Are you trying to choose between ‘screen-printing’ or ‘embroidery’? The best options really depends on a variety of factors – your budget, your time frame, and your intended use for the finished product.
Screen-printing allows you to create incredibly detailed images in any size you wish. There are two steps to screen-printing: preparation and production.
- The desired image is adapted for screen-printing, the different colors separated, and a series of screens made to apply the color. Once preparation is complete, production can begin.
- The item to be printed (often a shirt) is laid flat and held steady. The colored emulsion is pressed through the mesh of the screen, and depending on the color of the shirt, may be flash cured before moving on the next color. After drying, the shirt is ready to wear!
The main time investment for screen-printing comes from the prep-work, not the process itself. The artwork and screen preparation take time, but the actual printing process can be very quick, with runs numbering in the hundreds or even thousands possible in a single day.
Embroidery has two steps as well, and can create durable artwork on the item in question. However, it is not suitable for extremely complex, large, or detailed images.
- The desired design must be digitized using embroidery software to convert the artwork into a replicable format. The design is then loaded into the embroidery machine and the machine threaded with the correct colors of thread.
- The machine then reproduces the image, usually starting working backwards and layering on the colored thread. Most machines have a maximum of 12 colors and can run up to 8 identical reproductions at once.
The main time investment with embroidery varies depending on the complexity of the design and the size of the batch. Complex designs take longer to digitize and reproduce, while simple, one color designs can be rushed into production quickly.
Cost and Benefits
The cost of screen-printing is usually less than that of embroidery (exceptions apply). However, embroidery lasts much longer; standing up to multiple washings and dryings. Screen-printing is a good choice for printed promotional products, while embroidery is generally better for corporate wear.
Not sure whether your project should be completed in Embroidery or Screen-Printing? Talk to one of our experts and find out which is best for your specific circumstance. We can embroider and screen-print almost any type of fabric.