About 1st Class Apparel

1st Class Apparel is a small, customized embroidery shop nestled in downtown Kalona, Iowa. Upon entering our shop, you will see a large variety of clothing as well as towels, bags, blankets and afghans. Many items have embroidery added to show what can be done to dress up a plain garment. With over 20,000 stock designs to choose from, our friendly staff will assist you in selecting a garment and a design to create a special gift for you or that special someone.

Maxine Mast, Owner of 1st Class Apparel, started the business in her home in March of 1991. With a single head machine, she worked on orders in the evenings and on Saturdays while maintaining a full time job during the day. After 5 years, there was a need for more room and some privacy at home so the shop was moved to downtown Kalona.

At our present location we use 2 Amaya single head machines and a 4 head Tajima machine for the large orders. Most orders take 2 weeks from the time the order is placed until completion. This processing time varies depending on the time of year. Some days we can embroider an item for you “while-you-wait”. Single item orders are welcomed as well as large 200-300+ piece orders.

1st Class Apparel employs 1 full-time and 3 part-time employees. The owner, Maxine Mast, is very involved in all aspects of the business; managing employees, operating the machines, assisting customers, setting up designs, bookkeeping, etc.

We offer a digitizing service for corporate logos or for designs that cannot be found in the stock catalogs. There is an additional charge for this service that is quoted on each request.

Screen printing is another form of embellishment that we offer. Screen printing is recommended for t-shirts with large sports logos or race car designs. A graphic artist (not on location) will assist in setting up the design to your specifications. Numbers and names for team sports are heat applied at the Kalona location also.

With an unlimited number of suppliers, we offer garments and accessories such as t-shirts (short and long sleeve), golf shirts, polo shirts, denim shirts, turtlenecks, dickies, sweatshirts, vests, windshirts, coats & jackets (including leather, flannel lined, quilt lined, & letter jackets) caps, bags, golf towels, bath towels, baby clothes, baby blankets, bibs, red hat items, scarves, gloves, fleece blankets, pillows and afghans. Go to our “Products” page to find out more information about these items.