Embroidery vs Screen Printing: What’s The Best To Choose?

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Embroidery and screen printing are two very different processes that can be used to produce custom apparel. Which is right for you?

Are you a diehard embroidery fan who prefers the handcrafted look? Or do you prefer the clean, crisp lines and solid colors of screen printing? Maybe you’re undecided! The truth is, that these two methods each have their strengths and weaknesses. One might be perfect for your needs while the other turns out to be a disaster.

When trying to design a logo, it is important to get it just right so that the company or person can identify themselves. The three different types of printing include embroidery, screen printing, and digital printing. All three of these methods have their pros and cons so you will have to make the decision based on what works best for you.

This article will quickly give you a crash course on the distinct differences between screen printing and embroidery so you can decide which best suits your needs. If you’re wondering about their similarities, then read on!

What Is Screen Printing And Embroidery?


Embroidery is the process of decorating fabric with designs and patterns by passing the fabric through a needle and thread. The designs are made by using threads in different colors to create a picture or pattern.

With this printing method, you can use many different materials such as cotton, kinds of cotton, fleece, polyester, tweed, leather, and others. Embroidery is used for making school shirts and other apparel that cannot be stitched or sewn.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is a printing process in which ink is pushed through a mesh screen, onto the fabric being printed. The inks used in screen printing are fairly thick and very opaque. Screen printing is great because it gives you more flexibility with your design. Using this method you can print multiple colors on a single piece of clothing by using the color separation technique or discharge method.

With screen print, you can also use many different materials such as polyester, cotton, fleece, silk, and others. Unlike the thicker inks used in screen printing, these inks are thinner and can be intermixed to produce gradients and patterns.

What is the Difference Between Embroidery And Screen Printing?

Both screen printing and embroidery use fabrics to create your custom design. The fabric you choose will determine the costs of your design. For example, if you are using a piece of very thick fabric, you may have to hire more workers and it might take longer to complete the design. The thinner the fabric, the cheaper it will be. The thicker and heavier the fabric, the more expensive it will be.

Time Consumption

Embroidery is a more time-consuming process compared to screen printing. Screen printing takes less time because you are only limited to one color. This process uses only one color ink that is solid in design and you can’t mix different colors. Embroidery can use multiple colors and gradients to create your desired picture or design with multiple threads in different colors and materials.


The final product of embroidery is more expensive because it involves much handwork and detail, unlike screen printing. During the process, many workers will be involved with the embroidery machine by creating a design on the machine to be sewn. Another advantage of embroidery is that it is more flexible and it can print on any type of fabric or apparel. With screen printing, you will only print on certain materials such as textiles and plastics.


Embroidery involves working with multiple colors and threads. With screen printing, you will use only one color ink. Screen printing is a simple process and requires few workers but it is not as flexible as embroidery. Often, screen-printed apparel can only be made in one color. For example, a shirt may not be able to have two different colors on the same shirt or a t-shirt that has stripes of two different colors.

Embroidery is often considered the superior method of printing because of the different colors and patterns it can produce. With screen printing, all you will be able to print is one color ink on a solid background. However, both methods are great choices when you need customized apparel such as uniforms.

Embroidery or Screen Printing, How to Choose the Right Method?

Both embroidery and screen printing has advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into consideration when deciding which technique to use for your custom design. There are some questions you can ask yourself to help choose the right method to suit your specific needs.

Is The Design Simple Or Complex?

If the design is simple and it only needs one or two colors, then screen printing might be the right choice. A good example of this is a simple logo with just one color and a little bit of detail. Screen printing is a fast way to create your design with only one color ink. If you are a tradesman that wears a uniform, then screen-printed apparel will be much cheaper than embroidered uniforms.

If you want to create a design with more detail and more colors, then embroidery is one of the best choices. With this form of printing, adding more colors and detail is easier.

With either method, you can have your design made in any type of clothing including shirts, jackets, and aprons for the kitchen for tradesmen or chefs. You can get your custom-made apparel made by either method and have it delivered to you.

How Much Money Are You Willing To Spend?

Embroidery is a more expensive option than screen printing. The cost of the design will be higher with embroidery because it requires much more detail and the price per garment is higher.

Screen printing costs less because of the simple process and smaller amount of detail involved with using this printing method. Screen printing is also more flexible than embroidery because you can order custom apparel in any color, size, and design.

Can You Find The Right Workers?

Screen printing is a simple process that only requires one worker. However, you will be limited to one color inks and things that can be printed with this method. One thing about screen printing is that it is great for uniform printing for tradesmen who wear uniforms like a shirt or a jacket.

Embroidery, on the other hand, involves more handwork and detail than screen printing. Because of this, you will need multiple workers to complete the job. This method is better suited for a small business that needs customized apparel.

