Embroidery Vs Printing

Here at W H Barrs we specialise in embroidery but we can also print your garments as well. Here’s a quick guide to the differences between embroidery, screen printing and vinyl printing.


Embroidery is our speciality and we’ve been in the business for over 65 years so we like to think we know what we’re talking about!
The advantages that embroidery has over printing are as follows;

  • Very professional look and finish
  • Long lasting and very durable
  • No minimum quantities
  • Can be washed and ironed with no issues
  • Personalisation can be added easily, such as individual names

The disadvantages of embroidery are;

  • Large logo’s are not always suited to embroidery
  • Some fabrics are not ideal for embroidery

Most clothing that we supply can be embroidered but there are a few fabrics that aren’t suited to embroidery. These include very thick fabrics that can’t be framed properly to go into the embroidery machine, very fluffy fabrics or anything that is waterproof. Also some sports fabrics aren’t ideal because the fabric is so thin. If you have any doubts about what garments would be best suited for your needs feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.

Screen Printing

Screen printing involves having your logo transferred to a series of mesh screens, usually 1 screen for each colour of your logo.  Each screen is then placed over the garment to be printed and ink is squeezed through the mesh in the screen. The areas where your logo is to be printed are treated on the screen so that the ink is transferred through the mesh onto the garment and is retained on top of the screen everywhere else. This process is repeated for each colour of the logo.

The advantage of screen printing are as follows;

  • Good for very high volumes
  • Designs can sometimes have more fine detail than embroidery
  • Fairly durable and long lasting

The disadvantages of screen printing are;

  • Set up costs can be expensive, especially if your design contains a lot of colours
  • Small quantities can be cost prohibitive
  • Designs can fade over time after repeated washes
  • Individual names are not possible as each one would require another screen set up

Vinyl Print

Vinyl printing is a process whereby a logo is cut out of a sheet of heat sensitive vinyl. The logo is then heated up on top of the garment and the heat transfers the logo into the fabric of the garment.

The advantages of vinyl printing are as follows;

  • Perfect for very small quantities
  • Very solid, flat finish, ideal for sports clothing such as football kits
  • No set up costs

The disadvantages of vinyl print are;

  • Unsuitable for large quantities
  • Unsuited to more than 1 colour in a design
  • Hard wearing, but washing an ironing can sometimes be an issue
  • Not as “classy” looking as embroidery

If you have any questions as to which of these processes is best suited for the clothing you require, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help!