Apparel Imprint Printing Methods

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From embroidery to screen printing, there are various branded apparel imprint printing methods available in the market. Understanding the differences between them can be overwhelming.

Once you select the perfect promo item for your company, you have to emblazon it with your brand’s logo.

Wondering whether to go with foil print or screen print?

Don’t even understand half of all the printing jargon? We are here to help you! Let’s go through these printing methods so you would be on your way to selecting the perfect one for your promotional products!

Screen Printing

The first printing method is screen printing. In screen printing, you need to get a silkscreen in the shape of the logo or design. T-shirt printing ink is then squeegeed through the holes in the silk screen. 

Screen-printing is one of the simplest and cost-effective techniques, and thus, the most popular amongst businesses. It is ideal for custom t-shirts, tote bags, pens, etc. 

Pros of Screen Printing

  • Cost-effective
  • Beautiful color patterns
  • Durable and long-lasting custom design
  • More room for vibrant colors
  • Nice look and feel

Cons of Screen Printing

  • Time-consuming
  • Not suitable for small orders
  • Uses a lot more chemicals

Heat Transfer

This is another popular and innovative method of transferring images to the promotional apparel of your choice. In the special heat transfer method, a combination of pressure and heat is used to print pictures onto t-shirts, hoodies, and other custom products. 

Vinyl printing and digital printing are the two main kinds of heat transfer techniques and both require a heat-press machine. In vinyl print heat transfer, designs & individual letters are cut out from pieces of colored vinyl. 

These cutouts are then pressed with heat onto the promo item to transfer the imprint image on the item. It is perfect for slogans, multi-colored graphics, etc. In digital print heat transfer, the full graphical logo is designed on the computer and then is digitally printed using a special ink onto high-quality paper. 

This paper is then pressed onto the promotional item with the help of a heat transfer machine. This printing technique is ideal for complex designs and you get high-resolution images on the t-shirts and other items.

Pros of Heat Transfer

  • Easy to print complex designs
  • Affordable setup 
  • Eco-friendly
  • Straightforward and simple customization

Cons of Heat Transfer

  • Designs don’t last long
  • The final result feels slightly stiff


The art of embroidery has been around for ages and it is an age-old skill. You can imprint your brand’s logo or message onto t-shirts or hats with embroidery as well. The artwork for embroidery applications needs to be digitized. 

We convert your logo or design into a stitch file that’s readable by an embroidery machine. We then place the garment under an embroidery machine and voila—you have a beautiful embroidered item in your hands.

Pros of Embroidery

  • Long-Lasting
  • Looks professional 
  • Quick and efficient
  • Beautiful custom embroidery

Cons of Embroidery

  • Small text can be hard to read
  • High set-up charge

Direct to Garment Printing

In this apparel imprint method, ink is directly sprayed onto the garment. It is very similar to paper printing—the only difference is that instead of paper, you are printing on fabric. One of the main advantages of DTG printing is that it is very easy to print orders as small as a single t-shirt. 

With DTG printing, you get a lot of color options with no color limitations. This allows you to print photo-realistic images as well as detailed designs. 

Pros of DTG Printing

  • Great for detailed designs
  • Fast printing process
  • Unlimited color options
  • No minimum order restrictions

Cons of DTG Printing

  • Not great for opaque/transparent elements
  • Colors wash out/fade out over time
  • Primarily only for shirts & hoodies (for now)


In dye-sublimation, heat and pressure are used to transfer the design onto the fabric. Firstly, you need to digitally print the logo/design onto a transfer paper and coat it with an adhesive. The transfer paper is pressed onto the fabric with the help of a hot iron.

The ink penetrates into the fabric and forms a permanent imprint. It is a nice and simple technique and the sublimated imprints don’t wash away easily over time. This method works best on light-colored fabrics and is used for fabric products like hats, sweaters, table covers, car flags, etc. 

Pros of Dye-Sublimation

  • Breathable printing
  • Looks and feels soft
  • The design doesn’t crack, peel, or fade
  • Durable

Cons of Dye-Sublimation

  • Expensive
  • Large volumes required

Epoxy Dome Printing

Want to add shine and dimension to your logo? Looking for the color imprint process that will give you the brightest imprint? You should go with epoxy dome printing. In this process, a clear, high-gloss dome is placed over the logo with the help of a permanent adhesive.

This process will not only give a lustrous shine to your design, but will also protect it from damage. The resin layer gives an effect of a 3D lens that adds depth and brightness to the colors. 

The clear, plastic bubble on the top of the logo looks pretty cool and will definitely catch the eye of the target audience.

Pros of Epoxy Dome Printing

  • Stunning & Eye-catching
  • Self-Healing
  • Durable
  • Weather-Resistant

Cons of Epoxy Dome Printing

  • Logo Doesn’t lie flat
  • Not easy on the pocket

Why Know Apparel Imprint Printing Methods?

Who doesn’t love freebies at exhibitions, sporting events, and conferences? We live in a digital world where we are bombarded with digital ads and promotions.

Something as tangible and personal as a printed t-shirt or hoodie is bound to leave a mark on the minds of your potential customers.

With so many apparel imprint printing methods, it gets hard to select the one that fulfills your needs and requirements. We have briefly discussed the most popular printing methods in the market and hopefully, you will find one that suits your business.