January 01 2018 No Comments

Heat Transfer Printing & Embroidery (& which works better)




So what even is heat transfer printing and embroidery? And why should I care?  


This is a question we are often asked in-store, so we thought we would weigh in on this topic and help out.

Here’s the thing, embroidery and heat transfer printing may seem very similar.

But what I have found, is that using the incorrect process for the job can go wrong in so many different ways.


So, let's jump on in and figure it out.

Oh and next time when someone asks you about this you can smile smugly and sound like a clued up boss. Bonus points.



Heat Transfer vs Embroidery: What's the difference?



Heat Transfer


Heat transfer is when a garment has a logo or design transferred onto the fabric.

This is caused by heat press machine creating a combination of heat and pressure to transfer each vinyl colour of the design onto the object being printed, leaving a similar result as screen printing.


Benefits of Heat Transfer Printing: 

  • Lower cost, especially when used in bulk. 

  • Handles complicated, detailed or colourful designs better than embroidery. 

  • Works well with bigger designs. In this case big is definitely better. 

  • Ideal for most fabric types, but is typically more effective on loosely woven fabrics. 




Embroidery is when a garment has a logo or design stitched into the fabric.

It is created by looping threads through the fabric to make textured blocks of colour and designs. 


Benefits of Embroidery:

  • Embroidery is perfect for the thicker workwear fabrics that are more densely woven together. 

  • Typically longer lasting and more durable than screen printing. Embroidery can withstand the tough stuff, preventing you from being that fussy guy with the precious new jacket.  




So what will work best for me? 


Okay, so you now know what these two options are. You are probably thinking, "but which should I use?"

Both heat transfer printing and embroidery are great options to brand your companies workwear and safety gear with.

So, it really just depends on your individual needs, budget, type of design and usage rate of the garment. 


Heat transfer printing is typically better if ....


  • Your design is detailed or complicated with a lot of small details.

  • Your design takes up a large area of the garment. 

  • Your design has a broad colour palette. 

  • You have a lot of garments to brand and wish to do it in bulk. 

  • The garment is made of thinner fabric. 

  • You have a smaller budget.


Embroidery is typically better if....


  • You want a longer lasting option that doesn't fade. 

  • You have a bigger budget.

  • You have a smaller design that doesn't take up a large area. 

  • The garment is made of thicker fabric. 

  • You have a simple design with less details. 




Summing it all up


  • Heat transfer printing and embroidery are both great options for using to showcase your brand on your team's uniform.

  • Depending on your individual needs, budget, type of design and usage rate of the garment, depends on the success of these options.

  • Whilst it may seem like a whole lotta hassle, branded uniforms is an extremely effective way of promoting your business on the worksite. 

  • Having your logo on your employee's uniform, helps keep your brand in front of them all day long - which in turn will help them display a professional attitude.
  • Check out our branding information. And get in touch with us here, to find out more.