Should I Print or Embroider my Logo for Workwear?


A question we receive all the time at Sigma Embroidery and Printing in Ely!

Our customers often start by asking:

Do you think Print or Embroidery will look best for my logo?
I’d like to get some T-Shirts embroidered with my logo; can I do that?
I’m unsure which decoration style would be best for my workwear, can you help?

Choosing between print or embroidery for your workwear can be difficult, but only if you let it! Here at Sigma Embroidery and Printing we have a 5-step guide to follow when looking at decoration for workwear and we’re going to share with you. Alternatively, you can let us do the hard work for you and contact us on 01353 863049 or email on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Step 1 – Consider the products you wish to decorate!

There are a few simple things to consider when deciding the best decoration techniques for the garments you wish to provide for your team. It’s important to think about:

  • Type of Material (Cotton, Polyester, Elastane etc)
  • Weight/Thickness of Garment
  • Complexity of your Logo

For example, lets discuss a softshell jacket. Most softshell materials are treated with a coating, if this material is then printed on then over time the coating can leach the colour from the print which in turn, causes it to turn translucent. Although there are now ‘Printable Softshell’ jackets on the market, we would always recommend embroidery to ensure longevity of your logo.

Elastane for example, is a delicate material and needs to be handled with care. The heat press used for the printing of your Logo can damage the fabric by leaving a slight impression of where the press has been used. For Elastane, staff at Sigma Embroidery and Printing will always look to encourage embroidery for a more professional and clean decoration.

The thickness of the material is a huge factor to take into consideration. For T-shirts we always recommend printing, due to the fact that small text embroidery can struggle due to their being less material to form a strong enough base for the embroidery, and larger embroidery’s being too heavy for the material causing it to lean forward. This is also where complexity of your Logo comes in, if you have a larger or more complex logo, it’s sometimes better to print for that cleaner and smarter professional look.

Step 2 – What are you using the decorated clothing for?

Some quick and easy tips we always give our customers at Sigma Embroidery and Printing, is to always think like the consumer as well as being financially sensible with your decision. Here’s a few examples of what we mean:

  • Using garments for advertising with larger decoration so that they’re visible from a distance? Printing is the solution, as this will give a clearer and more impressive end result, as well as being more cost effective!
  • Branded clothing for staff, for professionalism, to look smart and be consistent throughout the business? A smaller front left chest embroidery or print would be ideal in this scenario, depending on the above points discussed in step 1.
  • Planning a give-away for your garments for promotional purposes? Considering a screen-printing method for large volume giveaways as this is the most financially sensible method of decoration.

Step 3 – The position and size of your Logo makes a difference!

Is there a budget you need to stick to for your workwear? The cost of embroidery and printing for simple logos up to 120mm are comparable. However, the larger the logo the more costly they become, with embroidery sometimes hitting 4x the cost of printing when getting to A4 sizes; dependant on density and complexity.

Another influential factor for decoration, is the position in which you’d like your logo. We often get requests for large back embroidery on clothing used as their only layer, which we advise highly against due to the irritation that the underside of the embroidery can cause. Small neck embroideries are usually manageable due to size; however, printing is usually the best option in these circumstances.

Are you looking to decorate sleeves? If you’re looking to have text running down the full length of a sleeve, then printing is your only option for this. However, if you have a small logo you wish to have at the top of a short-sleeved garment, then embroidery or print would be possible depending on factors outlined in Step 1.

Step 4 – Complexity of logo.

Any member of staff at an Embroidery and Printing company should be able to tell you which might be best for your logo just by looking at it, but that comes with experience. A breakdown of things to consider that we provide our staff and customers at Sigma are:

  • Is the logo a simple, single colour logo with bold lines? If so, printing is probably your best bet to get that clear and stunning look your digitised logo produces. If, however, the logo has several colours and is relatively detailed in areas, embroidery can produce the most spectacular results.
  • Is there small text incorporated into the logo? Embroidery would struggle to keep small text clear when it’s incorporated within a logo, so a full colour transfer is the best method in this instance.
  • Still unsure what’s best? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and attach!

Step 5 – What industry are the garments for?

Depending on the industry you work in, you might need to wash your uniforms on a high temperature, which can be damaging to decorated workwear. If the garment will need washing at a high temperature then this is something to let us or your dedicated workwear manufacturer know prior to creation, to ensure they correct their decoration style to suit the needs of the garment.

For instances like the above, Sigma Embroidery and Printing are stocked with polyester based threads so we can remain confident in the longevity of your products, we advise against printed garments, as cool washes are needed for prints to prevent cracking and peeling.

Step 6 – Get in touch!

We understand that deciding on workwear, teamwear or any personalised garments is an important decision to be making and shouldn’t be taken lightly. We don’t want you sitting at your computer googling what’s best though because we don’t want you to waste any more time. Just give us a call or email and let us take that stress away!

Sigma Embroidery and Printing Ltd
Unit 15, Sedgeway Business Park, Witchford, Ely, CB6 2HY
Call: 01353 863049               Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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