Custom apparel is undoubtedly beneficial in both work and personal settings. However, choosing the right print type and design for your needs can be confusing. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re looking for the ideal custom apparel but need some guidance in making your choice.
In a professional context, be it for a business, team, or club, designing uniforms with custom apparel is not only straightforward and cost-effective, but it also offers comfort to employees or team members. Moreover, custom apparel makes for a considerate, personalized present for various occasions, ranging from birthdays to holidays and more.
Our range includes various apparel items like t-shirts, hats, polos, and sweatshirts. While not all of these come with the options of direct-to-garment and embroidery, we’re here to offer you an overview of these two printing methods. This guide will assist you in selecting not just the right printing style but also the most suitable type of apparel for your needs.
What is direct-to-garment printing?
Direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a technique where graphics are directly printed onto textiles and garments. It’s a cost-effective, full-color option for custom apparel, resulting in vibrant, long-lasting graphics.
You might be familiar with this method and its counterpart, silk screen printing. Silk screen printing applies ink on top of the fabric, whereas DTG employs a specialized garment printer to infuse the design into the fabric. Although we don’t provide silk screen printing, DTG typically offers greater durability and is more suitable for large-scale apparel printing.
Pros of DTG Printing:
- Vivid Colors and Detail: DTG is fantastic for designs that are complex and colorful. It captures every detail, so your high-resolution images or intricate patterns come out looking sharp and vibrant.
- Soft Feel: Since the ink is directly absorbed by the fabric, the printed area feels soft to the touch. No thick layers here!
- Quick Setup: DTG is great for small orders or one-offs. You don’t need to set up screens or plates, making it faster and more cost-effective for limited runs.
- Eco-Friendly: Many DTG printers use water-based inks, which are generally more eco-friendly than some traditional printing methods.
Cons of DTG Printing:
- Fabric Limitations: DTG works best on 100% cotton. So, if you’re a fan of polyester or other blends, this might not be your best bet.
- Durability: While DTG prints can last a long time, they might fade a bit faster than embroidery, especially with frequent washing.
What is embroidery?
Embroidery, though not a printing method, is a technique that creates designs using detailed stitching. For our apparel items, the embroidery design should ideally fit within a 4-inch by 4-inch area. This method is perfect for smaller, simpler designs like logos, pocket decorations, and text. On our website, we provide a selection of 12 thread colors, allowing you to choose up to four colors to match your design.
Pros of Embroidery:
- Professional Look: Embroidery adds a touch of class and professionalism. It’s like wearing a suit instead of a casual tee.
- Durability: Embroidered designs are very durable and can withstand heavy washing.
- Versatility: Works well on a variety of fabrics, not just cotton.
Cons of Embroidery:
- Limited Detail: If your design is super detailed or has a lot of colors, embroidery might not be able to capture it all.
- Texture: Embroidered designs have a raised texture, which some might find less comfortable than the flat print of DTG.
- Cost and Time: Embroidery can be more expensive and time-consuming, especially for large or complex designs.
Comparing the Two Types
Opting for direct-to-garment (DTG) printing over embroidery offers the benefit of placing a detailed design or photograph on a t-shirt or sweatshirt, without color limitations and with a larger area for the design.
Conversely, if you choose embroidery instead of DTG, it’s probably because your design is simpler and you’re aiming for a more professional appearance in your custom attire. In terms of both placement and thread texture, embroidered designs generally have a more refined and sophisticated look compared to DTG-printed designs.
When it comes to custom aaparel, there’s no single best choice. It’s all about looking at the different ways you can make your design and figuring out what works best for you.
Whether you choose DTG printing or embroidery, both methods have their unique charm and advantages. It’s all about what works best for your design, fabric choice, and personal or business needs.
Visit us at Optamark Graphics and let’s create something amazing together!