Custom Embroidered Work Shirts vs Printed Work Shirts: Which is better for you?

Choose between custom embroidered work shirts and printed work shirts, consider your needs and preferences. Custom Embroidered work shirts offer a high-quality, professional look that is durable and long-lasting. The embroidery adds texture and dimension, making logos and designs stand out.

On the other hand, printed work shirts are more versatile and cost-effective, allowing for more intricate and colorful designs. They are perfect for promotional events, casual workplaces, and uniforms requiring frequent updates or large quantities.

So printed and embroidered work shirts, How to choose? Which one is better for you?

In this article, we’ll explore the strengths of both custom embroidered and printed work shirts to help you make an informed decision. By the end, you’ll understand which option best aligns with your business goals and values. Ready to dive into the details? Let’s get started. For more specific information, you can visit our website.

Embroidery vs print

What is Embroidered Work Shirts?

1. Types of embroidery

  • Regular embroidery involves stitching designs onto fabric using a limited palette of thread colors. It is ideal for simple logos, text, or patterns, providing a classic and elegant look. The process uses high-quality threads and precise stitching techniques to create durable and professional designs. Regular embroidery is suitable for uniforms, corporate apparel, and promotional items, offering a timeless and refined appearance.
  • Unlimited color embroidery, also known as full-color embroidery, utilizes advanced techniques and multiple thread colors to create intricate and vibrant designs. This type allows for greater detail and color variation, making it perfect for complex logos, detailed images, and artistic designs. The result is a highly detailed and eye-catching embroidery that stands out. Unlimited color embroidery is ideal for businesses looking to make a bold statement with their branded apparel.

2. How does embroidery work?

Here’s a brief rundown of the process:

a. Digitizing Your Design The process begins with converting the design into a digital format that the embroidery machine can read. This involves mapping out each stitch and selecting thread colors, ensuring precision and accuracy.

b. Hooping the Fabric Next, the fabric is tightly secured in a hoop. This ensures the fabric remains taut and in place during the embroidery process, preventing any shifts or wrinkles that could affect the design.

c. Embroidery Machine Setup The embroidery machine is set up with the appropriate threads and the digitized design is loaded. The machine is calibrated to ensure that the design will be stitched accurately on the hooped fabric.

d. Stitching the Embroidered Design The machine then stitches the design onto the fabric, following the digitized pattern. Multiple needles and thread colors are used to create the detailed and colorful embroidery.

e. Finishing Touches Once the stitching is complete, the fabric is removed from the hoop. Any excess threads are trimmed, and the design is inspected for quality. The finished product is then ready for use, showcasing a professional and durable embroidered design.

What is Printed Work Shirts?

1. Types of Printed Work shirts

Printed work shirts are garments customized with designs, logos, or text using various printing techniques. These shirts are popular in corporate settings, promotional events, and team uniforms. They offer a cost-effective way to display brand identity, convey messages, and enhance team unity. The designs on printed work shirts are typically vibrant and can cover larger areas compared to embroidery, providing flexibility in design and color choices.

  1. Screen Printed Shirts: Ideal for large quantities, screen printing involves applying ink through a stencil onto the fabric, resulting in vibrant and durable designs.
  2. Heat Transfer Printed Shirts: Designs are printed onto a special transfer paper and then heat-pressed onto the shirt, allowing for detailed and multicolored images.
  3. Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Printed Shirts: Uses specialized inkjet technology to print directly onto the fabric, suitable for small batches with intricate designs and multiple colors.
  4. Vinyl Printed Shirts: Uses vinyl cutouts heat-pressed onto the shirt, offering a smooth finish and durability, perfect for logos and small details.

2. How does printing work?

  • Design Creation The process begins with creating the desired design using graphic design software. The design is then adjusted for color accuracy, size, and layout to ensure it fits perfectly on the fabric.
  • Preparing the Screen or Printer Depending on the printing method, the next step involves preparing the screen (for screen printing) or setting up the digital printer (for digital printing). For screen printing, a stencil is created on a mesh screen to allow ink to pass through specific areas.
  • Pre-Treating the Fabric Before printing, the fabric may need to be pre-treated to ensure the ink adheres properly. This step is crucial for certain materials and for achieving vibrant, long-lasting prints.
  • Applying the Ink In screen printing, ink is applied to the screen and pushed through the mesh onto the fabric using a squeegee. For digital printing, the printer applies the ink directly onto the fabric, similar to how a regular printer works on paper. Heat transfer printing involves pressing the design onto the fabric using heat and pressure.
  • Curing the Print After the ink is applied, the printed fabric is usually cured using heat to set the ink. This ensures the print is durable and resistant to washing and wear.
  • Finishing Touches Finally, the printed fabric is inspected for quality, any excess ink or residue is removed, and the final product is ready for use. This step ensures a professional and polished finish to the printed work shirt.

Embroidered vs. Printed Work Shirts: Key Differences

A. Embroidery

1. Durability:

Embroidery is known for its longevity and resistance to wear and tear. The threads used in embroidery can withstand multiple washes and heavy use without fading or fraying.

2. Fabric Compatibility:

Embroidery works best on thicker, sturdier fabrics like cotton, denim, and polyester. It may not be suitable for lightweight or stretchy materials.

3. Professional Appearance:

Embroidery offers a sophisticated and high-end look, often perceived as more professional and prestigious. It adds texture and dimension to logos and designs.

4. Setup and Production Time:

The setup for embroidery can be time-consuming, involving digitizing the design. Production time may also be longer, especially for intricate patterns.

5. Maintenance:

Embroidered work shirts are generally low-maintenance and can be machine washed. However, to maintain the embroidery’s quality, it’s recommended to turn the garment inside out and use gentle washing cycles.

B. Printing

1. Versatility:

Printing allows for a wide range of colors and intricate designs. It is ideal for detailed artwork, gradients, and photographs that embroidery cannot replicate.

2. Cost:

Printed work shirts are typically more cost-effective, especially for large orders. The cost per shirt decreases significantly with higher quantities.

3. Texture:

Printing results in a smooth finish without added texture, making it comfortable to wear. However, some printing methods may feel heavier depending on the ink and design.

4. Maintenance:

Printed designs require careful washing to prevent fading and cracking. It is often recommended to wash printed shirts inside out and avoid high heat during drying.

5. Fabric Limitations:

While printing can be done on various fabrics, the best results are usually achieved on smooth, flat surfaces. Some printing methods may not adhere well to textured or porous materials.

Screen Printed Work Wear

C. Choosing the Right Method

a. Brand Image:

Consider the image you want to project. Embroidery conveys a premium, professional look, while printing is suitable for casual and promotional settings.

b. Budget and Lifespan:

Assess your budget and how long you need the shirts to last. Embroidery is more expensive but durable, while printing is budget-friendly for short-term use.

c. Fabric Type:

Match the method to your fabric choice. Opt for embroidery on thick, durable fabrics and printing on smoother, versatile materials.

The Verdict

Choosing between embroidered and printed work shirts ultimately depends on your specific needs and priorities. If you seek a durable, professional, and high-quality appearance, embroidered shirts are the way to go. They are ideal for industries where a polished look is crucial and can withstand frequent use and washing.

On the other hand, if versatility, intricate designs, and cost-effectiveness are your main concerns, printed work shirts offer a compelling option. They provide flexibility in design, are more affordable for large orders, and can suit various casual and promotional environments.

Consider your brand image, budget, and the type of fabric you plan to use when making your decision. Embroidery is best for conveying a premium, lasting impression, while printing is perfect for creative, detailed, and economical solutions. If you have custom work shirt requests for your business, contact us with  [email protected] to find the right solutions for you.