Custom Imprinting 101

Which Imprinting Method Is Best?

The final cost of custom items will depend on a number of factors, but the imprint can be the most confusing and costly aspect of ordering, unless you know your options.  This information can apply to any promotional item, but these tips are geared to custom apparel in particular.

Have you ever wondered why there are set up and run charges associated with buying custom apparel?  Set up and run charges are charges incurred (labor, equipment, supplies etc) to set up the machinery that is used to make the imprint and place it in each location chosen, no matter which imprint method chosen. The most popular methods available for apparel include screen printing, embroidery and full color digital. Here’s some information on each method along with the pros and cons.

Screen printing – is the most popular method for t-shirts and apparel. It provides a durable, long lasting imprint that includes a set up and run charge for setting each color in your imprint as well as placement in each location.  Most t-shirts and apparel are quoted on our site with a one color, one location screened imprint.  You pay the price quoted with a one time set up charges as applicable. The drawback to this method is that if you have a large number of imprint colors and locations in your design, the set up charges can add up. For example, a three color imprint in two locations would mean the the set up charge would be added three times for each color and two times for each imprint location.  Any additional run charges would be added to each piece, per color and per location.

Embroidery -is a great option for crisp wrinkle free materials, like hats, bags, woven shirts, and items that have minimal shrinkage.  A number of colors will usually come standard and the cost of the imprint is based on the number of stitches. Wording, small designs, company logos and personalized imprints work great with embroidery.  The drawback to using this method is dependent on the fabric used for the decorated item.  If you’re using a t-shirt for example that shrinks, and the embroidery stays the same, there may be some warping.  If the material is not heavy enough to support the embroidery, it may begin to rip at the area where the embroidery begins.

Full Color Digital Imprinting – is available for many product categories including t-shirts, cups, bookmarks, coasters, bags and more. If your order requires a full color imprint, this is a great and possibly less expensive option.  Full color digital imprinting means that you can have wide range of colors in your imprint without the additional charges involved in the screen printing process. There is sometimes a one time set up fee to set the equipment but you don’t pay to have each color set as in screen printing.

All inclusive pricing means that there are no additional charges (other than sales tax and shipping) that will be added to your order for an imprint in one standard color, in one location. Imprint locations include the front, back, left chest, or sleeve.

Embroidery and screen printing are available on all our apparel items. Full color digital is available for select items.  Contact us today for more information.