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What’s The Difference Between Screen Printing, Heat Press and Embroidery?

The ARES team is here to help you understand which application works best for your team’s custom apparel!

If your athletic team or any type of organization is considering custom apparel or promotional garments, then it’s likely that you’re curious about which method of imprinting will be best for your unique needs. Three of the main imprinting options that we provide at ARES Sportswear include screen printing, custom heat press transfers and embroidery.

Below we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of each of these imprinting methods so you can better understand which option works best for you!

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Screen Printing


There’s no doubt about it that screen printing is very popular for custom apparel campaigns of all types. A common example that you’ve definitely noticed is how just about every tourist attraction will sell screen printed t-shirts and apparel products in souvenir shops. We all have at least a few screen printed shirts in our closets, and this imprinting technique is also very useful on a whole variety of products.

One really great benefit associated with screen printing is that this imprinting process provides a lot of potential for shading and color layering, so you can be rest assured that screen printing can provide a detailed logo or design.

One disadvantage that should be taken into consideration is that screen printing costs can increase as you add in a variety of different colors, and this is because each color requires its own unique screen and must be applied separately.

But what you should know about screen printing with the ARES Sportswear team is that our custom apparel specialists will support you through every step of the design process as we help you develop a unique design that coincides with your unique budget.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Custom Heat Press Transfers


The heat press transfer imprinting technique will entail a printed design on a special type of paper that effectively transfers the design onto a garment when heated. This process will provide full color printing and a lot of details that will be completely integrated into the fabric.

Custom heat press transferring is a really great imprinting option when you’re looking to add some additional features to your custom apparel, like rhinestones or some extra bling for aesthetic purposes. Another great advantage associated with heat press transfers is that you can implement just about any type of custom design.

One thing to keep in mind about heat pressing is that certain dark fabrics may not show these designs as well as you’d like, but this imprinting approach is still a cost-effective option for many smaller orders. However, when it comes to large orders this method can become more expensive. This is primarily because heat press transferring is really time-consuming and detail intensive.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Embroidery


Embroidery is always a great option when you’re looking for custom apparel that looks more professional and higher-end. This is one of the many reasons why embroidery is the preferred imprinting technique for countless business uniforms and office apparel. You’ve probably already noticed countless embroidered polos worn by entrepreneurs and business professionals during weekdays, but embroidery also makes a lot of sense for high school sports teams as well for off-field apparel.

Today’s embroidery technology allows for very intricate designs to be digitized, which means that the machines can reproduce specific custom apparel designs very efficiently. One great benefit associated with embroidery is that it can be implemented on a whole variety of different fabrics and products, including things like backpacks, bags and luggage.

The most obvious disadvantage associated with embroidery as compared to the above two imprinting techniques is the price, because you’ll inevitably end up paying a little bit more for higher-quality materials and the design process. Embroidery also typically isn’t the best imprinting method when you’d like to implement small text or shading, but our specialists will help you adapt your logo or design so it better coincides with an embroidered layout.

Reach Out To The ARES Sportswear Team To Learn More About What Imprinting Options Work Best For You And Your Next Custom Apparel Orders!


Choosing between screen printing, custom heat press transfers and embroidery will ultimately depend upon your unique custom apparel needs and how you’d like your final product to appear. There of course will always be other factors to keep in mind like your budget and durability considerations.

Weighing out the pros and cons of each of the above options will undoubtedly help you better determine what is best for you and your next orders, but you should know that you don’t have to make these types of crucial decisions on your own. The ARES Sportswear team is here to support you through every step of the design process, and we’ll always guide you towards an imprinting technique that works best for your design ideas and your financial situation.

Contact us online or call us at 800-439-8614 to speak with our custom apparel specialists and begin designing your next custom apparel orders today!

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