The Definitive Guide to Hoodies & Sweaters this Fall & Winter 2021
The cold and cozy season is almost here! You know what that means? Time for all of us to pull out all of our cozy hoodies and sweaters.
It also means it’s time for brands and businesses to bring out their fall and winter collections.
However, picking out the garment and style that will suit your brand best, can be a complicated task that can raise a list of questions.
Do I choose a crewneck or hoodie? Should I have it embroidered, screen printed or vinyl? I have a budget, what can I get that is great quality, yet won’t break the bank? What is going to be the fastest service for me? What is the best overall custom hoodie out there?
These questions are annoying aren’t they? Well don’t worry! We are going to cover everything you need to know before selecting the perfect product for you and your brand.
What is the best service for your design/logo?
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want your design embroidered, screen printed, or vinyl. There are benefits to all three, so you can’t really go wrong with any of them. However, there are certain services that will work best for what you are looking for.
Let's go through the pros and cons of all three. That will help you get a tighter grip on what you are looking for.
One of the biggest pro’s of embroidered designs is durability. A design that is embroidered is most likely to last the longest. One test we ran was creating hats that were embroidered, screen printed, and had vinyl. The embroidery outlasted the rest.
This is proof just how durable embroidery is.
Another great benefit of embroidery is color retention. Embroidered designs are not only going to hold up through years of wear and tear, but the color sharpness will remain through the lifespan of that embroidered garment.
If your sweater or hoodie is heavy cotton or a fleece, embroidery will be the best option for you. While you still can screen print on these fabrics, embroidery would be your best bet when it comes to these fabrics.
The final pro of embroidery is the look of it. Have you ever seen an embroidered logo? If done well, it can look sleek and professional. Many businesses love the look of their logo when it is embroidered. Most companies like the look of embroidery, especially if they are looking for garments that can be worn around the office. If you’re looking to create company jackets or sweaters this winter, we recommend embroidery.
While the list of pros for embroidery could go on, it’s only fair we list a few cons associated with embroidery, and not sugarcoat it all!
The first, and biggest, con of embroidery is that it is best for small designs. If you are looking for a design to cover the whole front ,back and sleeves of your sweater, embroidery is not the best option for you. Embroidery works best on smaller designs and pocket sized logos. Most embroidered designs are pocket size. However, if you have a small design you want on the front of a jacket, hoodie or sleeve, embroidery can definitely get the job done.
Another con of embroidery is the cost. Embroidered designs are definitely going to be the least cost effective. While yes you are paying for the durability and sleek design, it can get costly to order all your designs to be embroidered. Most shops will have discounts if you order in bulk. However, if you don’t have a bulk order, embroidery can get a bit pricey. Start by thinking of your budget. From there, you can get a better feel if embroidery is right for you.
A great pro for screen printed custom hoodies is you have more flexibility when it comes to designs. Are you creating a design to cover the whole front of the hoodie? Maybe you want a name on the back of a jacket? Choosing screen printing for your brand, will allow you the freedom to create your designs just how you want them. Screen printing is perfect for large designs, designs that cover the whole back and designs that cover the sleeves. You are rarely limited on what your designs can look like when you choose screen printing. Not only the size of the design, but the amount of colors in the design.
Most hoodies and jackets nowadays are made from poly cotton or cotton, and screen printing is perfect for that. The ink involved in screen printing sets best when it comes to these fabrics, allowing the colors of your design to really pop. If you are looking at a garment that’s made of these fabrics, we highly recommend screen printing on them.
If you’re looking for a good price when it comes to printing in bulk, screen printing is definitely the best option. Not only will buying in bulk drive your costs down, but you won’t be charged set up fees. You see, screen printing in itself is a process. Let’s say you reach out to a company and want three sweaters, and want prints on both the front and the sleeves. Depending on the design, that can add up to multiple screens being used. Each screen can take up to an hour to prep. A screen printing shop is definitely going to charge set up fees for that little of an order. But if you order in bulk, most print shops will waive all those fees.
What we stated above is the biggest con for screen printing. It can be quite costly if you are not buying in bulk. Some businesses might only need a few hoodies or jackets. If that’s the case you might be charged all those fee’s we talked about. However, if you’re still looking for a bigger design, your cost will most likely beat the price of embroidery. Along with the number of
shirts, some print shops will charge for additional colors. Meaning if you have a design that has 4 colors, you will be charged more for each color.
We don’t really consider this a con, but obviously screen printing won't last as long as embroidery would. While it would take years and years for the screen printed design to change, there will come a day when it will start to fade and lose its vibrant colors. We don’t really knock any points off screen printing for this, as it happens to be the best service for large prints, but it is worth mentioning.
The biggest pro for vinyl printing is the cost. Vinyl printing is definitely the most cost effective option of the three listed in this article. If you’re looking strictly for the cheapest option, vinyl printing is going to be the best option for you.
