T-shirts, tank tops, and jackets have remained consistently popular for all kinds of promotions. Businesses, non-profits, sports teams, and more have all benefitted from promoting their message through clothing. Promotional shirts are an exceptional advertising method because they are a long lasting item, and also because they are an item that customers can use frequently, and for many years. This will keep your message effectively out in the world for a long time, which is a great way to get everyday exposure. But before you begin a promotional campaign using garments, there are a few things to consider.

Screen Printing vs. Embroidery

If you’re ready to order promotional clothing for your brand, you’ll already have a logo in mind. The best practice is to use a company logo, but most companies that market promotional clothing will be able to help you create a design if you don’t have one. Once you’re ready to order, you will have the option to have your design screen printed on the garment or embroidered. Choosing which method to use is a decision that you should consider carefully as it can greatly affect the final appearance of your products.

Screen Printing This method of putting a design onto a shirt or other clothing is done using ink. The design you chose to put on the item is broken down into colors, and a type of stencil is made for each color. These stencils are created with mesh screens. Ink is squeezed through the mesh onto the garment material in the shape of the stencil. Once the designs from all the stencils have been added, your mutli-colored design will be completed.

Embroidery Unlike screen printing, a design that is embroidered onto a shirt is produced by using thread. Most companies that offer embroidery use machines to stitch the designs. This means that your desired design will need to be created in a digital format in order to use it. The ease of this process depends on your design. For example, if your design includes small text using a script font, it may not transfer very clearly. The appearance may change due to the limits of thread.


Another aspect to consider when deciding between screen printed garments and embroidered ones is the type of clothing that you want. Screen printing is generally considered the best method to use on cotton clothing, such as T-shirts and hoodies. This is for several reasons. For one, screen printed designs are often softer and less bulky than embroidered ones. Because of this, larger designs can be used on these softer garments without causing discomfort. In contrast, embroidery is usually the preferred method to use on polo and business shirts. These products often only need a small logo on them, so an embroidered design won’t be uncomfortable. In addition, embroidery is often considered the more stylish and professional option.


When deciding what sort of promotional clothing to order, another factor is cost. The cost of your order can vary depending on your design. For embroidered items, some companies will calculate costs based on how many stitches the design requires. Others will have a flat rate for different design sizes. For screen printing, the price is usually determined by how many colors are in the design. The price can also be affected by how many places need to be printed on the garment, such as front and back. With both screen printed and embroidered garments, it’s usually cheaper per item if you order a large amount. Because of this you’ll want to know approximately how many items you will need in order to get the most accurate estimate for your order.

If you would like more information about screen printing and embroidery on promotional clothing, contact RiverCity Screenprinting & Embroidery in San Marcos and Austin, TX.