DTG Printing vs Embroidery: What are the differences & what should you choose

It’s easy to only think of clothing as a daily necessity, but in the modern day, we prefer to think of clothing as a canvas waiting to come alive!

This mindset is all thanks to the endless design processes available in the technological age, helping individuals and brands showcase their personalities to the world.

In this article, we are going to unpack two of the most common processes available in the custom merchandise market and help you decide which option is best for you. So without further ado, let’s decide; DTG (Direct-to-Garment) Printing vs Embroidery, what should you choose?

Comparing DTF printing vs embroidery

Let’s start with the basics, what is DTG printing vs Embroidery?

DTG printing is a custom merch design process that uses a high-tech printer to directly apply ink onto garments that is then cured into the fabric. It’s a fast-paced, high-tech solution.

Embroidery on the other hand is another way of adding decorative custom designs to a garment, only, it is distinguished by the use of thread and needlework and can be completed by machine or by hand. 

So how do they differ in terms of cost, quality and other important variables? Let’s compare.

FactorsDTG Printing Embroidery
TechniqueDTG Printing directly prints intricate designs onto fabric, yielding vibrant, high-resolution prints.Embroidery uses threads, weaving elegant designs that add texture and depth to your clothing.
Design TypeDTG dazzles with its ability to print garments with bold and lively colours, capturing intricate details and designs.Embroidery offers sophistication, with its thread work perfect for logo applications up to a maximum size of 250 mm wide that look to showcase class.
QualityDTG Printing offers high-definition prints and captures fine details and photorealistic images. It is however subject to wear over time.Embroidery adds a touch of craftsmanship, elevating logos and designs for a three-dimensional, durable experience.
SuitabilityDTG thrives by bringing life to smaller designs where every pixel counts. This is ideal for clothing designed to showcase art.Embroidery excels in printing logos, turning custom polos and other attire into bold, luxury statements.
CostDTG Printing is generally cheaper than embroidery, especially in smaller quantities, offering affordable options for limited runs and unique designs.Though more expensive, embroidery is cost-effective in larger quantities, delivering consistent quality and value for bulk logo applications that prove perfect for promotional events.
VersatilityDTG offers flexibility with full-colour freedom, catering to various designs, from artworks to photos, making it an artistic choice.Though offering less flexibility, embroidery showcases timeless elegance, ideal for classic logos, names, and designs that embody class and style.
TextureDTG brings designs to life with a flat, smooth finish that’s perfect for vivid designs of self-expression.Embroidery threads offer a raised texture and depth that elevates logos and designs, to add a touch of luxury.

DTF printing vs embroidery: Which one should you choose?

Now that we’ve laid out all the information, it’s time to decide; DTG printing or embroidery?

Generally speaking, we recommend you choose DTG printing if you are searching for those eye-popping, full-colour designs that demand attention. It’s the go-to option when colour and flare are your game. For Custom Merchandise that shouts your unique style to promotional items that need that extra oomph, DTG is the vibrant option of the two.

Embroidery, on the other hand, is a one-stop shop when looking to add a touch of elegance to your personalised merch. Whether you’re decking out custom t-shirts with a tasteful logo or need that classic stitch on your designs, embroidery has got you covered. So, if you’re after a timeless, textured look, embroidery is right for you.

The bottom line

The bottom line is simple, there is no “right” answer for everyone – it all depends upon your custom clothing goals and your budget.

When people ask, “Why is embroidery so expensive?” or “Why is embroidery declining?” we tend to point to the intricate and delicate nature of this method – it’s the luxury, 3-D solution. It’s also worth noting that there is a minimum order quantity of 10 and that there is a set-up cost for each different design.

By the same token, for customers interested in fast turnaround and colourful designs, we tend to recommend DTG printing – it’s all about meeting customers’ needs the best way we know how.

PrintLocker offers DTF printing and embroidery options for your custom merch

If you are after DTG (Direct-to-Garment) Printing or Embroidery, you can’t go past PrintLocker. We are the top manufacturer of custom clothing in Sydney, Melbourne and right across Australia. The high quality of our prints, and our wide range of custom clothing, including custom t-shirts, custom polo shirts and custom hoodies, make us the ideal choice for long-lasting custom prints in Australia.

Learn more about PrintLocker’s range of custom-printed clothing today.

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