November 28, 2023

Embroidery vs Screen Print Which Should You Choose?

If you want to add logos and other designs to clothing and other textiles, embroidery and screen printing are your two primary options. Both of these options can produce quality work, but they each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Embroidery is often viewed as the more long-lasting choice, and can deliver professional results for uniforms and more. Screen printing can sometimes be more cost-effective, especially when using local services, and is often a better choice for larger designs.

Before you decide whether embroidery or screen printing is right for your purposes, take a look at what each one could offer you for whatever purpose you need it for.

Cost comparisons

Cost is likely to be the biggest concern for any entrepreneur who wants to have garments or accessories customized. It already costs a little more to have something personalized than to simply buy it as its made, so you don’t want to overspend.

One thing to keep in mind is that neither option will always be cheaper. Which one is more cost-effective will depend on a number of factors, including the complexity of the design, where you have the work done, the size of the design and the quality of the garments that you use.

If you choose embroidery, you will usually be looking at flat-rate costs that don’t depend on how many colors are in the design.

However, with screen printing, the number of colors makes a big difference. Each new color requires a new mesh screen, which raises the costs.

Most embroidery will allow you to have up to 15 colors at little to no extra cost. However, large logos and designs are likely to be cheaper with screen printing, and large orders can reduce the costs too.

Screen printing could be make more affordable by choosing a local company, reducing delivery costs.

Durability of Embroidery vs Screen Print

Durability is another concern, and this is where embroidery is often the better choice. An embroidered design, which is stitched straight into the fabric, is much more likely to last for longer than a screen printed design, which is printed on top of the fabric.

One of the issues with screen printing is that the design can crack and fade as time goes on. This is especially likely if the garment isn’t cared for properly, which means washing it carefully. Embroidery, on the other hand, is less likely to fade or show any damage. With quality stitching, it can last for a long time.

A screen printed garment could be ruined in a flash if it’s put in the washing machine at the wrong temperature or ironed on the wrong side. Embroidered logos don’t present such problems, although the stitching can be snagged or damaged occasionally.

Embroidery creates a design with a nice amount of weight that looks sophisticated and should last for a long time. The design is in 3D, as opposed to the flat design of a screen printed logo, and the strong thread presents a shine that makes the logo eye catching too.

Applications of Embroidery and Screen Print

You also need to think about the most appropriate applications for both embroidery and screen printing. Each of them can be more suited to different types and qualities of garments. For example, embroidery is more suitable for heavier garments.

Thinner and lower quality garments aren’t necessarily the best choice for embroidery because thin material tends to pucker when embroidered. Embroidered logos are excellent for good quality uniforms that you want to last for a long time.

Polo shirts with logos and perhaps even names stitched onto one side are a classic choice. However, if a larger logo is required on the back of the shirt, screen printing can be a more suitable choice.

Screen printing can be the better option for T-shirts and other thin or stretchy garments. The printing doesn’t create the tension that embroidery does so it doesn’t cause the material to pucker up.

If you want to customize T-shirts, hoodies and similar items, or you want to print larger logos, screen printing is likely to be the most suitable option.

However, for other garments, including polo shirts, outerwear and caps, embroidery is the most durable and sophisticated option for your logos. It looks smart and will last a long time, plus it’s suitable for a wide range of garments and other items.

Interesting Facts About Embroidery

Embroidery has been around for centuries, making it an ancient method of applying decorative touches to garments. With that in mind, here are some of the most interesting facts about embroidery: 

  • An archaeological excavation dug up the remains of a Cro-Magnon with clothing items decorated with embroidery. The Cro-Magnon were believed to be around in 30,000BC – this shows how old embroidery is!
  • The Bayeux Tapestry is the largest embroidery in the world. It’s well over two hundred feet in length and sits at around fifty centimetres tall. 
  • Machine embroidery was first introduced in 1828 by a man called Josue Heilmann. This sparked the trend of being able to produce embroidery on a mass scale. 
  • A modern embroidery machine can create 7,500 stitches within one square inch of space!

Interesting Facts About Screen Print

There’s a lot you probably didn’t know about screen printing and its history. So, here are our favourite facts about this method: 

  • Despite what you might think, screen printing was around as far back as 960 CE during the Song Dynasty in China. Back then, it was used as a way of printing money. 
  • Screen printing can be applied to glass, metal, gold, wood, electronics – the list goes on! So, it’s more versatile than expected, with uses extending beyond t-shirts and clothing. 
  • The first example of a promotional t-shirt using screen-printing was when The Wizard of Oz came out. After that, many other movie producers used screen printing to promote their upcoming films.


Embroidery vs Screen Print

Both screen printing and embroidery have their advantages, but you need to consider a few factors before deciding which one is best. Take into account the size of your logo design, your budget, the items you want to customize and the size of your order before deciding which one is best.

One thought on “Embroidery vs Screen Print Which Should You Choose?

  1. Thank you for pointing out that screen printing is a great way to create shirts with logos on them. I want to start a small business this year, so I would like to have t-shirts made with my company logo. I’m going to search for a good provider of screen printing services in my area that I can employ.

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