Embroidery, Screen Printing or Both: Which One is Right for Me?

If you’re unfamiliar with embroidery and screen printing – and the differences between the two – we understand it can be a little daunting to work out which one (or both) is suitable for you. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered! In this post we’re going to break down suitability of both options depending on what your need is such as type of apparel (eg. polo vs tshirt), project (eg. professional uniforms vs casual), and of course budget.

Embroidery and screen printing are by far the most popular decoration methods for showcasing logos or designs on apparel for a good reason, this is because not only do both look great and are long lasting, but they are extremely cost effective when produced in bulk. However, they each produce different end products and sometimes certain projects are better suited to one or the other (or even a combination of both). Although, keep in mind there is no right or wrong answer, once you understand the difference between the two it comes down to a matter of preference. Don’t be afraid to get creative or try something a little different.

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Left chest embroidered logo

Embroidery 

Embroidery is produced through the use of a specialty embroidery machine that creates seamless stitches. The process begins with your logo or artwork, which we then ‘digitise’, meaning that the design is then converted into digital form through a software that maps out each individual stitch. After this process, the digitised artwork can be kept on file for future use. From this point, your chosen product is placed within a hoop and hundreds of stitches are made to produce a great and professional looking logo. Embroidery does not have minimums, this can come in handy if you ever need to grab a couple additional uniforms or accessories later down the track.

Suitability

Embroidery is best suited for professional projects/apparel items and accessories, though they can also look classy when used on other items like t-shirts as a small chest logo. Examples of professional apparel products suited to embroidery includes polo shirts, collared shirts, corporate uniforms, medical scrubs, Hi-Vis clothing, aprons, towels, bags ect. (You can check each of these out on our website through the links provided). Headwear such as hats are also best suited to embroidery, as the seams of the hat are difficult to print on and will most likely cause gaps in the design. Small embroidered chest logos on t-shirts can look eye-catching and adds a touch of class to a casual tee, although larger logos/designs are generally not suitable for embroidery as they create wrinkling around the logo. If a large design is needed on the back, a combination of both embroidery and screen printing is usually the best option. This popular option can be achieved through an embroidered chest logo on the front, with a screen printed design on the back.

Cost

Generally, embroidery is the cheaper option when in want of a left chest logo. In logos with more than one colour, embroidery is a great option as the set-up fee is usually flat regardless of how many colours are used. For larger designs however such as big designs on the back shirts, embroidery may be less cost-effective than screen printing. After the initial digitisation fee, there are usually no additional set-up fees unlike screen printing. This means that orders in the future are cheaper.

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Screen print on cotton tee 

Screen Printing

Screen printing is produced through the ‘squeegeeing’ of inks through a fine mesh screen which acts as a stencil. A new screen/stencil is used for each different colour used in your design and applied one at a time. This combination produces highly vibrant and long-lasting prints. Minimum orders exist for this process due to the labour and materials required.

Suitability

Screen printing can create a visually striking and contemporary end product. This option works great with medium-large designs as it remains soft on the garment, and looks best on t-shirts, hoodies, crew necks, and clubwear/teamwear. Most accessories work great with screen printing such as hats without front seams,aprons and bags such as backpacks, totes ect. However towels generally are not suited to screen printing and work best with embroidery. Screen printing is ideal for events, organisations, charities, clothing lines, promotions and for more casual style uniforms.

Cost 

Screen printing is best used for orders of over 10 or more due to set-up costs. However, if ordered in bulk (ie. over 100), the cost of printing each garment becomes more cost-effective as set-up fees become less significant. As a different screen is required for each different colour, if for example three colours are used in a logo, three screens will need to be paid for. Furthermore, if printing on a coloured tee, an underlay that acts as a base coat is needed to make sure the design’s colours stand out against the coloured garment.

The Verdict 

Although costs vary between the two options, the most important consideration to be made is suitability. The best way to showcase your logo/design is on a great garment with the right kind of decoration method. If you’re still unsure about which one is right for you, feel free to contact us at info@uniformme.com.au, fill out our online quote form, or message us through any of our social media platforms such as Facebook.

Happy designing!

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