Another pro for vinyl, is that just like screen printing, the colors will be vibrant. Your design will look bright, clean and sleek. Along with the look of the colors, vinyl allows you to have multiple colors within your design. But this can be tricky.. More on that in the cons list.
Unlike embroidery and screen printing, with vinyl transfer you are rarely limited on what fabric it can be printed on. There are a number of fabrics that Vinyl transfers can be placed on. Vinyl transfers can be used on heavy cotton or poly cotton.
Vinyl transfer is a good option if you want a small batch of items and if your design is too large for embroidery. If your order is less than 10 and you don’t want to pay the additional fees that come with screen printing, vinyl is the way to go.
The biggest con of vinyl is definitely the durability. Unlike embroidery and screen printing, you can almost guarantee that a vinyl design will not last. The design will crack and fade over time, making the design look sloppy. After a couple times through the washing machine, you will start seeing the design crack.
Vinyl transfer is not the best option if you are looking for a bulk order. Let’s say you have an order of 50 shirts. Not only will vinyl printing take the longest, it might even bring the cost up, at this point screen printing would be your best option. Needless to say, for large orders, vinyl won't be a good choice for your business,
The last con for vinyl is you may be limited on design. You see, vinyl printing is hard to layer, so if you have multiple colors, or words that overlap, it won’t look the best in vinyl. The design will come out looking bulky and sloppy. Vinyl is good for designs that have limited colors, and with designs where the colors aren’t interacting with each other.
DTG (Direct To Garment)
The biggest pro for direct to garment printing is the turnaround time. If you’re looking for the fastest printing service without wanting to use vinyl, DTG is the best option for you. It is faster than both screen printing and embroidery.
Another pro is that you won’t have to deal with the set up costs on low volume runs. Unlike screen printing, you don’t have to prep any materials when you DTG, so by picking this service for your brand, you may save a bit of money.
If you read our blog last week, we talked all about vectorizing and why you need it for screen printing. While it’s not that big of a deal to get your designs vectorize, it is an extra step that people don’t understand. When you choose DTG, you won’t have to deal with the whole vectorization process. Many people don’t mind the process, but it is worth mentioning.
A big con for direct to garment printing is the pre- treatment process. There are times when the pre-treatment will react to the garment and can leave an obvious stain on the shirt. Most of these stains are going to be right around the design. Most shops aren’t able to know that this will happen until the pre- treatment is applied and they wait for a reaction.
Unlike screen printing and embroidery, DTG may not look as vibrant. When you screen print or embroider, you can guarantee your design will come out looking vibrant and clear. However, with DTG it is common for your design to lose some color vibrancy during printing and
even may come out grainy and blurry. On top of that, you may not get the exact colors you are looking for. Most shops chalk this up to being unable to match exact colors in your design.
. Remember when we talked about how screen printing and embroidery look best on specific fabrics? Well DTG is no different. Polyester garments and sport shirts have a harder time during the printing process. This is due to the low cotton account. Many print shops, if you plan on using direct to garment printing, will suggest using garments that are made up of at least 70% cotton for your custom hoodies and apparel.
What Custom Hoodie is Best for Me?
The most important decision you will make when it comes to your brand and winter month collections, is what garment is going to be best for what you are looking for. You’ll want comfort, yet style. You want warmth, without being too hot. Below we’ve compiled a list to help make sure you choose the perfect one for you.
First we need to find out what exactly you’re looking for. Are you looking for a hoodie? Maybe a crewneck? Do you want a Jacket?
Below we are going to not only go over the options best suited for all these options, but also distinguish the difference between the three.. ( Hoodies, Jackets and Crewnecks)
What is the difference between the three you may ask and what are my options for all?
Not to state the most obvious but hoodies will have hoods attached to the back. They will most likely be the heaviest option. They are made to keep you and your customers warm, through the winter months. They keep your head, chest and arms warm. If you’re looking for more casual/streetwear options, hoodies are designed just for you!
Below we’ve compiled a list of hoodies to help you decide which is best for you!
The Unisex standard hoodie is the most cost effective options for hoodies. The unisex heavy blend hooded sweatshirt is relaxation itself. The material is a thick blend of cotton and polyester. This makes for a plush, soft feel alongside warmth. It's also a great surface for printing. There are no side seams. A spacious kangaroo pocket hangs in front. The hood's drawstring is the same color as the base sweater. Coming in multiple colors, this hoodie will go perfect with any design you create.
Just like a nice warm hug, this hooded sweatshirt made of a soft 50% cotton and 50% polyester fabric is perfect for the fall. Its regular fit assures the perfect balance of long-lasting comfort and a contemporary silhouette. Featuring a hood, Kangaroo pocket and set-in sleeves, you’ll have it in your wardrobe for longer than the cold. With many different colors, and white drawstrings, this hoodie is not only comfy, but a fashion statement.
