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How To Decide Between Embroidered vs Printed On Company Workwear

Posted by Xamax on 10/03/17 09:21

There are a lot of complicating factors when choosing between embroidered vs printed branding techniques on company workwear. If you don't use careful consideration, then you could end up with an inferior product and wasted spend. Here's what to consider and how to decide.

embroidered vs printed

Learn The Differences Between Embroidery And Printing

The two processes are completely different. They produce a different look and appearance entirely and can sometimes only be used on particular garment types or materials.

Embroidery involves using high-precision machinery to stitch a garment thousands of times within a small amount of space. This allows you to have a highly detailed logo or other artwork on your company workwear or business wear items.

Printing is a diverse process with a few different techniques. In essence, though, there are two types of printing; direct and indirect. The former involves using inks to alter the colour of a material and the latter involves applying something onto the material.

Again, all of these different techniques have respective strengths and weaknesses, cost implications and best instances of when to use them. That's why you should avoid a supplier who tries to make you use one type of technique for all artwork styles, on all types of garments, for all sizes of orders.

The best way to create company workwear or business clothing always involves a mix of customisation techniques.


Learn More About The Different Types Of Print

Screen printing is a historic and highly regarded method of printing. A kind of plate (called a "press") is made which has the design details included and the fabric is pressed against it - hence the name. The press includes a detail of one type of colour within the artwork and the ink dyes are then printed onto the garment itself. Another press is used for the second coloured details in the design, and so on.

Inks come in many countless standard colours - a close enough match for 99% of branding - but can be mixed to an exact specification if needs be.

There is a lot of setup involved here, so this method works out expensive for small runs, but it becomes more cost effective when order numbers get higher. We usually suggest a minimum order of 100 items for screen printing.

Here's one of the machines we use at Xamax, something we're proud of because it's regarded as the best machine in the world:


printing machines


Of course, there are other types of printing which are indirect methods.

They are called this because the printing actually takes places away from the garment and the printed detail is then added onto the garment itself. Kind of like a heat transfer name and number on a sports shirt, if you will, but with a higher level of detail.

There's also various options here with high-res digital applications, precision CAD cut single colour vinyl materials and cost friendly budget transfers for things like promo t-shirts.

There's a print technique suitable for every garment, budget and artwork style.

Make sure you're using the best one for your company workwear order.


Learn What Influences The Final Look

The final look is of paramount importance. The way your brand is first presented to people is often through your custom printed workwear or embroidered business wear items. You don't want to give the wrong impression.

Embroidery gives a textured feel and appearance to a piece of artwork or branding. This is because the threads used are slightly raised above the surrounding garment. That's great if you want a prominent, classic style of branding or want a longlasting item like embroidered overalls - but might not suit if you're going casual or sleek in your branding.

It also catches the light differently than something like a vinyl transfer which sits onto a piece of clothing and gives sharp, clean definition.

The surrounding garment's colour and material also affects how the viewer sees your logo.

This is especially true when using screen printing because a mixed ink will give a very different finish on two t-shirts when one is white and one is black, for example, or if used on similarly coloured garments made of different fabrics.

Different branding techniques also give different levels of finish on different materials. A style of garment isn't the only thing to consider either; did you know that polo shirts are made of different materials so therefore might need different branding techniques?


Consider All These Variables

Besides all of the aforementioned appearance variables, which garment(s) you are branding and which technique(s) you use on your company workwear will be influenced by:

  • Durability: Embroidery will last as long as or longer than the garment itself, usually, but does your job role or industry need it to? What if it's just a promo weekend or you work in a job which wears out clothing at a rapid rate?
  • Cost Effectiveness: Some techniques cost more than others and the price changes depending on the size of your order.
  • Colour Matching: Will you need a specific colour for your artwork? Will the standard colours look right on the colour of garment you choose?
  • Detail Level Of Artwork: Some designs might be better suited to a particular customisation type - but does that technique work on the garment you like?
  • Garment Suitability: And always remember that certain garments can only use certain branding techniques and others suit certain techniques over others.

If in doubt, speak to your supplier who will be more than happy to work through your order and make sure all of your custom workwear or business wear items showcase your brand and business in the best possible light.


Get The Full Story Behind Print v Embroidery


As there are so many variables to consider at once, one blog post doesn't do the complex nature of choosing the right customisation technique for your order justice. That's why we've put together a guide completely dedicated to helping you choose when to use embroidery and when to use the various different print options.

Read the free guide by pressing the button below:

CTA for print v embroidery guide

Topics: Printing, Embroidery