Embroidery vs. Print
People often ask “ what is the difference between screen printing and custom embroidery ?“
Well generally speaking it is pretty obvious, but there are some major factors to consider when choosing the right process. Screen printing is the process of applying ink to a substrate by forcing it through a screen mesh. Embroidery is the process of thread, needle and sewing to create your image or pattern. Although screen printing offers a crisp and soft feel, it cannot be applied to any and all garments. It is difficult to print on any material that is not a flat surface. So hats, bags, and jackets are generally embroidered.
There are some cool features with embroidery such as a “puff” which gives a raised feel to the thread. You can also use embroidery for special placements and garment embellishments. Screen printing on the other hand allows the ability to produce a high level of detail. Any grungy textures, shading, gradients and textures are ideal for screen printing.
The cost difference varies and depends on the artwork, sizing, surface and many other factors. So when thinking about which process will be best, remember t-shirts are always optimal for screen printing whereas oddly shaped items, or materials that do not lay flat are typically best for embroidery.
There are other factors to consider when selecting embroidery as your decoration process. The “thread count” is a term used to determine the detail used for your image. The higher the thread count, the cleaner and more detailed the sew out will be. Not every image will be applicable to the wholesale embroidery process. There are some images that are simply too detailed to sew. Gradients and color blends are impossible to sew out, so vector and solid body colors are necessary to use this process.