This Pullover Hoodie is made for warmth and comfort. Made to be easily customizable without white lines at the seams, this all-over print pullover hoodie is waiting for you to add a great design and it instantly becomes fashionable. It features a large front pocket, hood with drawstring, and is custom cut and sewn. This Hoodie comes in multiple colors, including snow camo, charcoal heather and gold.
We all love the brand champion. From its cozy features to the small “C” on the sleeve, your customers are going to be jumping at the chance for this hoodie. Just like a nice warm hug, this custom champion hoodie is made of a soft 82% cotton and 18% polyester fabric that is perfect for the fall and winter. Its regular fit assures the perfect balance of long-lasting comfort and a contemporary silhouette. All that’s left is adding your personal design to it.
Next we’ll discuss jackets. The most distinguishable feature of a jacket is a zipper. While some jackets may be pullovers, the majority are zip ups. Jackets are also going to be much lighter than your hoodie or crewnecks. They are perfect for the fall months of the year.
Below we listed a few of our favorite jackets for you and your brand.
This jacket is one of our favorites! It’s light and airey, waterproof, and has elastic cuffs. Made from 100% polyester, this jacket is perfect for screen printing your design. Not having a zipper right down the middle also allows opportunity for some cool pocket designs, which have been in style for a bit now. This jacket is perfect for you customers that live in the rainy states as it is Waterproof Pressure Resistance up to 600 mm.
If you’re looking for a jacket for embroidery, we recommend the Adidas- 3 Stripe Jacket. Customize your Embroidered Adidas Jacket today, this Embroidered 3 Stripe Adidas jacket is made using mostly recycled polyester for the eco conscious. This jacket is perfect for any boss or company looking to put their logo on a garment for their employees.
Perfect for your customers who love a good high-mountain hike, this puffy features our water-and-stain technology plus thermal reflective lining to keep you protected in light rain or snowfall. Made from water resistant material and Omni heat reflective lining, your customers will be so happy they have this during winter months.
Crewnecks are typically made of thinner material than hoodies, but heavier material than the typical jacket. Another plus of crewnecks, is that they can be layered easier than hoodies. With no hood, you can throw a crew neck over a dress shirt and still look professional while staying warm.
Below we listed a few of our favorite Crewnecks for you and your brand.
1). Unisex Crew Standard Sweater
The most cost effective option for you, would be the Standard Crew sweater. Ideal for any situation, a unisex heavy blend crewneck sweatshirt is pure comfort. Don’t let the price fool you. These garments are made from polyester and cotton. This combination
helps designs come out looking fresh and beautiful. The collar is ribbed knit, so it retains its shape even after washing. There are no itchy side seams on these sweaters.
2).Unisex Premium Crewneck Sweatshirt
Allow your customers to take the cold seasons in style with this premium crew neck sweatshirt. Available in multiple colors, it's the perfect option for any design you are creating. This sweatshirt is sure to keep you warm and stylish all day long. Featuring a 3-end fleece fabric, it has a real tight-knit construction giving it better quality and durability. It’s not only beautiful but also comfy and soft to the touch with the best in its class and under 5% shrinkage.
3). Unisex Premium Plus Crewneck Sweatshirt
Do you ever struggle with looking stylish but you have to compromise comfort and warmth? Well, don’t look any further. This ribbed crew neck sweatshirt is what you need. Made of soft cotton blended with polyester for that toasty warm feeling. It comes in a regular fit that ensures the perfect balance of long-lasting comfort and a contemporary silhouette in a unisex style designed to fit both men and women. Coming in a wide variety of colors, makes this the perfect crewneck for any occasion.
4).Champion - Reverse Weave Crewneck Sweater
Released by the American brand, Champion, this crewneck sweatshirt is ideal for design and logo customization. It features Champion’s Reverse Weave technology - keeping the wearer warm and toasty. It is a medium-weight two-ply fleece hoodie in a regular fit, making it the perfect option for custom embroidery. The hoodie has the iconic "C" logo on the left sleeve and is made of up to 5% recycled polyester from plastic bottles.
We understand the struggle that comes with having to design your own logo and garment. It can lead to unnecessary stress and worry, when in reality, creating your garments should be exciting and fun! We hope this post helps with making your decision a bit easier, and don’t forget you can always reach out with questions. Print shops like ours love to help businesses create their garments and bring their vision to life.
Contact us today and offer your customers the best custom hoodies you always wanted to without having to make significant time and capital investments. AMS Manufacturing & Printing offers in house screen printing, embroidery and promotional products as well in house fulfillment. We have been in business serving clients for over three years in the Houston, Texas Area. We focus on servicing our Texas clients but love working with brands and companies around the United States. We offer free nationwide ground shipping on all of our orders!