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Embroidery vs. Screen Printing: Choosing the Right Method

Embroidery vs. Screen Printing: Choosing the Right Method

When it comes to creating custom apparel, the choice between embroidery and screen printing is a decision that can significantly impact the final product’s appearance, durability, and overall appeal. Each method has its own set of pros and cons, which is why we encourage you to weigh their options before making a decision. And keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for our customers to use methods for different orders. They might have their logo embroidered onto beanies and polos but then come back to place an order of screen printed hoodies and tees. In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of both embroidery and screen printing to help you make an informed choice for your custom apparel needs. Tajima embroidery machine


  1. Durability: Embroidery is known for its longevity. The stitching process involves tightly weaving thread into the fabric, creating a design that can withstand frequent washing and wear. This makes it ideal for workwear, uniforms, and items that will see heavy use.
  2. Professional Look: Embroidery offers a polished and professional appearance, making it a popular choice for corporate logos, monograms, and items like polo shirts, hats, and jackets. The textured, three-dimensional look adds a touch of class to any design.
  3. Versatility: Embroidery can be done on a wide variety of fabrics, including cotton, denim, and even leather. This versatility ensures that your custom designs can be applied to a broad range of apparel items, from t-shirts to bags and more.
  4. Small Details: Embroidery is excellent for intricate and small details. It allows for fine lettering, delicate patterns, and complex designs, ensuring that your custom apparel captures every nuance of your vision.
  1. Cost: Embroidery can be more expensive than screen printing, especially for larger designs with many colors. The cost is often influenced by the number of stitches required, which can add up quickly.
  2. Not Ideal for Large Areas: If you want a full-sized, all-over print design, embroidery may not be the best choice. It’s better suited for smaller logos or designs that fit within a specific area.

Detail shot of a Screen Printing press rolling ink onto a designScreen Printing:

  1. Cost-Effective for Large Orders: Screen printing is cost-effective for bulk orders. The setup costs are relatively low, and the printing process is efficient for reproducing the same design on a large scale.
  2. Vibrant Colors: Screen printing allows for vibrant and bold colors that can pop on your custom apparel. This makes it an excellent choice for promotional t-shirts and colorful designs.
  3. Ideal for Large Areas: If you want a design to cover a significant portion of your apparel, screen printing is the way to go. It’s perfect for bold, all-over prints that make a statement.
  4. Quick Turnaround: Screen printing is a fast process once the setup is complete. This makes it suitable for tight deadlines and events where you need custom apparel in a hurry.
  1. Limited Detail: Screen printing is not as precise as embroidery when it comes to fine details and small text. Intricate designs may lose some clarity.
  2. Less Durable: While screen printing is durable, it may not hold up as well as embroidery over time, especially with frequent washing and wear. Over time, the print may crack or fade.
  3. Not Suitable for All Fabrics: Screen printing works best on cotton and cotton-blend fabrics. It may not adhere well to certain synthetic materials or textured fabrics.

In the embroidery vs. screen printing comparison, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The choice between these methods should be based on your specific needs and preferences. If you value durability, professionalism, and versatility, embroidery may be the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you require cost-effective, vibrant designs for large quantities or have a preference for all-over prints, screen printing might be the way to go.

Ultimately, the decision should align with your design vision, budget, and how you intend to use your custom apparel. Whatever you choose, both embroidery and screen printing have their unique strengths that can help you create personalized, eye-catching garments that leave a lasting impression.

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Recent Review

“…the team at Charm City Screen Print have been doing DIEMOLITION LLC’s apparel printing for almost a decade. We had been using a few different companies in the past with much less success. CCSP has delivered the right product with precision and excellent communication every time. We won’t use anyone else and neither should you.”

-Tony Diem


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