When it comes to producing branded apparel, a lot depends on production. Depending upon your goals, you will likely consider one of the three – if not all – primary production methods.
Embroidery is stitching. This involves threading a design into fabric. This is usually a more permanent solution to graphics, as artwork is stitched into fabric, essentially will not fade through multiple washings. Close attention should be paid to thread count as logos, fonts, etc. may not be as detailed as originally envisioned. Brightness is usually not an issue since yarns come in so many colors.
Direct printing on fabric usually means fabric will be a lighter color to accept essentially laser printer style inks – cyan, magenta, yellow and black – that’s it. In other words, every color under the rainbow is simulated using these four inks. This often results in compromised color match and brightness. In addition, these types of inks tend to fade more quickly through the wash.
Silkscreening often yields the brightest colors. However, unless only one color is being used, cost can be substantially higher because each color has to be predefined, provided right out of the can (or custom-mixed), and involves significant manual labor. In addition, such artwork tends to crack and peel through multiple of washings – but lasts longer than direct printing.