It depends on your circumstances but screen printing and embroidery are both great options for decorating (branding) uniforms. 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. Having decided you want a company uniform with your logo on it, now you need to decide how that logo is added to the garments you choose.
What’s the Difference?
Screen printing and embroidery are the two most popular methods, with digital printing catching up quickly. However, for the sake of this discussion, we’ll focus on screen printing and embroidery. Screen printing uses ink to alter the colour of the clothing or to add a design to be directly printed onto the material. On the other hand, embroidery is carried out with machinery that stitches into clothing thousands of times. Often considered a more professional look, embroidery lasts longer than the inks used in screen printing when done right and looked after properly. However, there are design 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. Ask yourself these questions in relation to your business.
What Kind of Business Are You?
When deciding whether to choose screen printing or embroidery, consider the industry you’re in and the kind of impression you’re trying to give to customers. It’s pretty clear that a construction site worker will require different clothing to a retail store employee although both may still want to portray themselves professionally.
Even within the same industry, two businesses may need different logos and print styles. For example, say there’s two bars that 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, they are going to need completely different prints. The wine bar should choose an embroidered print, whilst the student bar should have their uniforms screen printed.
Where Are The Uniforms Being Worn?
Before committing to either embroidery or screen printing, it’s useful to know that certain items of clothing are more suited to one particular decoration style. You need to think about your industry, the wearer’s job role and the conditions they’re likely to encounter while doing their job.
For example, construction site workers that work outside in all weathers might find that screen printing wears out faster than embroidery. However, if it’s important that the branding is big and bold onsite, and the uniforms are regularly replaced, screen printing could well be the answer.
However, if you’re looking for a company uniform for staff in a fine dining restaurant, their clothing might look unprofessional with a loud, printed logo. In this instance, a subtle embroidered logo would likely be more appropriate.
Which Uniforms 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 be on uniforms that are regularly replaced.
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 will often last the full lifetime of the garment. 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 more prestigious and can also be used on caps and outerwear to give your business uniform a professional appearance on every occasion.
Which Method is Cheaper?
When deciding between screen printing and embroidery, costs for both will come down to the complexity and size of the design and the number of garments you need. While there will still be a small setup charge for both methods, a small, simple design on only a few items of clothing isn’t going to result in a large bill.
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. With embroidery, the more colourful the design, the more colours and stiches might be required to reproduce it faithfully.
So, Which Decoration Is Best For MY Uniforms?
Embroidery – Small logos, small orders, professional attire
For smaller, pocket-sized logos, embroidery is the better 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 with embroidery. 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 often a better choice. Will you be needing more of the same prints in the future? Mesh screens aren’t typically reused and might need to be created each time which is more expensive in the long run.
We specialise in matching your business needs with the right uniforms and the best decoration methods so your branded uniforms work hard and continue to look good! Check out just a small sample of the uniform styles we have available.