Vinyl VS Embroidery

Getting some swag for your team? There are so many ways to get custom apparel, branded with your logo, that it can be hard to choose which type of customization works best for you. There are different types of customization options for apparel, and all are great for different types of activities:

  • Vinyl transfer
  • Embroidery
  • Screen printing
  • Heat transfer
  • Debossing
  • Laser engraving
  • Custom patches
  • Digital printing
  • Foil stamping
  • 3D puff embroidery
  • Applique embroidery
  • Pad printing

All of these decoration methods have different looks and feels - and today, we’re going to be going through vinyl transfer and embroidery and what the differences can be for your team.

What is Vinyl Transfer?

Vinyl transfers use heat to activate and attach the vinyl layer to a piece of fabric. The vinyl applique is soft and has stretch, making it perfect for apparel and high performance equipment.

What is Embroidery?

Embroidery is a great way to have high quality apparel and customization. Embroidery is the process of stitching different colors and styles onto a piece of fabric to create a logo. Embroidered logos need to be digitized and mapped onto the machine to create clean lines and repeatable structures. Read about our step by step embroidery process for tees here.

When Can You Apply Vinyl Transfer To?

Vinyl transfer is great for high-impact shirts and uniforms - think warehouse tees and activewear. Vinyl transfer is much lighter than embroidery, but as a result, do not last as long. These are great for easy, cheap custom tees and sportswear

When Can Be Embroidered?

Embroidery looks best on high-quality apparel that really emphasizes your brand’s quality. Embroidery is very versatile and looks great on:

The Pros and Cons of Embroidery vs. Vinyl Transfer


Benefits of Embroidery as a Decoration Method

  • Added texture.
  • Looks high quality and expensive, even when budgeting because of the technical design.
  • Embroidery can be used on non-flat surfaces, so embroidery is great for hats and bags.
  • Highly durable.

Benefits of Vinyl Transfer as a Decoration Method

  • Long lasting image.
  • Great for fabrics.
  • Affordable.


Drawbacks of Embroidery as a Decoration Method

  • Colors of the design are limited to thread color options, and the more unique the logo, the less likely the color is going to be available.
    • For this, we recommend a monochrome logo.
  • Small details are harder to embroider.

Drawbacks of Vinyl Transfer as a Decoration Method

  • Vinyl preparation is time-consuming.
  • It looks less polished and the vinyl, if done incorrectly, can peel.

Find Your Team's Next Custom Embroidered Piece with Thread Logic

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our expertise in embroidered apparel. We love a great embroidered piece of clothing because, to us, we love durability and flexibility. We are experts in workwear and smart casual embroidered clothing for companies that want to give a little extra to their employees this season. Find your next great piece with Thread Logic.

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About Jeff Taxdahl

With over 20 years’ experience in embroidery and business ownership, Thread Logic owners Jeff and Wenda Taxdahl, and the Thread Logic team, know what it takes to make custom logo embroidered apparel that people are proud to wear.