Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What is the difference between Silk Screening, Screen Printing and Embroidery?

Over the years, we’ve gotten this question many times from customers who are ordering branded apparel for the first time. What’s the best choice to get your logo displayed most effectively?

The terms “Screen printing” and “silk screening” can be used interchangeably. They describe the process of decorating an item by printing a design in ink, one color at a time, through a tight silk mesh. It’s one of the most commonly used methods used for promotional T-shirts. Screen printing allows you to use multiple colors and designs.

Screen printing pricing is typically based on the number of colors in your design. However, the size of the design doesn’t affect the cost, so it’s an economical choice for larger designs found on t-shirts. Graphics with fine detail and small letters come out looking like a photograph!

Embroidery is the process of decorating an item by sewing a design onto it in color thread. Embroidery has more upscale apparel available than screen printing. For example, it is the most popular choice for corporate apparel like golf shirts, denim and oxford shirts. You can embroider on items like caps, towels and polar fleece. You can still use multiple colors but the design size is usually much smaller than can be done on a t-shirt.

The design must be digitized to run on an embroidery machine, so you will have to have your logo or design available as vector art (typically done in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or CorelDraw). We’d be happy to look at your computerized image and let you know if we can embroider it! Embroidery pricing is based on the stitch count, which is determined by the size and complexity of your design.