottom of the letters facing toward the opening?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

Monogramming typically involves one or several initials, so a monogram will be visually balanced and easy to center on the pillowcase band. If you are trying to embroidery a name with upper and lower case letters then the result will be visually unbalanced and difficult to center. Creating the name in all upper case will help. Beyond that try sewing out a sample, then make a photocopy, and pin the two samples on the pillowcase and experimen with position.

--Posted by: Rene at January 11, 2006 08:54 PM

What size should the letters be to monogram a shirt cuff? Do your letters come that small?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

Monograms on shirt cuffs are typically less than 1/2" tall. We have two styles designed specifically for creating small monograms - Petite Monogram Set 1 and Petite Monogram Set 2.

--Posted by: Mary at December 28, 2005 06:16 PM

On a 17"x17" napkin, what size monogram should be used (1 inch, 1-1/2 inch, etc.)? Thanks!

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

There isn't a correct answer to this question - it's a matter of fashion and personal preference.

--Posted by: Joyce at November 27, 2005 03:42 PM

How large should a single letter be in a hand towel and a bath towel?


EmbroideryArts Support answers:

This is entirely a matter of style and monogramming practicality. The size of a monogram on a bath towel has varied considerably as fashions have changed - we have seen monograms from 2" tall to as much as 12" tall (in the 1950s). Single initial monograms tend to be a bit larger than multiple-letter monograms. Despite the shift in fashion, it is fairly common to have the monogram on a hand towel be somewhat smaller than on a bath towel.

As a practical matter, the size of your hoop will often determine the maximum height of a monogram.

--Posted by: Heather Whiting at October 14, 2005 01:31 PM

Where is the recommended place for a single monogram on a shower curtain?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

The large monograms that we have seen on shower curtains are centered left to right, and are also above the vertical midpoint - if you divide the height in thirds, the monogram center is approximately 1/3 down from the top.

--Posted by: Wanda Friar at September 11, 2005 06:12 PM

On bedroom slippers, should the monogram face the wearer or forward? I've seen it done both ways.


EmbroideryArts Support answers:

We've seen it done both ways also, but most examples we've seen have the monogram facing out.

The logic here is the reverse of the question about which way your wristwatch would face. The wearer of a wristwatch needs to be able to read the time, not display it to others. The wearer of the slippers presumably won't be likely to forget their initials.

--Posted by: L MCMILLAN at September 11, 2005 11:29 AM

How should I monogram initials on a buttondown shirt collar?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

In this situation the initials are typically arranged on a diagonal running toward the collar point.

--Posted by: Stephanie at August 5, 2005 05:40 PM

What is the suggested size & placement for monogram on dining room chair cushion: diminsions 20"x20"? Thank you for your help.

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

This seems to be a situation where larger is better, and you can enlarge our designs within our embroidery resizing program. You should be aware that once the size change creates stitches longer than 12mm the satin stitch elements in the design will need to be converted to a fill stitch - most resizing programs do this automatically. The size can be as large as your hoop can manage.

For placement, it's more common to put the monogram on the chair back, rather than the chair seat cushion. The monogram will have more visual impact, and will last longer.

Please see our Gallery for an example of a customer's chair project.

--Posted by: Mary Fuchs at July 19, 2005 08:43 AM

could you please tell me where to place a monogram on a rectangle tablecloth and the matching napkins

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

Placement of a monogram on a tablecloth is an aesthetic decision and also has alot to do with the size and style of the monogram. For example, in the late 1940s there were magazine articles suggesting a monogram for a tablcloth for casual buffets. The suggested monogram was very large - 14" tall, done as an applique, and centered on the side of the tablecloth that hangs over the side of the table. It isn't necessary to have a monogram at all on the tablecloth in order to use one on the napkins.

For napkins, the monogram is usually placed either parallel to the edge or on point. Again, the style of the monogram often dictates the decision.

--Posted by: kathy at June 9, 2005 09:42 AM

Today I was asked how to place monograms on cuffs of a shirt. I had never really thought about it. You have a right & a left. So how do you mongram both cuffs so they look right?
You can't mirror image as the letters will be backwards.
Any advice would be appreciated. Should you only put a monogram on one cuff or one collar edge?
Where can I find the rules for the correct placement of monograms on clothing types?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

It's customary to place a monogram only on the left cuff.

Our Monogram Manager includes a 20 page illustrated booklet with placement suggestions, along with 15 placement templates.

--Posted by: kaye lessard at March 23, 2005 10:35 PM

I have a customer who wants three letters "TDP
III'' above the pocket of a mens dress shirt. Should the letters go in the center above the pocket or at the end of the pocket near the center of the shirt?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

Although centering the monogram above the pocket is more conventional, both solutions could be considered correct. You should really ask your customer which version they prefer - you might point out that the centered solution is more common.

