Custom Embroidery The Print Room

Custom Embroidery: How to Use it on Your Custom Merch in 2021

Our Top Custom Embroidery Tips for 2021

Custom embroidery is a great way to create a premium-quality product. People usually perceive embroidered garments to be higher quality, more expensive and will last longer than other decoration methods such as screen printing or Supacolour heat transfers. Unlike standard screen printing and Supacolour, embroidery has a three-dimensionality to it. The thread is stitched into the garment and is raised above the fabric surface. This gives embroidery a textural quality that is distinct from screen printing or Supacolour. A trend that makes the most of the textural quality is tone on tone embroidery. This is when the stitched thread is a similar colour to the garment colour, this result is a subtle and classy branding method. The rayon embroidery thread we use is quite shiny so will catch the light in different ways to the fabric of the garment, which adds a nice effect.


It is very common for us to combine decoration methods, for example, we might do a left chest embroidery of a school crest a leavers gear hoodie and then a 1-colour screenprint on the back. The cost of embroidery is based on the number of stitches in the artwork, so generally the larger the embroidery the higher the cost of the decoration. So in the above example a school leavers gear customer can have the premium quality appearance of an embroidered crest small on the front but economically add a screen print on the back of the hoodie to complete the garment. Some of our very creative customers have combined both screen printing and embroidery in the same decoration to create a truly unique mixed media effect. 


At The Print Room, we’re lucky to have worked with a wide range of New Zealand's most innovative brands and creatives, who often come to us with inspiring merch ideas and who give us new ideas of how we could use our decoration methods to create a wide range of new design outcomes. Here are some of our tips on how custom embroidery can be used to take your merch to the next level. 


Our top tips to make custom embroidery stand out

The Print Room - Custom Embroidery on Tote Bags

1. Use it on a tote bag

It is common for embroidery to be used to customise caps, beanies and hoodies.  You will also see embroidery used a lot on polos and workshirts for corporate uniforms and workwear due to its hard-wearing nature. However, adding embroidery to items which you would not commonly expect to see makes your product stand out and will delight potential customers or users. An example of this would be to use embroidery on tote bags, most commonly we would screen printing or Supacolour transfers on canvas or jute tote bags, so to see embroidery on a bag will make for a unique product that will stand out. You can see this in these embroidered tote bags that we created for fashion boutique Labels.

Bermuda Custom Embroidery T-shirt

2. Custom Embroidery onto Tshirts

As we mentioned earlier, embroidery is typically associated with headwear, corporate uniforms and workwear but a trend that has become very popular in 2021 is to use embroidery on a t-shirt. There are some considerations you will need to make: as t-shirts are usually worn against your skin, we recommend keeping the embroidery size small so that it is not uncomfortable to wear. Popular placements for embroidery on t-shirts is small on the centre front of the sternum, the left chest, sleeve and on the back nape of the t-shirt. As we mentioned earlier about the textural quality of embroidery, this is where you can make an effective design by playing with tonal colour differences between the stitched logo and the garment colour. These t-shirts were created for the renowned Dunedin surf shop Hydro Surf are a perfect example of this.

3. Dress up Your Hoodie with an Embroidered Logo

Hoodies are a garment where we see some of the more creative designs come through. Hoodies are perfect for doing larger embroideries because they are typically worn as an outer layer and are not worn directly on the skin, the fact the fabric is a heavier weight than t-shirts also helps when stitching more elaborate designs. This means you can go as big and bold as you like. (For some inspiration, check our post on our favourite embroidered hoodies here.)

 4. Speciality Embroidery Threads for The Extra Point of Difference

As well as a standard range of colours we have some speciality embroidery threads such as glow in the dark, neon, metallic gold or silver, reflective & transparent. If well designed using one of our speciality embroidery threads could create a stunning result on your garment. 


Here are some ideas for you could use speciality embroidery threads for your custom order;


Glow In The Dark Embroidery Thread

Light-storing embroidery thread that emits the light in the dark with a greenish glow. This OEKO-TEX® certified thread sews out great, is soft on the skin, and can be used to emphasise single parts of an embroidery design: for example, on outdoor garments, sportswear, children's clothes or streetwear. 


Transparent Embroidery Thread 

Originally developed as a technical thread to fix cords and sequins with an invisible thread, transparent embroidery thread is today also used as a speciality thread. You can use this translucent thread to create highlights within a thread-mix design or realise filigree embroideries to create a very eye-catching result.


Reflective Embroidery Thread

This new single-colour thread reflects light in the dark and adds a surprise effect and sparkle to every piece of embroidery. It has a special structure that consists of a polyester core around which a polyimide foil with glass beads wrapped around it. This is a great way to light up your designs and logos. 


Want to create your merch with custom embroidery? The Print Room offer fast turnaround embroidery on a range of garments, for a wide range of NZ clients ranging from brands such as Garage Project, Rhythm & Vines and Cardrona. Get a quote from one of our merch consultants by entering your job details online.




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