Early in the process of designing custom printed hats you’ll need to make an important choice: do you opt for embroidery or screen printing? While screen printing is a cheap and effective way to create printed t-shirts, embroidery is better suited for custom hat printing for a number of reasons.
Before we discuss the benefits of embroidery over screen printing, it’s important to explain the nature of the two processes. Screen printing applies inks directly to the surface of the hat. Each color is applied to the hat separately using mesh stencils. Depending on the number of inks requires, custom printed hats may need four or more screens to complete the process, and cost is dependent on the number of colors used.
Embroidering is a very different process. A digital embroidery design is stitched directly onto the hat using high precision machinery. Multiple thread colors may be stitched over a short period of time.
Benefits of Embroidery
Let’s assume a company wants to produce some custom printed trucker hats for employees and as gifts for customers. They have their choice of screen printing and embroidery. Why choose embroidery?
- Perceived Value: Embroidery isn’t much more expensive than screen printing, but the end product looks like it cost significantly more, increasing the perceived value of the hat and improving your company’s reputation for quality.
- Durability: Over time, the ink used to make screen printed hats fades. This isn’t a problem for one-time promotional items for special events, but if you’re custom printing hats for employee uniforms or as special gifts, embroidery is much longer-lasting.
- Appearance: Embroidery thread are slightly raised above the surface of the hat, giving the hat an attractive look. This generally looks more professional and attractive than screen printing.
- Cost: Embroidery costs are flat fees, while the cost of custom printing hats with screen printing varies depending on the number of mesh screens used.
While screen printing is better suited for lightweight shirts and workwear, the appearance and quality of embroidery make it the superior choice for custom printed hats. With embroidery, your promotional hats last longer, look better, and provide years of free advertising.
Not sure what type of headwear you need for your next promotional project? Find out which hat is fits your need with our customizable hat quiz.