Printing Workwear

Digital Printing vs Embroidery: Which Is the Right One for Your Workwear?

How to design the best logo on your workwear, teamwear or corporate wear?

Digital printing and embroidery are the two main options that come to mind when you think of adding logos to workwear and professional apparel. However, one of them can prove more useful to your company than the other depending on your requirements. While both are used for customising clothes such as workwear, it is important to know the specifics, namely their benefits, applications, pricing and what they entail. So, based on your company’s needs one of them may suit your needs more. So, let’s break down these two methods to see what they are actually about.

What Is Digital Printing?

Digital printing is one of the, if not the most, famous and widely preferred methods of companies and manufacturers when it comes to advertising. Digital printing allows companies to produce all sorts of merch and accessories including totes, hoodies, workwear, activewear, t-shirts and all other stuff that you can include in marketing merchandise, in quick succession. So, it means that with digital printing you can order quicker as compared to other methods. Plus, digital printing can also handle intricate and complex designs effortlessly with finesse and the resulting prints are better than embroidery most of the time. 

Digital printing, which can also includes screen printing, involves a logo being reproduced on a piece of fabric with inks that are squeezed directly onto the apparel or the uniform you want to print on. In case of screen printing, a separate mesh is used for every different colour that a logo may have. This way, it makes it possible to make the designs look perfect even when a logo has a lot of colours in it.

The process of digital printing is done using a high-quality printer, but the clothes are loaded and unloaded individually. Once the use of the printer is done the garments are sent to a tunnel dryer to cure or set the ink.

What Is Embroidery?

Embroidery is basically a way of adorning fabric using a needle and some thread and is often used to personalise clothes such as bags, hats, polo shirts, and jackets. When it comes to designing logos for professional uniforms, embroidery is one of the most common options because it delivers an elegant feel to the logo and creates a 3D effect. For most companies, embroidery is the go-to option because, to them, embroidered logos are classier and look more professional than modern techniques like digital printing or vinyl printing.

In embroidery, a company’s logo is threaded directly into the fabric and the actual stitching can be performed manually. However, for workwear, you usually need orders in bulk, so it is better to use automatic stitching machines to keep up with deadlines. For bulk orders, computerised embroidery machines are the best way to go because they can deliver you your final products in no time. You can also find commercial embroidery machines with 12 sewing heads and 15 threads for every head, so you can sew 12 items simultaneously and automatically, to save time.

Pros and Cons of Digital Printing

Digital printing is more affordable for printing your company’s logo on a shirt, and it lets you print a lot of logos and designs in a short amount of time. Plus, it is the preferred way for printing larger designs as it can handle any style, colour variety, and look that you can possibly imagine.

Digital printing has the following perks:

  • It is much easier to do.
  • It saves time.
  • Digital printing is a great way to promote your business by having its logo or message printed on t-shirts.
  • It is also pretty much automated once you have your final design.
  • You save more money by mass-producing customised workwear. 
  • It works with all types of fabrics even if you are working with a thin one. 
  • It makes printing complex and hard-to-draw designs easier to print.

However, there is one major downside of digital printing i.e. the designs are not 3D, so you have to work with one-dimensional designs. But you can deal with that drawback by experimenting with bright colours and patterns. 

Pros and Cons of Embroidery

Embroidery is without a doubt the winner when it comes to classy designs because an embroidered logo always looks more elegant especially when placed on top of the left pocket of a shirt.

Many companies prefer embroidery because of its 3D look, and you can also have the thread coated to improve its vibrancy and overall look.

Here’s why embroidery is a good choice:

  • It lasts longer and has more durability. 
  • It is cost-effective since the design lasts longer.
  • You can use embroidery for very small designs. 
  • Embroidered logos also do not fade even after several washes.
  • It works even with thicker garments.

However, one downside is that embroidery does not really work well with thin fabrics because the fabric can easily get pulled during the process. Plus, using embroidery for huge logos can often end up looking unappealing and messy unless they are extremely well designed.

So, Which Technique Is Right for You?

Depending On Your Price…

If you have a big team, and you are looking for an order in bulk then digital printing is better for you. It can offer you a quick turnaround at a cheaper price and as a result, you can pay less even for a complex design or logo.

On the other hand, if you only want to print a small logo then embroidery is a better choice for you. Plus, it works better when you are making clothes for corporate wear or designing polo shirts. So, if you have less than a hundred shirts or garments to design then go for embroidery.

Even if embroidery costs you more than digital printing, it is important to note that the former lasts longer because the logo or design does not fade no matter how much you wash it. Plus, you only need to pay a flat fee for embroidery and the price won’t depend on the number of colours you use. However, with digital printing, the price can go up based on the number of colours you choose to use.

Moreover, if you want to use screen printing to print your design then you will need a new mesh screen for every colour you need to use for your logo.

Another thing to consider is the size of the logo because large logos will require hundreds and thousands of stitches that can end up costing you a lot. Hence, for the bigger ones, digital printing is a better option.

Depending On Your Fabric or Garment…

Go for digital printing if you wish to customise:

  • Thin garments
  • Workwear or items for promotional events
  • Tote bags
  • Shirts that need front and back images
  • Sweatshirts
  • Hoodies 

While embroidery goes better with:

  • Caps and hats
  • Jackets
  • Staff uniforms
  • Polo shirts
  • Outerwear
  • Business shirts

In other words, if you are working with lightweight garments then digital printing will prove more beneficial for you because embroidery will feel heavy on light fabric. Plus, there will be some sort of “puckering” on the logo because the stitches will just create tension. Digital printing on the other hand will offer a softer handle which is why companies prefer it when dealing with larger designs.

The Bottom Line

The final thing you should remember is that whatever decoration, branding, and type of fabric you need, you have to weigh your options carefully and think them over to get the best results possible. Choose a service that has years of industry experience whether it is embroidery or digital printing. This way, you can get the best outcome to represent your professional entity or your business by personalising your workwear or team wear.