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Should You Use Screen Printing or Embroidery for Your Company Uniform?

Posted by Xamax on 25/06/18 11:39

It depends on your circumstances but you’re not alone. Screen printing or embroidery is a decision many of our customers have to deal with. Choosing the wrong option can lead to uniform that portrays your business negatively, hurting it in the long run and turning potential clients away.

We can help you to understand the differences between screen printing and embroidery and give you the information you need to make the right choice. Just tackle these questions, one by one, in relation to your own business’ circumstances.

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First, What’s the Difference?

You might have decided that you want a company uniform with your logo on it, but you didn’t realise you’d need to choose how that logo was added.

Printing can be done in a few different ways. Inks can be used to alter the colour of the clothing or a design can be directly printed onto the material. Either way, printing allows more intricate designs.

On the other hand, embroidery is carried out with machinery that stitches clothing thousands of times. Often deemed to be more professional, this method lasts longer than the inks used in screen printing when done right and looked after properly. There are limitations to what a needle and thread can produce.

Both methods have benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider a number of important factors that can help you to make the right choice.

What Kind of Business Are You?

When deciding whether to choose screen printing or embroidery, you should consider the kind of business you are and the kind of impression you’re trying to give to customers. Although it’s clear that a construction site worker will require different clothing to a retail store employee, they may both want to portray themselves as professional.

Even within the same industry, two businesses may need different logos and print styles. For example, two bars who need uniforms for their staff. One is a student bar that has a modern, eye-catching design that they want in large print on their uniforms. The other is a luxury wine bar that wants a classic logo printed on high-quality polo shirts.

Both bars want their customers to know who the staff members are and promote their businesses to new people, but need completely different prints. The wine bar should choose an embroidered print, whilst the student bar should have their uniforms created with screen prints.

What Are You Printing?

Before committing to either embroidery or screen printing, it’s useful to know that some items of clothing are more suited to one particular style. Take into account your industry, the wearer’s job role and the conditions they’re likely to encounter.

For example, construction site workers that work during the winter need waterproof, heavy duty clothing that will keep them warm and dry. Embroidery can allow water to enter and heat to escape, so the clothing is no longer fit for purpose.

However, if you’re looking for a company uniform for staff in a fine dining restaurant, their clothing would look unprofessional with a loud, printed logo. Here, it’s clear that a subtle embroidered logo would be more appropriate.

Which Clothes Suit Screen Printing?

Screen printing is perfect for clothing that requires large logos and designs, particularly t-shirts. If you’re looking for staff uniform for staff that carry out physical work, screen prints are ideal as they’re more likely to regularly need replacement clothing.

Embroidery can be a little too heavy for t-shirts and the stitching can cause problems around the logo that may need to be fixed. Printing is perfect for t-shirts, particularly as there is room on both the front and back to print large designs.

Which Clothes Suit Embroidery?

Embroidery usually lasts longer than most printed logos and is designed to last the full lifetime of the garment. This is important to think about when it comes to which clothes you’re printing.

Business shirts and polo shirts are better choices for embroidery as they won’t be subjected to the same wear and tear as workwear. Embroidery is often seen as prestigious and can be used on caps and outerwear to give your business uniform a professional appearance.

Which Method is Cheaper?

When deciding between screen printing and embroidery, cost is going to be an important factor. The complexity of the design and the number of garments you need can increase or reduce costs. Small, simple designs for only a few items aren’t going to result in a large bill.


Embroidery - Small logos, small orders, professional attire

For smaller, pocket-sized logos, embroidery is the cheaper option, especially if you only need a few items creating.

Printing - Large designs, large orders, one-time use

Bigger designs can need thousands of stitches to create and require more machine time and more thread. So a good general rule to follow is the bigger the design, the more likely it is you should go for screen printing.


If the clothing you’re creating will only be used once for a festival or event, then budget-friendly prints are a better choice. Will you be needing more of the same prints in the future? Mesh screens aren’t reused and need to be created each time which is more expensive in the long run.

How colourful the design is also has a significant impact on price. With screen printing, a new mesh screen is needed for each colour in your logo. The more colourful the logo, the more screens needed and the higher the costs.

Still Not Sure Which to Choose?

Xamax specialise in personalised workwear, offering embroidery, screen printing, heat seals and vinyl transfers. Create the perfect company uniform that’s branded with your logo or design from the comfort of your own home using our online store.

When creating your company uniform, it’s important to think about the conditions your workers will experience, especially in the summer. As temperatures increase, you’ll need to think about keeping your staff safe in the sun. We’ve put together a handy guide that tells you everything you need to know about outdoor working.

Outdoor working in summer guide