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Decorating Techniques for Custom Apparel


a wall full of hats and shirts

Custom apparel serves multiple purposes, from showing appreciation to employees and clients to promoting your brand wherever you go. The right choice of promotional apparel and decoration technique can significantly impact your brand's visibility and longevity. In this blog post, we will explore different decorating techniques that can elevate your custom apparel and help you make an informed decision for your brand.


Embroidery: A Classic and Durable Choice

When envisioning branded shirts or uniforms, embroidered apparel often comes to mind. Embroidery is a timeless decorating technique that works well on various apparel items, ranging from jackets and bags to polos and denim. It offers durability and longevity. Although embroidery may not capture intricate details as effectively as other techniques, it delivers a classic and long-lasting aesthetic, making it an ideal choice for custom apparel.

clothing being embroidered, a great decorating technique

Screen Printing: Vibrant Colors and Durability

Screen printing involves using stencils to apply different colors and designs to products. It is a suitable technique for vibrant and long-lasting designs, capable of enduring the lifetime of the product. However, screen printing may lack consistency in appearance due to various factors such as placement, machine angle, or ink smudges. It may also struggle to capture fine lines with the same precision as digital printing. Nonetheless, screen printing remains an excellent choice for adding bright colors to a wide range of product styles.

a shirt being screen printed, a great decorating technique

Heat Transfer: Versatile, Durable, and Opacity

Heat transfers, a popular choice at Advantage Embroidery, offer versatility, durability, and superior opacity on any color apparel. This technique involves applying a design to paper, which is then transferred to the fabric through heat. Heat transfers are ideal for adding intricate designs and additional features such as reflective, distressed, or glow-in-the-dark elements.

a shirt being heat pressed, a great decorating technique

Digital Print: Detailed and Complex Logos

Digital printing is the go-to technique for creating detailed and complex logos. Using computer-processed designs, digital prints can capture fine lines and intricate images that may be challenging to achieve with other techniques. While digital printing excels on lighter-colored items, it's important to note that over time and with machine washes, the design may gradually fade. Digital prints are particularly suitable for smaller quantity orders due to shorter setup and processing times.

a shirt getting digital print, a great decorating technique

Patches and Appliques: Adding Detail and Flexibility

Patches and appliques are currently on-trend and offer a unique way to enhance designs. They are created separately and can be added to various products. Patches provide detailed design capabilities and the advantage of being transferable from one garment to another. They offer similar options to embroidery while allowing you to repurpose patches from previous uniforms onto new ones.

a patch with mountains, trees and a tent

Choosing the right decoration technique for your custom apparel starts with considering the number of pieces in your order, the design/logo's characteristics, and the desired color outcome. By assessing these factors, you can explore all the options to find a decorating technique that best aligns with your vision. If you have any specific ideas or inquiries, feel free to contact us for further assistance and guidance.

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