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Monogramming Rules & Guidelines

History of Monogramming

Monograms have come a long way since their humble beginning.  Originally used in Greek and Roman times as a mark on coins to recognize a particular ruler of an area, later monograms were often used by royalty or military to show their power and position of stature by marking things with their initials. In the Middle Ages, artisans used them as a way to personalize their work.  Early monograms also consisted of only two initials rather than the three to which we have more recently become accustomed. The three-initial monogram which is more common today did not gain popularity until the 18th century. Monograms became a symbol of status and luxury when they were taken to represent a monarchy. Used as part of an insignia of the names of the Royal families were interwoven into the kingdom and those who served it. Representatives of the government were required to sport the custom monogram of the Royal family in power.

Starting in the mid-19th century in certain European countries most girls were taught at school to sew and embroider. A distinction was made in marking linens. One method was "point de marque” or cross-stitch and the other being white work embroidery, the technique in which the stitching is the same color as the foundation fabric (traditionally white linen). White work embroidery not only enhanced the piece but was a way to showcase the talent, refinement and social standing of the woman, as emblem of their high rank in society.

Young girls generally began their education in sewing and embroidery at the age of five or six years old, and at 14 years of age they would begin the preparation of their "trousseau." The trousseau comprised not only the marriage sheet, but all the linens they would need for married life. Sometimes they started by embroidering only one letter, the one of their own name as the identity of their future husband was still unknown.

Today, monograms are use on just about everything as a way to personize ones belongings and show you style. 

Traditional Monogramming etiquette

The traditional monogram is the Single Last Name Initial, followed by the two letter initial, but today one can express themselves in many different ways.  We will work with you do come up with a style and design you are happy with.  Below is just a brief etiquette guide, but remember as far as today's monograms are concerned, the sky's the limit! 


The traditional monogram for a woman consists of three letters with a larger center letter flanked by two smaller letters on each side. Customarily, the larger middle letter is for the last name, the smaller letter on the left is for the first name and the smaller letter on the right is for either the middle name or maiden name.

Example: Mary Eleanor Thompson would be MTE.


The traditional personalization for a man is his horizontal initials in what is known as a block monogram. Each letter is the same height and appears in the same order as the actual name – first name, middle name, last name.

Example: George Ellis Smith would be GES.

One can also use the larger center initial:   GSE

Or just the center initial, S


Traditionally when the bride takes the groom's last name, the monogram is the Bride's First Name, Common Last Name, and the Groom’s First Name. 

Example: George + Beverly Smith would be BSG or just the center initial, S

Same-sex couple's MONOGRAM

There are several options available to same-sex couples.  They can have same size initials of both last names or the single initial of both first names. 

For example: Michelle Smith + Jane Taylor  would be ST or  for first name version, MJ

suggested sizing & placement
Placement guides
monogram styles

Paddock Threads offers a variety of monogram styles and thread colors including ones not on the website. Shown below is just a sample of what we have to offer. Have a custom or logo? We work with several digitizers to ensure the highest standards are met.


Please let us know if there is something specific you are looking for and we will be happy to help.

Monogram designs 1
Monogram designs 2
Frame Styles
color chart
Color Chart
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