Monday, October 5, 2009

Embroidery vs. Screen Printing

When ordering small quantities is it better to go with screen printing, digital printing, or embroidery?

This is a questions that we often come across for new customers, especially when they are ordering for their business. The answer is - it all depends.

Screen Printing is not always cheaper than embroidery.

Example of when embroidery is the cheaper option
- When there is a low quantity and their are several colors in the design.

Let's say 5,000 stitches (which means it is a fairly simple design).
20 sports shirts with four colors in your logo.
Screen printing price - Around $17.50 per sports shirt.
Embroidery price (set-up fee included) - $15.50 per sports shirt.

- When you want to personalize a garment.

Let's say you want to put your name on your shirt.
Screen printing price - minimum of 12 per name - around $2.00 per print.
Embroidery price (set-up fee included) - $7.50.

When price is not the only determining factor, here are a few qualifiers that will help direct you toward the best decorated apparel option:

1. What color garments will you be using?
If it is any color other than white, then you can eliminate digital printing.

2. How many apparel products will you be ordering?
If it is less than 12 than you can eliminate screen printing.

3. What apparel products do you want your logo on?
RockSports does not screen print on hats. If you want to get caps, you're better off going with embroidery.

4. The all too obvious - Which do you prefer?

Simple Recommendations:
For casual garments, such as: t-shirts, shorts, long sleeve t-shirts, and hoodies, I would recommend screen printing.

For corporate apparel, such as caps, sports shirts / polo's, woven's & oxfords, I would recommend embroidery. Also, for personalized gifts, such as baby clothes, blankets,
towels and pillows.

For gifts, such as: birthday shirts, baby onesies, I would recommend digital printing (sometimes embroidery for onesies).

Embroidery Pros:
  • Embroidery looks professional.
  • The price for embroidery is not effected by the number of colors in your logo.
  • Once your logo is digitized there are no set-up charges and no minimum orders.
  • Embroidery is often perceived as more formal.
Embroidery Cons:
  • There is a one time set-up fee for digitizing your logo, which is a minimum of $35.
  • Embroidered thread will never look as detailed as a screen printed design.
  • Background fills and large, detailed artwork require large stitch counts, which means a higher price.
Screen Printing Pros:
  • Most of the time it is cheaper for large quantities.
  • The artwork will be a higher resolution and higher quality than embroidery.
Screen Printing Cons:
  • Minimum of 12 garments is required.
  • Colorful artwork requires more resources and will be more expensive.
Digital Printing Pros:
  • No minimum orders
  • No price change with the number of colors in the design.
  • Turn around times are quicker than screen printing or embroidery.
Digital Printing Cons:
  • Print colors are not as vibrant as screen printing
  • There are only a few colors that you can print on and get quality color match (White shirts are the best).
  • Dark shirts are not an option


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