Choosing Between DTG Printing and Embroidery for Personalized Apparel

It is well-known that personalized apparel is convenient for personal and professional occasions. But when selecting the perfect custom apparel, you may feel uncertain about the right choice among DTG (direct-to-garment) printing and embroidery for your clothing and merchandise. If you have stumbled upon this article, you are probably searching for the perfect custom apparel for various purposes and needs. If you need help making your decision, you have come to the right place! Here, we will help you choose the right option for you by comparing DTG printing vs embroidery based on their benefits and drawbacks. 

What Is DTG Printing and Its Benefits?

DTG printing is an effective production method that creates high-quality prints directly onto garments instead of paper with a complete range of colors and designs. It lasts longer than the traditional printing process, is affordable, and is better for production-scale apparel printing. It is best compatible with t-shirts and sweatshirts. It also provides numerous benefits, which will be discussed in the next section.


  • Suitable for large designs: If your design is significant, printing will be your best option. 
  • Ideal for intricate patterns: If your design is very intricate, you should choose DTG printing as it uses very advanced inkjet printers that can produce high-quality, colorful designs. 
  • Cost-effective: The cost of printing is less than embroidery, which makes it the ideal choice for a one-off event. However, if you need to customize your apparel for everyday use, embroidery may be a better option as it is more durable than printing. 

What Is Printing Best For?

The critical point of printing is versatility. It is an expert at handling intricate artwork and vibrant colors. It is effective for producing animated and durable designs on different types of fabrics. It can be used on various fabric types, such as jerseys, polo shirts, hoodies, and promotional items. It comes in multiple sizes, styles, and design placements and is excellent for everyday wear.

What Is Embroidery and Its Benefits?

The embroidery process involves sewing a design onto a garment using intricate threads. It is an ideal option for smaller, less complex designs such as pocket art, logos, and slogans. It is most compatible with hats, hoodies, and sweatshirts. The benefits of embroidery are as follows: 


  • Highly durable: Embroidery is traditionally considered to be more durable than print as it usually lasts as much as the apparel. 
  • High-quality finish: An embroidery is a preferable option for some customers as it provides a more professional finish to your clothing items. 
  • Vibrance: While customizing your garments, industrial embroidery machines allow different intricate thread colors, which look great. 

What Is Embroidery Best For?

Embroidery is the ideal choice for your custom apparel if you want a premium finish and professional look that works well on different fabric types and textures. It adds a lasting, durable, and high-quality finish to your garments and accessories, such as shirts, bags, and more. The raised texture gives a 3D effect perfect for intricate designs, monograms, or embroidered logos. It is also an excellent choice for corporate outfits, formal wear, and personalized wear. 

Desired Garment for Printing & Embroidery 

When choosing between DTG printing vs embroidery for your custom apparel, consider the type of clothing you want to customize. For instance, embroidery is particularly effective on structured garments such as dress shirts, polos, and jackets. This method creates a refined look, especially with more prominent logos and fonts, which can be more precisely rendered with embroidery.

On the other hand, t-shirt printing is ideally suited for cotton-based garments like custom t-shirts and sweaters. Printing allows for a broader range of graphic possibilities, from simple text to complex, colorful designs. If your designs require intricate details, embroidery might be the superior choice as it can capture finer design aspects better than printing, including small text and intricate logos. This makes it an excellent choice for businesses that project a high-quality image through their custom apparel. 

Comparison Between DTG Printing & Embroidery: Key Points

When comparing DTG printing vs embroidery, it is crucial to consider a few points like appearance, feel, and compatibility. Embroidery offers a high-quality, 3D look that enhances small, detailed designs, making it especially suitable for items like caps and jackets. Its textured appearance adds a unique aesthetic to textiles that benefit from such a finish, though it is less effective for larger graphics due to its intricate nature. 

On the other hand, printing enables vibrant, detailed imagery that integrates seamlessly with the fabric. DTG is particularly effective on smooth, soft materials like t-shirts, while sublimation is ideal for polyester, embedding the ink into the fabric to prevent fading. DTF offers versatility, sharply reproducing bold and intricate designs on different colored fabrics. In terms of durability, embroidered items need careful handling to preserve the threads, and printed materials also require specific care to maintain the integrity of the designs. 

Printed designs are generally easier to care for, with technologies like DTG providing resistance against peeling and cracking. When considering the base material, embroidery is more compatible with thicker, structured fabrics. In contrast, printing can be applied to a broader range of substrates, from clothing to non-fabric items like wood and metal. Each printing technique has its material preferences, such as sublimation which excels on polyester fabrics.

Which Is Better Among the Two? 

There isn’t a right or wrong answer regarding personalized apparel, but you must evaluate the different methods you can use to bring your desired design to life to see which is best for you. Choosing DTG printing over embroidery gives you the benefit of having a large photo or design printed on a t-shirt or sweatshirt with no color limitation. However, if you prefer DTG printing vs embroidery, it may be because your design is not that complex and you prefer a more sophisticated, professional finish. 


Before choosing between DTG printing vs embroidery for custom apparel, you should consider a few factors, such as the size and complexity of your logo design, budget, the quantity and texture of fabric you want to customize, and more. There is no correct answer as to which is better among the two as either option can be better depending upon your needs and preferences. o help you decide better, you can talk to experts from Custom Embroidery. You can ask your most important concerns and queries. We are here to help you and make your experience better. Contact us today!

Get Started