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In the world of custom apparel, there are two popular methods for adding designs to clothing: embroidery and screen printing. Small business owners, event organizers, marketing professionals, and promotional product companies often find themselves faced with the question of which method to choose. In this article, we will explore their differences, costs and turnaround time of the final products. The choice of fabric is crucial for both embroidery and screen printing. For more information, read How to Choose the Best T-Shirt Material: Fabric Blend 101.

Differences Between Embroidery and Screen Printing

Embroidery is the art of stitching thread to fabric to create a textured and raised design that is stitched directly into the fabric resulting in a durable and long-lasting imprint. The thread used in embroidery withstands daily wear and constant washing, making it an excellent choice for durable garments such as golf shirts, button-downs, and sweaters. It is also a preferred option for accessories like hats, gloves, jackets, and bags. If you’re also exploring options for custom hoodies, Choosing The Best Custom Hoodies: 6 Expert Tips provides valuable guidance to help you make the best choice.

On the other hand, screen printing, also known as silk screening, is the process of using thick inks to print images and graphics onto fabric. Screen-printed designs are printed on top of the fabric using a series of screens that transfer the ink onto the fabric. It’s ideal for full-front or full-back designs that are bold and vibrant. It is often used for t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other casual garments. While screen printing can produce vibrant and detailed designs, the printed patterns are less likely to last as long as embroidered designs. Over time, screen-printed designs may fade or break, especially with frequent washing and wear. Once you’ve decided on the printing method, the next step is to create a compelling design. For inspiration and tips, read How to Come Up With T-Shirt Designs.

Costs Associated with Embroidery and Screen Printing

When considering the costs of embroidery and screen printing, it’s important to understand that each method has its unique considerations. Embroidery tends to be more expensive due to the intricacies involved in stitching thread to fabric. The price of embroidery depends on factors such as the size and complexity of the design, the number of stitches required, and the type of garment. Additionally, if you have a large design or multiple colors, the cost can increase further.

On the other hand, screen printing is generally more cost-effective, especially for large quantities. The price of screen printing is mainly determined by the number of colours in the design and the quantity of items to be printed. The more colours and items, the higher the cost. However, for smaller orders, screen printing may not be as economical due to the setup costs involved. It is best to consult with professionals like Action Athletic Wear to get your embroidery or screen printing quote.

Turnaround Time for Embroidery and Screen Printing

The turnaround time for both embroidery and screen printing can vary based on several factors. These factors include the quantity of items to be produced, the complexity of the design, the type of fabric or garment being used, pre-production steps such as digitizing or creating screens, and the production schedule of the service provider.

It is important to communicate your desired timeline and specific requirements with your embroidery or screen printing service provider like Action Athletic Wear. By planning ahead and working closely with them, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient production process.


When deciding between embroidery and screen printing, small business owners, event organizers, marketing professionals, and promotional product companies must consider their differences, costs and turnaround time with each method. To ensure your custom t-shirts stand out, whether embroidered or screen-printed, explore our Top Five Tips To Help Your Custom T-shirt Stand Out. It’s essential to assess the specific needs with the professionals like Action Athletic Wear and budget of your project to determine which method is the best fit.

In conclusion, whether you choose embroidery or screen printing, each method offers unique benefits for your custom apparel needs. Ready to elevate your brand or event with high-quality, custom-designed apparel? Explore our wide range of options and expert services in custom t-shirt printing and let us help you make a lasting impression. Contact Action Athletic Wear today and start your custom apparel journey!

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