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Your Company Uniform: Do You Opt for Screen Print or Embroidery?

The customisation technique you use on your company uniform all depends on your circumstances and the look you want to achieve. Deciding on screen printed logos or uniform embroidery is something many of our customers have to deal with.

Choosing the wrong option can lead to uniform that portrays your business negatively, hurting it in the long run and turning potential clients away.

But don't worry, we specialise in company uniform clothing and we won't let you make mistakes.

Read on to understand the differences between screen printing and embroidery for the information you need to make the right choice.

What’s the Difference?

Now you have decided you want a company uniform with your business logo on it, you need to choose how that logo customisation is added.

Printing can be done in a few different ways, which is dependant on the type of garment to be decorated, it's fabric type and the size of your order.

Direct printing involves inks being printed onto the material through a screen, effectively making the design part of the garment. There is a limit to the number of colours one can use to create your design. This is best suited to high volume runs of t-shirts, hi-vis, hoodies etc

Indirect printing involves printing in reverse onto a substrate, usually a vinyl, to create a transfer print. This is then heat pressed into place on the garment to create a sleek and sharp design that lasts. More colours and more intricate designs can be created this way, but it is a much slower and involved process per garment. We usually recommend orders below 30 units are decorated in this way.

On the other hand, embroidery is carried out with machinery that creates thousands of stitches to make up a logo. Often deemed to be more professional, this method lasts longer than the inks used in screen printing when done right and looked after properly.

Our embroidery designers are highly skilled and can create magnificent designs other companies simply cannot. Our embroiderers are equally skilled at running our bespoke high-end machines... but there are limitations to what a needle and thread can produce.

Both printing and embroidery have benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to consider a number of factors that can help you to make the right choice.

If in doubt, just ask us: 0333 920 9951

What Kind of Business Are You?

Have a think about what kind of business you run.

When deciding whether to choose screen/transfer printing or embroidery for your uniform decoration, you should consider the kind of business you are and the kind of impression you are trying to give to customers.

Clearly a construction site worker will require vastly different clothing to a retail store employee, but they both need to portray themselves professionally.

Even within the same industry, two businesses may need different logos and print styles. For example, two bars need uniforms for their staff. One is a student bar that has a modern, eye-catching design and require large print on their uniforms. The other,a luxury wine bar, requires a classic logo printed on high-quality polo shirts.

Both bars want their customers to know who the staff members are and promote their businesses to new people, but need completely different decoration styles. The wine bar should opt for an embroidered logo, whilst the student bar should have their uniforms created with screen prints.

What Garments Are You Customising?

What type of clothing will you use for your uniform?

Before committing to either embroidery or screen printing, it is useful to know that some items of clothing are more suited to one particular style. Take into account your industry, the wearer’s job role and the conditions they are likely to encounter.

For example, construction site workers that work during the winter need waterproof, heavy duty clothing that will keep them warm and dry. Embroidery can allow water to enter and heat to escape, so the clothing is no longer fit for purpose. Furthermore, due to some waterproofing techniques, screen printing might not even be possible so a tranfer print would be required.

If you are looking for a company uniform for staff in a fine dining restaurant, their clothing would look unprofessional with a loud, printed logo. Here, it is clear that a subtle embroidered logo would be more appropriate.

Which Clothes Suit Screen Printing?

Screen printing is perfect for large runs of clothing that require large logos and designs, particularly t-shirts and hoodies. If you are looking for staff uniform for staff that carry out physical work, screen prints are ideal as they are more likely to regularly need replacement clothing.

Embroidery can be a little too heavy for t-shirts and the stitching can cause problems around the logo that may need to be fixed. Printing is perfect for t-shirts, particularly as there is room on both the front and back to print large designs and marketing messages

Which Clothes Suit Embroidery?

Embroidery usually lasts longer than most printed logos and is designed to last the full lifetime of the garment. This is important to think about when it comes to which clothes you are customising.

Business shirts, Fleece Jackets and Polo Shirts are excellent candidates for embroidery. Embroidered designs are often seen as more prestigious and can be used on caps and outerwear to give your business uniform a professional appearance.

Which Method is Cheaper?

Before we answer that question we need to make clear that "cheap" here does not mean lower quality - everything we do is to the highest standards possible, regardless of the cost of garments. XAMAX® does not cut any corners - using only the best quality inks, vinyls and threads on the market alongside bespoke production methods. This is our quality guarantee.

I digress...

It also comes down to cost, doesn't it!?

Cost is bound to be an important factor when deciding between screen printing and embroidery. The complexity of the design and the number of garments you need can increase or reduce costs per unit. Small, simple designs for only a few items are not going to result in a large bill.

Embroidery - Small logos, small orders, professional attire

For smaller, pocket-sized logos, embroidery is the cheaper option, especially if you only need a few items creating. It is also extremely cost-efficient as the designs will out last the garments they are embroidered onto.

An embroidered logo suits an office or workwear shirt, polo, fleece or sweatshirt as work uniform magnificently and really adds something special to the look.

Bigger designs will need tens thousands of stitches to create and require more machine time and more thread - so more cost. A good general rule to follow is the bigger the design, the more likely it is you should go for a printed method.

Transfer Printing - Large or Small designs, short orders, long time use

As transfer print involves printing first onto a vinyl substrate before applying that to the garment, we can print incredibly intricate and complicated designs using millions of colours. Or simple single colours - the choice is yours.

And it lasts! Our processes are perfect for hi-vis vests, hoodies, jackets and t-shirts that will take some punishment.

Simple text logos get a crisp, sharp line, and colourful designs really pop!

The main downside is that large complicated designs tend to alter the feel of the garment. Some people do not like that.

Screen Printing - Large designs, large orders, one-time or occasional use

If the uniform or clothing you are creating will only be used once for a festival or event, then budget-friendly prints are a better choice. Will you be needing more of the same prints in the future? Mesh screens are not reused and need to be created each time which is more expensive in the long run.

The number of colours in your design also has a significant impact on price. With screen printing, a new mesh screen is needed for each colour in your logo. The more colourful the logo, the more screens needed and the higher the costs.

Now you know, you can relax.

Still Not Sure Which to Choose?

XAMAX® specialise in personalised workwear and uniform, offering embroidery, screen printing, heat seals and vinyl transfers.

As we said above, your XAMAX® account manager will not let you make mistakes, so try not to get too hung up over the type of decoration technique you want. Think more about the type of garment your staff need in their day-to-day job and the type of impression you want to give your customers.

Let us do the rest. Call 0333 920 9951 and speak to XAMAX® about your uniform today.