With so many different options out there for decorating your custom apparel, how do you know when to use each method? Each decoration options comes with certain pros and cons as well as some limitations. Here is what we offer!
Screen printing is the method of burning your design into a screen and pressing the ink through the small holes to make an image on a shirt. First, a black and white version of your design is printed onto a clear transfer sheet and then the sheet is burned into the screens. After your screens are created, they are used to apply layers of ink directly onto the garment, and are then dried and packaged. This is a versatile decoration method and can be used on a variety of items.
Screen printing, also known as silk screen printing, is the most cost-effective method for large quantity prints (50+ items) and works especially well with items like t-shirts and tank tops. A complex design with many colors requires different screens for each color.
The Benefits of Screen Printing
- Very cost-effective for large quantity orders.
- Just about any design and in any color can by applied through screen printing.
- There is a wide variety of types of ink to use and types of products to choose from.
The Drawbacks of Screen Printing
- Prices typically increase on orders with high number of colors or a lot of locations
- Some materials cannot stand the heat of the dryer.
- A lot of screens means that it will take a lot of time.
Embroidery is a classical and professional way to show off your business or team. When you have an idea of what you want, we take an vectored file of your design and "digitize" it into the embroidery machines. This process maps out where stitches will go and with what colors. The machine reads the pattern and embroiders your design into the product creating and beautifully stitched product with your exact specifications.
Embroidered logos typically look best on polos, jackets, woven shirts, caps, and bags, but this is a very versatile decoration method.
The Benefits of Embroidery
- There is an added texture to the design.
- The product does not need to be laid flat like in screen printing, making it easy for hats and bags.
- The intricate design evokes a high perceived value and sense of professionalism.
- More durable and resistant to damage from washing than the other decoration methods.
The Drawbacks of Embroidery
- The number of colors used in the design is limited to thread color options and prices typically increase with additional colors and amount of thread.
- Embroidery is only suitable for fabric type products.
- Embroidery machines can struggle with small lettering and fine details. Although it may be able to complete it, it will not look as clean.
Heat press is the process of using an iron press to melt transfer material onto a shirt. First, we take a vectored file of your design and cut it into a roll of transfer vinyl and weed out any extra material. Using the heat press, we transfer the material into the shirts at 300 degrees to make the transfer vinyl stick to the threads of the shirt.
With decoration methods like embroidery or screen printing, you are using physical resources - thread and ink - to create a logo, but this can be avoided with heat transfer, making it the most ideal method for small orders. Heat transfer is ideal for athletic material, jackets, bags, hats, and other thin fabric material.
The Benefits of Heat Pressing
- Minimal setup costs and equipment make heat transfers ideal for smaller order sizes.
- Affordable individually personalized decoration, such as sports uniforms.
- Allows for finer details and smaller text than embroidery.
- Heat transfer is available in many different finishes and styles.
The Drawbacks of Heat Pressing
- Logos and designs smaller than 2 inches tend to be more difficult for the logo to look perfect.
- An image does not last as long as other decoration methods.
- If the print area is big, the shirt won't be very breathable, and the logo texture can be thrown off.
- Should not be done on certain synthetic materials that can't be exposed to the high heat from the iron.