In Keeping currently offers five different ways to personalise your garments, each of which offers it's own set of benefits.
Embroidery is generally the most durable and cost effective way to embelish garments with a company logo or name.
The cost per unit is higher than screen printing, but is suitable for small quantities due to the low set-up cost. Each design is only ever required to be converted into thread once.
Embroidery excels where both detail and durability is required. It is not suitable for non-woven fabrics.
Screen printing is what you would generally buy from the high street. The finish is slightly rough and a little rubbery to the feel from the plastisol inks and none-contact heat tunnel curing that is used.
The cost per unit is low, but generally isn't viable for small quantities due to the set-up costs. Each colour in the design requires it's own screen to be made, and this can run to many screens on some designs.
Screen printing excels when there are only a small number of colours on a shirt and the volumes are pretty high. In addition to this pantone coloured inks can be applied to shirts (a white underbase would be required on dark shirts.)
Direct to Garment
Direct to garment printing is what you would generally want for a few unique personalised garments. The results achieved by screen printing and direct to garment printing are very similar.
The cost per unit is the highest of all processes, but is ideal for small quantities as there is no set-up cost.
A computer controlled cutter is used to cut a design out of a special vinyl. This vinyl is then removed from its backing sheet and applied to the garment using a heat press.
The finished result is perhaps the toughest of all methods, and is very well suited to workwear. The vinyl is manufactured in a wide range of colours, including hi-vis reflective, and is fantastic for simple solid colour designs.
Vinyl is placed by hand and so can suffer from slight placement variations.
Flock is a printing technique where the design is cut from a colored foil and then pressed onto the shirt under high heat.
Flock printing features a velvety, fuzzy surface. The foil is approximately 0.5mm thick which causes the design to appear slightly elevated from the apparel and results in the plush feel.
The colors achieved by flocking have a soft glow to them, are highly durable and retain their vibrant color after many washes.