It is quite common to have the question whether one’s profile clothing should be profiled with print or embroidery. Here at Swedish Profile Wear we want to clarify the difference between print and embroidery in terms of advantages and disadvantages. In order to then be able to choose the most suitable method for embossing your particular profile clothes or work clothes.


Printing or embroidering your clothes with prints are 2 very different methods and can differ greatly in appearance and impression of the motif, but also in terms of price in consideration of the volume and number of colors used in the logo.

The difference between embroidery & print.


When embroidering clothes, it is an automated process of digitized embroidery machines that sew lots of stitches directly onto the clothes. The machines have several sewing heads, each of which consists of several needles, where several garments can be embroidered simultaneously on each sewing head and with several different colors from the thread color of the sewing needles. Nowadays people use to embroider on hats, shirts, and other apparels. We do hat embroidery in Dallas and we specialize in it. 

Before you can begin the embroidery, you must tell the machine how to embroider the motif. This is done by creating a so-called digital embroidery card, an embroidery program that you upload to the sewing machine so that it can embroider your motif with stitches. The only thing that is not automated during the embroidery process is that you have to remove finished clothes and put new clothes on the sewing heads.


As for regular printing, we choose to compare the regular method screen printing. Which works in such a way that you penetrate printing inks into the clothes from the surface. Depending on how many colors you choose, you have to create a pattern of a color grid for each color and apply one color at a time. Over time, the screen printing process has become almost completely automated, except that you need to replace the garment with a new one every time a print is finished and then let the clothes pass through a hot oven to dry the prints.


When talking about advantages and disadvantages between the choice of different profiling methods, it is usually mainly about factors such as cost, limitations and suitability.


When it comes to profiling large motifs, it is cheaper to print your profile clothing than to choose embroidery. Since the embroidery price is based on the number of stitches needed for the motif, large motifs become much more expensive as they require tens of thousands of stitches, it takes longer and more thread is used for the embroidery. Whereas screen printing generally costs the same regardless of how much color is used for each motif, and that it takes significantly less time to apply a color layer as a motif.

The number of colors in a motif is another very important factor that must be taken into account. Since the cost of a screen print is very sensitive to the number of colors, as you have to create a color grid for each color and apply the different color layers several times, which leads to additional costs. But in the case of embroidery, it is not as price sensitive, as several different thread colors on the different sewing needles when the embroidery is created at the same time.

Last but not least, you also have to take into account the volume. The more prints you choose, the cheaper screen printing will be for each print. Because the initial cost of producing color nets (also called stencils) at higher volumes is only a fraction of the entire printing cost.



Sometimes it can be so simple that you can rule out a printing method due to various limitations in the material you have chosen to use as your profile clothing. For example, there is rarely a good result when embroidering thinner textiles such as t-shirts, as there is a great risk of the fabric contracting around the embroidery. Sometimes this can be avoided by using a cloth patch under the t-shirt when embroidering.

When it comes to screen printing, there are limitations with printing over seams, between zippers and more hard-to-reach surfaces. In addition, it is not possible to screen-print caps in any simple way, not to mention caps. In these cases, embroidery is usually the best choice.


In some situations, it is usually so simple that cost is not a priority when choosing print or embroidery, where embroidery is best suited to certain clothes because it looks the best. Where the impression of the clothes you wear is directly associated with the brand you want to market. Embroidery generally gives a surface quality in feel and appearance that gives an impression of solidity, where the profiled motif is raised slightly from the flat surface of the fabric. This is excellent when you want prominent profile clothing with a classic style and a motif that is resistant to wear and tear with a longer shelf life.

If you only choose a profiling method based on how good it looks, it is usually said that embroidery is generally best for business shirts and piques for profile clothing with high prestige. Exceptions can be when you have a very large print that you want to print on the back of polo shirts, then it can be more stylish with a large screen print on the back. In general, embroidery is also the most suitable choice for profiling caps and outerwear.

While screen printing is the best choice for lighter clothes in the form of t-shirts, among other things, to make it look its best. Partly because embroidery can bunch up the fabric as I mentioned earlier, as it is too thin. And that large motifs are best suited in screen printing on all clothes, where it is common to have large prints on t-shirts than you usually have on other clothes in general.


Regardless of which method you choose when profiling your profile clothes, the following factors will be important for your choice.

  • Cost – There are different costs for different methods of profiling, with subject size and quantity being a determining factor in the overall cost.
  • Suitability – Some garments in profile clothing give a much better impression with embroidery, others with screen printing and some are functionally limited to embroidery or screen.
  • Durability – Embroidery has the greatest resistance to wear and tear, with a lifespan as long as the profile clothing. But some professional clothing may only be used on a few occasions, and that some professions and industries do not need embroidery in the same way.


In order to choose the most suitable method for profiling when you are between the choice of print and embroidery, you usually mainly take cost and appearance into account. Where screen printing is best suited for large prints and smaller colors from a cost perspective. Whereas embroidery is mostly more affordable with more colors and smaller motifs. As with everything else in life, there is a balance between total number of colors, subject size and quantity to work out the most cost effective method. In addition, there are more printing methods than just screen printing. Where transfer printing with color or textile fibers can end up in the same price range as embroidery and where embroidery is most suitable, be an alternative to embroidery.

Sometimes cost is not the biggest factor in the choice of profiling method, where you want your profile clothes to give a professional impression with prestige. Then it is most common to use slightly more exclusive clothes such as shirts, piques or stylish outerwear for the best results. Then the choice of embroidery is the most suitable option.

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