Embroidery or Printing?

When you are considering your next garment branding project, be it for your business or marketing promotion, you likely have heard (or will do) the various methods your garments can be made with. On this page you will know the difference between various branding technologies used, for example, to print your company shirt. You will also learn the pros and cons of each technology allowing you to make the best choice

In the industry embroidery is used as a general term and it generally refers to 4 of the possible transfer technologies. These are:

  • Embroidery
  • Screen Printing
  • Digital Heat Seal Transfer
  • Direct to Garment Printing (also abbreviated as D2G Printing.)

All 4 technologies vary with respect to the finish, price, and durability, and some like embroidery lower in costs as the quantity rises. A wrong choice between the 4 can lead to a poor finish, overly expensive price or unsatisfactory level of durability of the final product. Below we will discuss the main benefits and downfalls of each method.

Embroidery

Embroidery is the process whereby a design or logo can actually be stitched onto a range of garments. This method of decoration is immediately eye-catching, colourful and multi-dimensional. It is also known as a very durable method of transfering gaphics, often outlasting the garment itself! Smaller, simpler designs with multiple colours are ideal for embroidery. Thus it is a preferred option for smaller sized designs, multiple colours, or smaller orders.

Costs for this technology is based on the amount of stitches needed in the art work. So, in essence, the bigger the artwork is, the more expensive it will be. Hoverer, embroidery options are VERY competitively priced compared to other garment transfer methods when small quantities are needed.


Screen Printing

Screen printing is generally most cost effective with designs that consists of one or just a couple of colours. However if a shop has state of the art machinery they can provide intricate full colour printing. 

You can expect for the final product to contain very vibrant and solid colours often desired in modern simplistic designs.

It is important to note that artwork that consists gradients and colour transitions are hard to achieve. While generally discouraged, gradients and colour transitions are possible to achieve. Such designs require a professional graphic designers that can create designs with gradients and colour transitions which are suitable for screen printing.

Costs of such operations increases substantially with each colour used, and the count of colours needed for the artwork transfer is the primary cost factor in the final price. In order to lower the costs for screen printing productions, consider using less colours and simplified colour pallets for your artwork. This will create a more suitable artwork for this technology and will save money. Don’t forget that the size of the artwork is less of a cost factor, since each colour needed to produce your garment will require a separate print matrix to be made just for your design.

For customers who are concerned about environmental impacts it will be important to note that inks used in this process can be very damaging to our natural enviroment. Thus it is important to ask Screen Printing providers about the inks used in the process. Note that here at Direct Uniforms we use only the safest eco-friendly printing ink on the market called Plastisol Inks.


Digital Heat Seal Transfers

Digital Heat Seal Transfers, also abbreviated as D2G Printing, are images embedded into the actual fabric through heat and pressure. This process permits high resolution, finely detailed, photographic images or clear, distinctive lettering that produce very high quality results. For many Digital Heat Seal Transfers are a preferred method over Screen printing since its a more cost effective solution for smaller runs that require a durable finish with various designs per run.

Digital Heat Seal Transfers are also ideal for individual numbers and names on the back of sports jerseys. And for end of year graduation garments that need to incorporate individual nicknames.


Direct to Garment Printing

Direct To Garment printing, also abbreviated as DTG, is a technique that does what it says. It is a technology that reproduces the artwork directly onto the garment. Very much like a standard printer does on paper, DGT prints your artwork onto your garment.

DTG printing can produce any quality artwork up to and including photographs. It is also a relatively durable method of printing, but not so much as Screen Printing or Embroidery. A very good method of printing for event garments, as it allows you to get creative with the design without increasing the cost of the print too much, and the durability isn’t an issue after the event has concluded.

DTG Printing is an option where other print methods are impractical because the minimum is only 5 garments. It is important to note that DTG Printing is not viable on all fabrics so make sure you check with Direct Uniforms before placing your order! 


Sublimation Printing

Sublimation Printing is a completely custom made process. It take synthetic white fabric, dye it to the desired design and then constructs the garment from that fabric. One key result of this procedure is that the garment feels remarkably natural and comfortable. A second significant advantage is that unlimited quantities of colour can be employed in a totally cost-effective manner.

Sublimated garments take 4-8 weeks for manufacture. However it’s worth the wait! Such garments are of very high quality and the design will last a long time.


So What Should I Do?

A range of factor will influence which method of decoration is right for you. The garment itself, your logo, the purpose, the size it needs to be: all of these things and more will weigh into the decision. Fortunately, Direct Uniforms are experts in this matter! So don’t wait, Contact Us or Request an Obligation Free Quote today for more information about printing and embroidering on your garments!