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Embroidery vs. Screenprinting

Sewing backgroundWhen you buy customized promotional products or apparel, how do you know you’re getting the best value for your money? If you are planning on buying polos, t-shirts, or other items with logos for your business, it’s worthwhile to investigate the differences between the two main types of design application on promotional products: embroidery and screenprinting. 


Embroidery is the more complex form of decoration. It involves stitching a three-dimensional design onto another type of fabric, usually with multicolor thread. With the advent of digital technology, creating custom embroidery designs is easier than ever. Embroidery can be used on a variety of promotional products, including:

  • Hats & caps
  • T-shirts
  • Tote bags
  • Jackets

As a three-dimensional form of decoration, embroidery is more durable than other types of customization available to you. A centuries-old form of embellishment, embroidery is a classic way of customizing your promotional products. However, the texture that makes embroidery so rich and attractive also renders small text more difficult to read. Embroidery is also more expensive than its nearest competitor, screenprinting.

Also known as silk screening, this process involves printed designs in ink, rather than thread. As a more modern technology, screenprinting is best for larger and more intricate graphic images on your promotional products. Screenprinting involves placing the colored layers of a graphic image onto fabric. Each color requires its own layer, so that a multicolored image requires one layer per color. While screenprinting is less expensive than embroidery and is visually better for some text-based designs, a more complicated screenprinted logo image will increase printing costs for your promotional products. Yet, screenprinting has several benefits:

  • More economical overall
  • Better for large quantities
  • Can be used for detailed or large designs
  • Also better for small text

Unlike embroidery, screenprinting is less hardy over the long term, as the applied designs can crack and wear with age. However, screenprinting’s versatility makes it a competitive choice for promotional products. Depending on your product needs, budget, and design desires, A Creative Touch can help you decide which method is most appropriate for your promotional products.

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