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Embroidery: What is it, when to use it, and why it works

Looking into custom clothing and embroidery is exciting, but the number of options may feel overwhelming at times.

Written by

Jessie Burns

Published on

August 3, 2021
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Looking into custom clothing and embroidery is exciting, but the number of options may feel overwhelming at times. There are so many options to make your idea a reality with different custom printing and embroidery solutions.

There is a multitude of routes you may take when it comes to creating promotional products, but what is best for your business? Embroidery may take a bit more time than t-shirt printing, and it may cost a bit more, but it does last longer and it has a cleaner aesthetic. But what goes into embroidery?

 Table of Contents:

Promotional Products Work

According to research conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute, people are 2.5 times less likely to have a negative response to promotional products than they do to aggressive online marketing. A custom t-shirt can garner up to 3,400 impressions; that’s 3,400 become more aware of or reminded about your brand. Additionally, the study shows 62% of people will pass on a t-shirt when they are done using it, meaning that your promotional value may get new life when it comes into the hands of a new user.

Sample Promotional Products Include:

What is Embroidery?

Embroidery is an embellishment on a piece of cloth. Embroidery services can take your team or companies’ look to the next level, creating clean, custom designs on shirts or sweaters.

Custom jackets and embroidered shirts can also act as a creative style choice. Adding monograms or even your own design onto a piece can make it uniquely yours.

Why Embroidery Is Worth The Investment:

  • Can make your team look more put together. If you get a design on a piece of clothing you can create a cohesive look.
  • Signifies that this article of clothing is yours. Monogramming or getting a custom print on a t-shirt can mark your territory in a sense.
  • Custom embroidery can create an individualistic look. Embroidery is a unique style choice.

What You Should Know About Embroidery

Embroidery is an art that has stood the test of time. It makes your team look more put together, creating a cohesive look. However, it may take some time to get larger orders out.

Items To Note Before You Put in an Embroidery Order:

  • Embroidery will create a cohesive look amongst your employees or team members.
  • You must give the production team a high quality design.
  • Look at what fabrics you’d want to use for your design. If you are wanting a larger, more intricate design, you may want to reach for a thicker fabric.
  • You typically do not have to pay more when you use multiple colors in your design as opposed to t-shirt printing. Machine embroidery designs are very cost effective.

How to Order Bulk Embroidered Items?

There are a lot of different things that go into the embroidery process. You must have a clear picture of what you want, then you need to find a company that can bring your idea to life.

How To:

  1. Gather your high-quality design and start your brainstorming process.
  2. Figure out what clothing item you want your design on, and how you’d want it to look. For example, if you want a custom sweater, figure out if you want the design on the front or the back of the clothing item, or if you’d want the design to be centered or if you’d just want an embroidered patch.
  3. Find a company that can make your design come to life. Not every company is going to be able to produce your idea, it’s ok to shop around. We would suggest creating a mockup of what you are thinking and bringing it in so everyone involved is on the same page.
  4. Place your order!

How Else Could You Create Custom Clothing?

There are many different ways you could order wholesale custom clothing. The most popular are embroidery and t-shirt printing, either screen printing or dye sublimation.

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is a decorative technique in which a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a piece of cloth. Designs can be made using stencils on the mesh. This process is also known as serigraphy or silkscreen printing.

Through screen printing you are able to get cleaner edges due to the ink being absorbed deeper into the cloth fibers. Thankfully, screen printing doesn’t wash away, however you may want to wash your garments inside out. Screen printing is more expensive, but it can also be done at home if you have the proper chemicals and equipment.

Why Screen Printing is Beneficial:

  • Your design is more clear and precise.
  • The design will not peel off as opposed to heat pressing.
  • Screen printing lasts longer than heat pressing.

What is Dye Sublimation?

Dye sublimation utilizes modern-day digital printing technology to transfer a design on cloth. This printing technique requires a heat press and specific transfer paper that has a design created with solidified inks on it.

This technique can last up to 10 years, but only if you use a high-quality dye sublimation printer. Dye sublimation is also more pricey per-print.

Benefits of Dye Sublimation:

  • This method is typically more durable because the ink chemically bonds with the material.
  • Dye sublimation is also easier to do than screen printing.
  • You can also do dye sublimation on a variety of different fabrics.

However, you may want to look into the cost-benefit ratio, as in how long the piece will last and what price you are paying. T-shirt printing is another viable option, however it may not have the same longevity as an embroidered piece. T-shirt printing is ideal for shirts that your company may wear for a day.

Final Recap

Dye sublimation, screen printing, and embroidery are all valid options when looking into ordering bulk custom products. You do need to take into account what products you are wanting to promote, you can’t embroider on a pen.

Each process may take some time, though dye sublimation seems to be the quickest option between the three, lasting up to 10 years when done well. However, embroidery lasts longer, doesn’t crack, and may have a cleaner look than t-shirt printing.

Frequently Asked Embroidery Questions

What is embroidery?

Embroidery is the art of decorating fabric with needle and thread. This is often used to create custom pieces for promotional or personal reasons.

What are the best promotional products to give away?

Pens, t-shirts, and stickers are all great promotional products. T-shirts are more likely to get passed on to other people, pens are also great items based on

What if I don’t know what I want embroidered?

You don’t need to know what you want. More than likely the company you go through will have samples or a designer that is there to help you through your project. You can also look up various embroidery designs and draw inspiration from.

How do I know which customization method I should choose?

There are many different factors you should consider. If you are wanting jackets for your team to wear every day, you may want to get them embroidered. However, if there is a one-off event you may look towards t-shirt printing due to the cost. You may also want to consider the article of clothing vs. the design you’d want on the piece.

Should I order embroidery online or find embroidery near me?

There is no wrong answer here! It is beneficial to go to an embroidery shop in person, you are able to talk to an associate and actually feel and watch the process. On the other hand, if you don’t need or want to oversee the process, you can simply send your design off and communicate via email or phone with an associate in regards to your order.

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