Woman in workshop looking at cotton t-shirt fabric for branded apparel

The Best Fabrics for Branded Apparel

A lot of thought goes into creating the right logo for your company. A great brand should look good whether it’s on a billboard, in a magazine, or emblazoned across your team’s workwear! But choosing the best fabrics for branded apparel can be tricky, as functionality does not always meet with practicality when it comes to printing.

Screen printing is often a good choice when considering branded apparel. Screen-print caters to large orders, as once the stencil is made, it’s easy to push the ink across as many shirts, caps, or sweaters as you wish! Getting the right fabric takes a little insider knowledge though, which we’ve detailed for you down below.

Natural Fabrics Absorb and Hold Ink Longer

The most heralded advice when screen printing is to go natural. Natural fibres provide great canvases, and most are thirsty for ink. Here are a few natural fabrics you might consider. 

Cotton Holds the Title as the Best Fabric for Screen Printing

Cotton is the best fabric for screen printing due to its ability to absorb and hold ink, as well as provide a smooth canvas for the print process. Lightweight and malleable, cotton will be soft and easy for staff to wear day to day while your logo stays bright and in shape.

But before you order 500 cotton t-shirts, think about the jobs your workers have to do. Are they labourers? Moving a lot, and lifting heavy items? Then cotton might not be your go-to. It tends to hold sweat and crinkle easily.

If your branded apparel is more for the consumer or client market, cotton is also a great fabric to choose. A simple cotton t-shirt with a classy logo, picture or brand message is a great gift and one that will last through the office workdays.

Linen & Hemp for an Eco-Friendly and Lasting Print

Linen and hemp are natural fabrics climbing through the ranks in popularity. It is an ethical and eco-conscious choice that has less of an impact on the planet. Though they do absorb the ink, they are more fibrous, which means it is more of a challenge than printing on cotton fabrics.

Linen is more hard-wearing than cotton, yet it is expensive, and often impractical. Hemp, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive and almost as durable.

If branded caps are in your company repertoire, hemp caps can make for a fun addition to the workwear apparel, and double as a client gift too!

Screen-printing on Wool

Wool is a good fabric for screen-printing darker logos and lettering. Its thick nature and fluffy fibres welcome ink, but there’s no guarantee of an even finish, which can leave prints looking slightly uneven or unfinished.

Finer wools such as merino are a little easier, and make for great branded apparel, especially if you live somewhere a little chillier in the winter months!

Silk Garments Are Great for Printing on Special Occasions

Silk is luxurious and creates a smooth canvas for printers to get the perfect transfer. Because of the smooth surface, silk is not the best fabric for screen printing, as the ink tends to slide off the satin-like weaves.

Though a great gift if you’re looking to wow clients at a special event, or gift a special employee a memento, silk is best left for one-offs or exclusive runs!

PolyCotton for Ink Absorption and Function

If natural fibres just aren’t a practical solution for your branded apparel, polycottons are your next best bet. Made of a blend of cotton and man-made polyester, polycottons absorb ink relatively well but have the durability of synthetic fabrics. These are great to kit out workers who do light work daily as they wick away moisture and can be washed regularly.

Synthetic Fabrics Are Tricky for Screen-Prints but Love SupaColour

While it is possible to print on synthetic fabrics (just see most of the world’s sports teams), it is a tricky operation. The plastics and oil present in synthetic fabrics such as polyester and fleece means the ink from the screen printing is more likely to slip and slide off. They also stretch more than natural fabrics and can need a special elastic ink to accommodate the movement.

If you are looking at screen-printing on synthetics, a supacolour transfer would be the way to go. An innovative and vibrant way to display your logo, supacolour covers a vast range of garments and fabrics so you can find the best fit for your branded apparel!

Talk to Embroidery Works for All Your Branded Apparel & Screen-Printing Needs

Embroidery Works is committed to making branding easy. With a world-class online system, you can spend more time talking and engaging with customers. You can trust Embroidery Works to give you quality screen-printed branded apparel.

We’re proud of what we do, and want you to be a part of it! Get in touch with our dedicated quotes team to start your journey to quality branded apparel.