If you have a business, you can use embroidery and screen printing for your personalized clothing and overall look. By choosing the right method for your needs and budget, you will be able to create custom apparel at a good price. You can add your logo onto items like shirts, jackets, or aprons to give out as prizes or give them away as gifts to loyal customers or employees.

What Works Best For You?

When deciding which of these processes to use, the best thing to do is ask yourself questions about how you plan on using the custom apparel that you want to create. For example, saying on a uniform for a worker or a chef could be something important to one person and something else would be important to another. You can answer these questions and determine what is best for you then decide which method of printing to use.

The choice is yours! There are many different methods of printing and both embroidery and screen printing are great choices for creating custom apparel. Consider all the pros and cons of each process before deciding which method to use for your custom apparel project.

Does Embroidery Last Longer Than Screen Printing?

The time it takes to have your custom apparel made can vary based on the type of garment that you choose. However, embroidery will last much longer than screen printing. For example, a shirt takes longer to make because it has more thread and detail involved with making it. A dozen shirts will take longer with embroidery than screen printing because of all the different colors used in their construction.

However, you should also consider how much wear and tear each method on the apparel has before ordering. When designing your design, you should consider this. If you see that the embroidery on your shirt is wearing out more quickly than the screen-printed shirts and the print does not last as long, then you should think about getting a new design with embroidery.

Your apparel will last way longer with embroidery than with screen printing. Because of this, it is better to stick with screen printing if you are intending to have these shirts in regular use.

FAQ About Embroidery vs Screen Printing

Is The Embroidery Business Profitable?

The sale of custom apparel is a very profitable business. If you can provide your customers with the best product and service, then you will be able to make a good living for yourself. Embroidery is a great way to find customers because more people are looking for custom apparel these days. The clothing industry is much larger now compared to thirty years ago when screen printing was the primary method of printing clothing.

A major benefit of embroidery is that you can embroider over a logo. This is an advantage because you can use the same garment for many different purposes. For example, if your company has a logo it uses on all the shirts, you could add the shirt to your inventory with your business name or brand on it. This will help drive more business to your company because people will remember your company and how nice they were treated.

How Do I Sell My Embroidery Designs?

You can sell your custom apparel designs through a website or on social media. Many marketers and agencies need embroidered apparel, so you will be able to find a buyer. If you have made a lot of great designs, then you should create a website that promotes your designs to potential buyers. Keep in mind that you will have to invest some money into your business to help it grow; however, once you get going, it will be well worth the investment.

How Do You Digitize A Logo For Embroidery?

Digitizing is the process of using a computer to create a pattern out of an image. This process can be done with a flatbed scanner, but if you do not have one, then you can use any website that has editing software and load in an image of your logo. Once you have the design put into the software, you will need to adjust it to fit the size that you need for your apparel. Most digitizers will charge a fee for their services so make sure to compare company prices before making your selection.

What Are Embroidered Graphics?

Embroidered graphics are additional pictures or words that are added to your design. For example, if you have your company name embroidered on a shirt, then you can add a picture of the company’s location or the company’s logo. Another example would be if you have a sports team logo for one of your favorite teams. You could add the player’s name along with his number to show how much of a fan you are of your team.

What Is Screen Printing On Shirts?

Screen printing is when a stencil-like image is pressed into wet or dry ink. This allows the ink to be stretched onto your shirt as it dries, making an imprint of the design on your shirt. Screen printing works great for items like shirts, uniforms, jackets, and more because they can be designed with screen printing equipment by professionals.

How Do You Embroider A Picture On A Shirt?

Embroidery is a process used to add text or images to your shirts. This process can be done by hand or digitally, but the latter works much better. If you are using a digital embroidery machine, then you can digitize your image using a computer and use embroidery software to edit the design. 

How Do I Print My Embroidery Patterns?

You can use a rotary transfer machine to make your designs. These devices have patterns that you can create that will then be used to transfer over your design. Once the design is transferred over, you will then learn how to use a standard printer and the image will appear on your shirt.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, both methods have their pros and cons but that does not mean that one method is better than the other. With embroidery, the print on a shirt is more detailed and the colors can be mixed to provide you with a design or picture.

With screen printing, you don’t have as much flexibility because it can only use one color at a time. Embroidery is more expensive because it is more labor-intensive than screen printing. Both methods are great choices when creating your custom apparel.

Hope this article helps you understand the difference between embroidery and screen printing. If you have any questions about this topic or topic, please leave a comment below.

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I have been working as a seamstress since I was 12 years old, and I would be happy to teach you what I know. I, along with the rest of my team, investigate numerous sewing, quilting, embroidery, and fabric related how-to guides, and present our findings to you.

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