Here is a terrific article from DIYMarketers community member, Raymond Laubert. If there is one lesson DIYMarketers have learned it’s that Doing-it-Yourself often means knowing and understanding how something is done and what creative options are available. Raymond’s article will give you some insider tips on embroidered apparel that you can take to the bank.

There are many reasons for your business employees to wear business apparel. It creates a more professional image, promotes your business with wearable advertising, and is a tax write off to name a few. The problem is the expense, time to have a design created and finding someone willing to work with you on small orders. This last one can be especially hard as most print shops want you to order 72 or more of one item as a minimum and then they add setup charges that make you think you are financing their BMW.

There is a new process available that I want to bring to your attention. Over the last 8 years a lot of changes have been made to the way customize business apparel has been manufactured. It used to be that embroidery or screen printing were the only options, today we also have heat transfers and direct to garment printing. It is direct to garment, or DTG, that is allowing you to take control of the whole process and reduce your cost as well as the number of pieces that you have to order. With DTG the printer can print one just as easily as 24 and there are none of the setup charges that screen printing requires. In addition, DTG is a full color process so you are not limited to just a few colors in your design. Full color is much more appealing and attention getting.

But that is only part of the change, while DTG will allow you to be more creative and order smaller numbers of shirt etc., it won?t help in the design process. Just over the last couple of years there have been some changes in website designs that allow you, the customer, to design your own clothing online. There are many names but they all do about the same thing, they provide a way for you to use your own company logo or images, add some text in many different styles and use the full color capability of the DTG printers that are currently available.

There are many names for these programs but most websites that are offering this type of service describe them as Design Your Own? The process is very simple. First the website offers up an image with what is called a canvas area. This is going to be a rectangle box over an image of the product you want to create. The product could be a hat, shirt, sweater, coffee mug etc. From here you will be given usually 3 options: add text, add clip art or upload your own image. With upload your own image, you can use your company logo to create any design that you want. Remember, you are no longer tied to just a few colors so your logo can be the full color version. I have one customer who reconditions cars that used a full color photograph. With you company logo in the design you can also customize each item with an employee name. Making your customer interaction a little more personable. There are so many things you can do with the Design Your Own capability and DTG printing; basically it is up to you to use your imagination.

Pricing of the finished garment is still up in the air. Because is it all custom? work some companies are charging a premium while others offer discounts for larger quantities. A few websites also offer their customers discount coupons or codes to make Design Your Own products more cost effective. You just have to shop around.


Raymond Laubert is the General Manager for Camping Embroidery, LLC. Camping Embroidery offers embroidery and printed apparel to campgrounds, small businesses and fund raising organizations. They offer Design Your Own capabilities via their website at and also offer discounts for design your own customers. Contact them for details at