Posts

Laser Etching – Decorating Methods #1

Since there’s so many decorating methods for apparel, in addition to the standard embroidery and screenprinting, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about some of them.

One of our favorite decorating methods is laser etching. Instead of adding something to the apparel, like stitching with embroidery or ink with screenprinting, laser etching actually changes the fabric’s surface. The result differs depending on the type of fabric it’s applied.
For a quick little video showing a fleece being etched, click here.
On most laser etching, you’ll want to stay away from fabrics that are really dark in color, like black or navy, as the effect will not show up well on those colors, since the imprint takes on a tone-on-tone look for most applications.
Fleece fabric probably creates the most dramatic effect since the laser actually etches part of the top layer away. This leaves a 3 dimensional effect for the imprint. It can be really dramatic when used as a full imprint on a blanket or the back of a fleece jacket or pullover.
On wovens or knits, the effect is more subtle, usually darkening the fabric color a bit to create a tone-on-tone look. Since it is a more subtle effect, it offers the ability to be more creative with placement and sizing as the imprint can then become part of the design of the apparel. One example would be to take a graphic element from a logo, enlarge it, and position it possibly at the bottom of a shirt, overlapping a zipper, or extending off the item. View some of the out-of-the-box etching placements here.
Denim creates a whole different look since the laser removes the pigment, leaving a lighter-colored imprint. This would be a very affordable way to imprint the full back of a jean jacket.
Laser etching tends to be very cost effective too. Set ups range from $0 to $32 and run charges are right in the range of embroidery, but usually don’t vary based on size. We have some items which can be ordered at just 1 piece with no set up charge — a great idea for gifts or thank you’s.
And, we offer laser etching in our online webstore – no set ups, no additional run charges, no minimums. Check it out here. Items which can be lasered include blankets, awards, glassware, sportswear, jackets and more.