Screen Printing and Embroidery

Screen Printing and Embroidery

A common dilemma in custom apparel decoration is deciding between screen printing and embroidery. Although you need to consider a few factors in deciding whether screen printing or embroidery is best, the decision isn’t difficult once you understand the process and how the cost for each method is determined. Screen printing and embroidery are both viable options for including your logo on apparel. To make an informed decision on which option is best, read below to discover which method makes the most sense for your purpose and budget.Screen printing and embroidery

Screen Printing

Screen printing is generally used for casual garments and a detailed design. In screen printing ink is applied through a mesh screen with a stencil for each color of your design. Screen printing can be done on almost any product-t-shirts, hoodies, jerseys, moisture -wicking items, tote bags, etc. Screen printing allows you to create elaborate designs. If your design is very detailed, screen printing is better than embroidery as you can incorporate many different effects, including distressed effects, which are popular in t-shirts with a band logo. Pricing for screen printing is determined by the number of colors (per location) used in your design and the number of items being printed with the same design, making it the best choice and relatively inexpensive if you need a large number of items. For example, if your logo is one color on the left chest of your t-shirt, only one screen is required. If your logo will appear on the left chest of a shirt and again on the back of the shirt, two screens will be needed: one for the left chest and one for the full back. Screen-printing pricing depends on how many colors are being printed and where they are printed. The volume is also a big factor when determining the price of screen-printed t-shirts. Any design can be screen printed.


Embroidered apparel is usually considered higher end and tends to be longer lasting than screen printing. In embroidery, thread is stitched into your custom product. Popular items in which embroidery is used include 1/4 zip jackets, polo shirts, hats, and all types of corporate apparel. Embroidery can create a more professional look and lasts longer than screen printing. It is difficult to achieve shading and intricate designs or very small text in embroidery. Generally, embroidery is a bit more expensive than screen printing but decreases with an order of a large number of products. Embroidery involves a one-time set up charge (called digitizing) and pricing is based on the number of stitches in the design and the number of items being embroidered. If you want a small run of high-quality items (2-4 dozen) and a left chest logo, then embroidery is probably the correct choice. Full-back logos can also be embroidered. However, keep in mind large logos require many more stitches than a left chest logo. If you want to stand out from the crowd, a full-back embroidered logo might be the way to go. Embroidery does add weight to a fabric and may make a thin fabric sag. If you need fewer products and your design has several colors but is not intricate, you should choose to embroider your custom apparel.

If you still can’t decide whether to use screen printing or embroidery for your custom apparel, call us at GSH Apparel and we will be happy to advise you.

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