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Custom Apparel: What To Know About Laser Etching And Debossing


debossed promotional apparel

The newest trend in custom apparel isn’t a fit or a fabric – it’s a decoration method. Two in fact: laser etching and debossing.

laser custom apparel

Laser etching is a process in which a laser burns away a portion of the fabric, giving it a subtle tone-on-tone appearance. What’s great about laser etching is that it works with big or small logos.

The process of debossing starts with a metal die plate of the artwork, which is pushed into the fabric using heat and pressure – kind of like a heat press. The result is a subtle look with exceptional detail.

Both processes add a pop of retail flair to branded apparel, helping to accentuate your logo or brand message in a creative, standout way.

When you give custom apparel – whether it’s a gift or part of a uniform – you want it to be attractive, and you want it to make an impression on the wearer and all who see it.

The idea with any apparel gift is for people to want to wear it. They should feel proud every time they slip into a garment customized with your logo.

So, how do you get people excited to wear your custom apparel?

Take a look at laser etching and debossing. These decoration options give your apparel pieces a modern look, making your brand right on-trend. Here’s where to shop for laser etched and debossed apparel.

ePromos' Hope Binegar

ePromos’ Hope Binegar answers top questions on laser etching and debossing apparel

Want to know more?

ePromos’ Senior Supplier Relations Manager, Hope Binegar, shares answers to some of the most common questions about laser etching and debossing apparel.

1. Why are laser etching and debossing big trends this year?

It is more of branding a garment vs. just putting a logo on it. It mirrors more of a retail look rather than a promotional apparel piece and creates a garment that someone wants to wear.

2. What types of fabric can be laser etched or debossed?

Actually, only synthetic fabrics may be lasered or debossed. Anything with a cotton content will burn through and does not work. These processes are great for any waterproof and technical garments.

3. Do certain colors work best with these processes?

You would usually want to stick with bright-colored fabrics, however you would typically not laser on black or white and sometimes navy as there is not enough contrast under the first layer to really provide that tonal look. With that said, while lasering isn’t the best option on those colors, you can opt for debossing. This gives a three-dimensional view, and with the secondary coating we add, is seen very well.

4. Does it cost more for these decoration options?

Nope! Customers can opt for laser etching or debossing at no additional cost.

As long as you are within standard imprint locations and sizing, there is no additional cost for this decoration. Standard setups still apply.

5. What are the pros and cons of laser etching?

Pros are that it works well in virtually any location and provides a unique tone-on-tone look while still making an impact. It can be done over seams and zippers.

Cons are that it does not work well on darker colors or if a client is looking for color. Embroidery is still available, however if you want a retail look, transfer is the way to go.

6. What are the pros and cons of debossing?

Pros are that it also works well in almost any location, creates a unique 3D appearance with a subtle tone-on-tone look. It also works on all colors because of its 3D appearance.

Cons are that it cannot be done over seams and zippers. Also, very small copy does not work well with deboss.

7. What are some popular applications for laser etching or debossing?

There really is no specific industry for laser etching or deboss. They really work for any clients that are looking for a unique way to market their brand on apparel. With that said, these processes are great for tradeshows and any marketer that wants a retail look.

8. What’s the biggest benefit to laser etching or debossing an apparel item?

It’s visually appealing and different! Why go with a standard left-chest logo when you can do something more interesting? Laser etching and debossing are ideal for unusual decoration locations – think vertical text that aligns with a jacket’s zipper, or a logo on a shirt hem or cuff. You are branding apparel instead of just putting a logo on apparel. Even at a left-chest placement, these decoration methods create a wow factor.

9. Anything else I should know?

If you are looking for the next thing in apparel, it is coming by way of great decoration methods. These techniques will give you the “wow” your brand needs.


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