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Can Screen Printed Workwear Be Used For Any Branding?

Posted by Xamax on 24/03/17 13:49

There's no denying the appeal of a properly screen printed piece of clothing, but it's often questioned if it's right for every business or more specifically, any kind of branding effort. This post will look into whether print or embroidery is best for your branding efforts.  

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Image Credit

The Best Branding Styles For Screen Printing On Uniforms

Printed branding is generally viewed as a clear, sharp and professional finish. The technique is particularly effective at showcasing strong colours and crisp, clean artwork styles. It's great for use in casual settings and environments where big, bold branding is appropriate.

Whilst screen printing can be used for a wider range of branding purposes, it also allows you to be more creative with your customisation, as screen printing techniques allow for sharper detail and precise colour control. By having this ability, screen printing is ideal if your branding colours are particularly important or recognisable to your market.

It's worth noting that screen printed branding can incorporate upto 12 colours, typically, but is best used on over 100 garments at once.


The Best Scenarios For Using Screen Printed Workwear, Uniforms or Business Clothing

Given the nature of screen printing, you need to be completely sure that what you're customising hasn't got an extremely long lifespan, i.e. a day-to-day uniform in a non-abrasive job role, or else embroidery may be your best option because the branding will last as long as the garment itself. With repeated washing over a long period of time, embroidery will be more longlasting than print techniques.

Another note: this is NOT to suggest screen printing is not longlasting. It's very longlasting - just not as long as embroidery when subject to heavy washing cycles. 

Print on uniforms is typically not as common as embroidery. That said however, it is still used

Screen printing is used on uniforms in retail, construction, leisure and tourism, to name a few. Any setting where large numbers of uniform items are needed and sharp, bold, sometimes fun, branding is needed.

It's commonly used on promotional items too for things like giveaways and for staff to wear during charity or marketing campaigns and events.


What Is Screen Printing?

Screen printing involves creating a screen press of the artwork you want to print onto your workwear or business clothing items. This can be your logo or contact information - any artwork which is going to be used in high numbers. It has to be high numbers because a screen is set up for each element of the design which is a particular colour.

To explain, if you were printing the Union Jack onto a t-shirt, you'd use a screen for the blue, white and red elements respectively.

Inks, paints or dyes are mixed and the garment is pressed in the screen to apply them. It takes time to set up the screens and apply the inks, as well as letting them dry properly, in order to get a high quality finish.

That's why screen printing can often have a higher per-garment cost than other methods - but is cheaper in higher amounts.

Here's our screen printing machine:

Screen Printer in action


Types Of Clothing Best Suited For Print

One of the foremost considerations when opting for print application is what you're going to be actually printing on. The key selling point behind print is that the application does not damage the garment as it's not becoming part of the item, unlike embroidery.

Typically, companies choose to use print on items that will either go through limited use, such as promotional campaign clothing.

Anything that contains more than one layer or 'skin' is better suited for screen printing, as embroidery would damage the garment or nullify the key attributes of the item, such as a jacket being waterproof.

Take this into consideration when acknowledging where your workwear will be worn.


What You Need To Bear In Mind When Considering Print

Always check which print technique you will be using. Screen printing is just one and there are many others - digital, applique, vinyl, heat transfer - and they have very different costs and lead times. And suit different scenarios.

Also, if long term use is your main concern, embroidery is the most durable customisation technique; but is one of the more costly and can't be used on all fabric and garment types. And it might not suit your branding and setting.

If you're looking for a single or limited-use garment for an event or communicating a tailored message, then print is likely to be most cost effective. The printing cost is likely to be lower, and the amount of wears the garment will go through doesn't justify the cost of embroidering a message on. 

Remember: Whichever application you favour, it's wise to order your customised workwear in bulk to avoid high item & customisation costs. Ordering in bulk often brings the item costs considerably cheaper, or sometimes even makes them be free.

And, finally, it's more than likely that a full workwear or business clothing order will use a range of customisation techniques, with the best for each garment being chosen on an item to item basis.

Speak to your supplier if you are in any doubt.


Get A Complete Comparison Between Print & Embroidery

If you're still unsure on which application to go for, or just want further in-depth comparison between the two - be sure to grab this free guide: 

CTA for print v embroidery guide

Topics: Buying Workwear, Printing