One of the most common things we hear from customers is - Please don’t print this, I’m certain it will wash away. Have it “Stitched instead” (Stitched being the unofficial name for embroidery).
Our typical answer to these concerns is: Really ? Where the hell have you been getting your products printed at ? The idea behind this blog is to clear some misconceptions about screen printing and give users a guide on what media should be used on what merchandise. Like most things, both screen printing and embroidery have their advantages and are absolutely delightful when combined with the correct Products.
So, in a nutshell:
Printing is done using ink + a screen. The finished product will vary in look depending on factors like the mesh count of the screen, exposure and the type on ink used (Plastisol and Water based being the most popular)
We of course don’t mean hand embroidery. Here products are put on beds/frames and put into heads which use needles + threads to draw an image/logo etc.
Now that we understand each media, let’s first work on cleaning up misconceptions and baseless theories which a lot of people seem to dwell on.
2. I can’t afford embroidery it’s too expensive
If you can afford to pay for screen printing then believe me, embroidery is not too far away from your economic means. While embroidery is marginally more expensive, it’s not by much. In fact, I have seen some factories where the cost of embroidery is quite cheap. Obviously, you’d have to sacrifice on quality in these places.
Let’s consider a sample order.
Product: Collar T-Shirt
Quantity: 30 Nos
Design to be printed / embroidered: Single colour logo that’s 3 inches in width (proportional height). Let’s use the Nike logo in this example.
Difference in cost: Rs. 60 per piece
3. Embroidery will last forever
Like most things in life, No ! Embroidery will not last forever. Yes, if we compare the longevity to screen printing then it is safe to say that the life expectancy is slightly higher. From personal experience I’d say that an embroidered logo is less prone to wear and tear.
4. Screen printing makes the T-Shirt heavy
A patch design is always heavier Designs with gaps in between use less ink
5. Screen printing is possible only for very large quantities
This too is false. Even though this might vary between printers, the fact is that screen printing can also be done for a single piece. This however (From a customer and printers point of view) is ludicrous as it just doesn’t justify the cost. For screen printing to make sense from an economical angle a quantity of 10 pieces or more will make sense.
6.Screen Printer = Rubber Printing:
Well this isn’t entirely wrong. People use the term “Rubber” because of the rubberised effect it gives. However, this is only the case when the type of ink used is Plastisol. There are other types of inks which will not cause this finish.
Now that we truly understand both concepts and what we shouldn’t believe, let’s take a look at how to use each of this media on desired products.
Where does embroidery make sense ?
Definitely NOT on a Pure Cotton Round Neck T-Shirt. The fabric is thin and good embroidery requires thicker fabric to sit tight.
On a Collar T-Shirt: Small embroidery (Like a logo) - 3 to 4.5 inches. Text too. Nothing too big since the fabric is still not that thick.
Caps - Yes, Yes and YES !
Where does printing make sense ?
Screen printing is a more product friendly media. Apart from Caps, we would recommend this on any product which needs to be customized.