In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses are constantly looking for effective ways to promote their brand. One common method is to create customized apparel with logos or designs. When it comes to personalizing garments, two popular techniques are embroidery and printing. But which option is more cost-effective? In this blog post, we will delve into the world of embroidery and printing, exploring their benefits, drawbacks, and cost considerations. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of which method suits your needs and budget.

Embroidery: Classic Elegance with a Higher Price Tag

Custom portrait embroidery

Embroidery is a traditional technique that involves stitching designs directly onto fabric. It offers a sophisticated, professional look that can elevate the perceived value of your garments. Here are some key points to consider:

a. Durability and Longevity: Embroidery tends to be more durable than print, as the thread is stitched into the fabric. This makes it suitable for garments that will undergo regular wear and tear.

b. Versatility: Embroidery can be applied to various types of fabric, including t-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, caps, and more. It adds a touch of elegance and works well for corporate or formal branding.

c. Complex Designs: Embroidery can reproduce intricate and multicolored designs with ease. However, intricate designs may require additional time and cost.

Despite its numerous advantages, embroidery typically comes with a higher price tag compared to printing. The intricate process and the need for specialized machinery contribute to the increased cost.

Printing: Cost-Effective and Ideal for Vibrant Designs

johannesburg t shirt

Printing, also known as screen printing or direct-to-garment printing, involves transferring designs onto fabric using ink. Here are the key considerations when it comes to printing:

a. Cost Efficiency: Printing is generally more cost-effective, especially for larger quantities. The setup costs are relatively low, making it a popular choice for bulk orders.

b. Vibrant Colors: Printing allows for vibrant, high-resolution designs with precise color matching. This makes it suitable for bold graphics and complex patterns.

c. Versatility: Printing is not limited to garments but can also be used on promotional items like tote bags, mugs, and more. This versatility makes it a preferred choice for giveaways and events.

While printing offers cost advantages, it is worth noting that the prints may fade over time, especially with frequent washing and exposure to harsh conditions. However, proper care and using high-quality materials can help prolong the lifespan of the print.

Cost Considerations and Decision-Making Factors

a. Quantity: For larger quantities, printing is generally more cost-effective due to lower setup costs.

b. Complexity of Design: Embroidery excels in reproducing intricate and multicolored designs but may come at a higher cost.

c. Fabric Type: Some fabrics may be more suitable for printing, while others may work better with embroidery. Consult with experts to choose the appropriate method for your specific fabric.

d. Budget: Determine your budget and weigh the cost-effectiveness of embroidery and printing based on your needs and requirements.


When deciding between embroidery and printing, it’s crucial to consider your budget, design complexity, quantity, and desired outcome. Embroidery offers a classic, durable look but comes with a higher price tag. On the other hand, printing provides a cost-effective solution for vibrant designs, especially for larger quantities. Assess your needs, consult with professionals, and make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and budget.

Remember, both techniques have their place in the world of customized apparel, and the decision ultimately depends on your specific requirements.

Check out Crafty Embroideries for quality, custom embroidered and printed apparel!

Crafty Embroideries