Embroidery, Screen Printing or Sublimation?
What’s in print?
There are many different techniques to get your logo or design onto fabric, and with advances in technology, we can now reproduce more details than ever before. Alongside these new techniques, some tried and true methods are still standing the test of time.
So, if you don’t have the technical knowledge, we’ve put together a basic explanation of the pros and cons of three main methods; embroidery, screen printing and sublimation.
This is the process of using needle and thread to stitch designs onto fabric. The result is a sophisticated replication with a large colour range, which can last a long time.
The advantage of embroidery is the professional look and hardy durability, with drawbacks being the limit of design flare or detail capability for intricate features. Where there is a more complex design, embroidery requires alteration to make a simplified, vector artwork.
Embroidery is best used on heavier fabric, such as a polo shirt or knit, and incorporates the colour of that fabric as the ‘negative’ space, or background of the image.
One of the most common, modern ways to replicate an image onto fabric, screen printing uses a custom-made stencil template (screen) to squeegee ink through to print onto fabric.
Screen printing offers the freedom to use a huge array of special inks like glitter, clear or 3D inks, and is a cost-effective way to print onto a range of fabric types, best suited to lighter material, on mass.
Screen printing requires time to set up the screen stencil, and is often limited to using a few colours, due to the complexity of only adding each colour separately. Each colour needs to be squeegeed in layers, via its own specific stencil.
While screen printing allows more flexibility in size and fabric type, it is susceptible to damage through washing, drying and ironing.
This is another technique that applies ink to the fabric. Using a special printer, a transfer is created and then heat is pressed onto the material, which can be both soft and hard, from t-shirts to coffee mugs.
It can be quite detailed and realistic, including intricate detail to the point of photographic replication – a technique that can create a one-off item as easily as on mass and allows for more frequent design changes.
Sublimation is better suited to light, polyester fabric colours as a coloured fabric can affect the colour presentation of the print applied to the top of it, and there is the technology limitation in not being able to create the colour white with printed ink.
Sublimation designs are longer lasting than screen printing because the dye is bonded deep beneath the fabric surface to prevent cracking, peeling and fading.
Each technique has its own merits and drawbacks, and the choice of which to use will go beyond price.
Assessing the most cost-effective method depends on a number of elements, including the design size, durability required, the fabric or garment, complexity of the design and quantity needed.
Sublimation may be better for custom, one-off t-shirts; screen prints for simpler designs at greater quantity; and embroidery for logos on hard-working uniforms.
When you are ready to discuss your most cost-effective option, contact Hypersports to explore your choices.
Hypersports has positioned itself as a leader in quality and fast, reliable service:
- Superior quality materials using Australian fabrics.
- All garments are customisable.
- Choices of screen-printing, sublimation and embroidery, or a combination of the three.
- Manufactured in and delivered from Western Australia.
- No minimum orders with ease of reordering individual items.
- Fast turnarounds – online orders can be delivered in just 2 to 3 weeks
For further information regarding our school uniform design, production and supply capabilities, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 08 9248 2257.