Print vs. Embroidery: What's the Difference?

When it comes to adding designs to clothing and merchandise, there are two popular methods: print and embroidery. Both techniques have their pros and cons, and it's important to understand the differences between them to make an informed decision for your branding and marketing needs.


Printed designs are created by transferring ink onto a garment using various methods such as screen printing, digital printing, or heat transfer (DTF). This is the most common method of adding designs to clothing and merchandise due to its versatility and affordability. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of print:

Advantages of Print:

  • Wide range of colours: Print allows for a full spectrum of colours to be used in the design.
  • High level of detail: Print can capture intricate designs and small details with precision.
  • Cost-effective: Print is an affordable option, especially for large designs and orders.
  • Easy to reproduce: Once a design is created, it can be easily replicated on multiple items.
  • Faster lead times are a bonus when choosing print.
  • Our state of the art DTF printer uses water based inks which are eco friendly.

Disadvantages of Print:

  • Prone to fading: Over time, some print companies print designs can be prone to fading, cracking or peeling HOWEVER DPP have you covered! Say goodbye to fading, cracking, and peeling designs as our DTF printer offers an exceptional printing technique ensuring long-lasting vibrancy and unparalleled flexibility.
  • Limited texture: Print cannot create the raised texture of embroidery, which can add a tactile dimension to a design. However if you prefer a smooth to touch finish, print is the way to go!
  • Limited durability: Printed designs may not last as long as embroidered ones, especially if the item is subjected to frequent washing or harsh conditions.


Embroidery involves stitching a design onto a garment using specialised machinery that creates a raised texture. This method has been around for centuries and is still a popular choice for adding designs to clothing and merchandise. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of embroidery.

Advantages of Embroidery:

  • Professional look: Embroidery adds a high-end, professional touch to any garment.
  • Durable: Embroidered logos are stitched into the garment material meaning they last as long as the garment itself. They can withstand repeated washing and wear.
  • Versatile: Embroidery can be done on a wide variety of materials, including Bags, Caps, Beanies, Hoodies, Coats & Jackets etc.
  • 3D texture: Embroidery creates a raised, tactile texture that adds depth and dimension to a design.

Disadvantages of Embroidery:

  • Limited colour range: Embroidery is limited to a smaller range of thread colours compared to print. Compared to most suppliers, Our thread colour range is extensive. Most companies can only offer around 6 or 8 threads whereas our state of the art machines (Melco) can hold a much wider range of colour options, up to 16 threads!
  • Limited detail: Embroidery is not as detailed as print, and small text or designs may not be legible.
  • Higher cost: Embroidery is generally more expensive than print, especially for small orders.
  • Due to the natural process of embroidery the lead time is slightly longer when compared to a print job lead time.


In conclusion, both print and embroidery have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right method depends on your specific needs and budget. If you're looking for a cost-effective and versatile option that can handle intricate designs, print is the way to go. However, if you want a more professional and durable look with a 3D texture, embroidery is the best choice.

Ultimately, both techniques can produce stunning results and enhance your brand's image, so consider your options carefully and choose the method that best suits your needs. Our expert team is on hand to assist you in making the right choice for your brand!

Have a question?

Please feel free to contact us and one of our team will help!