--Posted by: Tiffany Parker at March 9, 2005 04:47 PM

When embroidering a cuff which side is the proper side to do. The left cuff or right?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

The customary location is on the left cuff.

--Posted by: Jennifer at February 21, 2005 12:06 PM


EmbroideryArts Support answers:

We offer an individual design for eash letter of the alphabet. Some styles include up to three variations (e.g. Empire Monogram Set, Diamond Monogram Set 4 and 5, etc.) for left, middle and right versions.

Our customers regularly use these designs for either one, two or three letter combinations. If you also consider that for a three-letter monogram there are more than 17,000 possibile combinations you can see that there are too many variables for us to control all of them.

That's where you come in. By adjusting the spacing and placement of each letter, left-to-right, up or down, you have complete control over the visual results.

Properly digitized designs always start and end in the center. This allows you to accurately place the design within your hoop, and also avoids expensive damage to your machine when the needle hits the hoop because the start or end point wasn't in the center.

Many newer machines allow you to create new combinations of designs on the machine. If yours doesn't, or if you don't feel that you can accurately judge placement on such a small screen there are many inexpensive embroidery software programs that allow you to easily merge designs together on your computer, then send the results to the machine to sew out with complete confidence that the monogram will fit within your hoop.

--Posted by: JANINE BROWN at January 11, 2005 06:04 PM

When monogramming using three initials, WHICH of the three should be the large, middle initial? Last name, flanked on the left by first and on the right by second? or F M L with the middle initial being the large center letter?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

Traditionally, the larger center letter is the last initial. You can read additional information on this subject in our FAQ section, or in The Rules of Monogramming questionaire results.

--Posted by: Gin at December 24, 2004 02:07 AM

When embroidering a flat sheet with a centered monogram, should the monogram be facing where the bottom of the letters are on the hem of the cuff, where there is often piping, or should it go the opposite, so that when a bed is turned down as you often see in magazines the initials are seen as you'd get into the bed?

EmbroideryArts Support answers:

The bottom of the letters should be parallel to the edge of the sheet. Sometimes the monogram is placed on the band of the sheet, and sometimes above the band - both are correct.

We have a template for this situation and 14 others in our Monogram Manager kit:

Monogrammer Manager

--Posted by: Marlene at December 14, 2004 01:03 PM

I'v been embroidering for only about 2 years. I have monogramed only a few times (with a lot of trouble). My embroidery machine only allows on letter at a time. In order to space the three monogram letters equally, do I stitch the left letter of the larger center letter first? There must be a better way to get a pleasing appearance than I am getting now. Thanks.

EmbroideryArts Support replies:

While it is possible to create a three letter monogram by carefully positioning each letter, there is alot of guesswork involved. A better solution is to create the three-letter combination within an embroidery software program, save the result as a new design, and then sew it out all at once.

There are quite a few inexpensive options available for stand-alone embroidery programs that combine individual designs (called "merging")into one new design, and allow you to control spacing visually on your computer, moving the different parts around onscreen until you are happy with the results. These programs also allow the size of the design to be changed, and recalculate the density and the number of stitches.

A program that we often recommend for this purpose is called Embird. You can download a free trial version from http://www.embird.com. We also have a free tutorial on this program in out Tutorial section.

--Posted by: Sheila Fortenberry at November 16, 2004 01:12 AM

Where should a monogram go on men's handkerchief's. Thanks

EmbroideryArts Support replies:

Placement on men's handkerchiefs follows the same rule as for placement on napkins - the monogram goes in one corner. The orientation of the monogram, either vertical or diagonal, depends on the design. Some monograms, those that are more squared off or vertical might be placed parallel to the edge - otherwise, a diagonal placement is typical.

--Posted by: Peggy Lipsey at November 15, 2004 09:34 PM

What is the proper placement for monograms on men's boxer shorts?


EmbroideryArts Support replies:

Placement for an embroidered monogram on men's boxer shorts has alot to do with comfort. Placing the monogram on the lower front of the left leg, slightly offset to the left side is the best location.

Our Monogram Manager provides placement templates for this situation and fourteen others:

Monogram Manager

--Posted by: Walter Montgomery at November 8, 2004 03:35 PM

When placing monograms onto a pillowcase, which way to the letters face? So you can read the monogram from the edge of the pillowcase, or from the center of the pillowcase? Thanks!

EmbroideryArts Support replies:

Traditionally, the monogram on a pillow case is placed so that the bottoms of the letters are parallel to the opening in the pillowcase. It is equally correct to place the letters on the band, or above the band - the decision primarily has to do with the size of the monogram.

--Posted by: Patty Sliney at August 23, 2004 11:30 PM

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