T-shirt embroidery: 8 fashion brands who are nailing it
Experts in embroidery
The embroidered t-shirt is a prime choice for many reasons. Firstly, t shirt embroidery has a unique quality: the physicality gives it a tactile quality distinct from other methods for realising your designs.
Secondly, it’s less common to see embroidery on t-shirts. While it is used in many different types of garments, we most typically associate embroidery with polo shirts and caps, often for work uniforms or sports gear. For this reason, it’s a subtle edge toward something different to use it on a t-shirt.
And, most important of all, it’s full of possibilities. You can take a subtle approach or you can go all out with a bold and brash statement. And for inspiration in how to do it, where better to look but in fashion brands that are constantly reinventing and tweaking their designs in innovative ways?
With this in mind, we’ve picked out some of the top choices in brands who are using custom embroidery in innovative ways. As you’d expect, their designs show some of the exciting, interesting ways you can use the technique – and we hope will show you some different directions for your own garment ideas.
Designed by American artist Heron Preston, this t-shirt is a great example of how embroidery can be used in combination with other printing techniques. Here, the name of Preston’s home city is stitched in blood red gothic print, overlaid over a screen printed photograph. The design combines different aesthetics and the use of both embroidery and screen printing helps to accentuate the effect.
Aimé Leon Dore
A masterclass in simplicity, this Aimé Leon Dore t-shirt has just a couple of elements – but they’re executed perfectly for a subtle, classy effect. The garment itself is in a warm, brown-orange “camel” tone, perfectly off-set by the New York label’s logo embroidered in white on the chest. The gently raised white stitching makes all the difference in producing a killer finished product.
The difference in this t-shirt by Nudie Jeans is in the type of stitching. A black long-sleeved tee, with a smart screen printed design on the back, the brand’s initials are stitched into the chest on the front. They’ve used the chunkier chain-stitched embroidery, adding an extra bit of bulk to an otherwise simple and clean approach to design. The results are smart, understated but still with a bit of character.
Deploying the simple, happy-go-lucky slogan that features on a lot of their merch, French brand Sandro use embroidery for a simple, decorative design. The design, featuring a cartoon-style flower, has a retro look to it, and this is aided by the homespun feel that the embroidery gives to it.
In this design, the French brand use embroidery to realise a tee that’s subtle in its brashness. The brand’s name and its Parisian address are stitched in big, bold lettering – but it’s in a muted black that nearly blends in with the colour of the t-shirt. At the same time, a thin French flag – again, nodding to their home – is realised in its full colours, also embroidered. A great example of how to be adventurous.
As subtle a design as you’re ever likely to see, this smart tee from French label Vilebrequin is a great example of the particular qualities of embroidery. Stitching their logo in navy blue onto a t-shirt in the very same shade of navy, it’s an example of how the physicality of the embroidery allows you to do something you couldn’t do with a printed design.
The in-house brand of Matches Fashion, this white Raey t-shirt harks to the craft aesthetic that can be suggested by embroidery. Depicting a hibiscus flower and the word “Grace”, it’s a small flourish of bright creativity on the crisp, white fabric. A good example of how the technique can lend a warm, easygoing effect.
Another great example of how the choice of colour in your garment fabric and embroidery thread can make a huge difference – especially when opting for a minimalist, pared back design. The pale yellow and white embroidered logo on this Stone Island t-shirt work together perfectly, creating a sharp effect for a citrus-crisp, summer-ready look.
Want to create your own embroidered t-shirts? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting a number of clients ranging from such as WeWork to Boiler Room and the Tate. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.