top of page

Our application methods explained

We use a variety of high-quality printing methods for our customised orders from embroidery to vinyl and screen printing. Different techniques are better suited to specific garment types due to the different outer materials. 

With our vast experience of garment printing we have outlined below the process of each technique to help you choose the best customisation for your order.


Embroidery is a great way to advertise your logo/brand or text on company garments in a professional way. It is ideal for small to medium areas of application. The absolute maximum size we provide is approx. 26cm x 26cm. These larger areas are not advisable for embroidery as it affects the garment fitting.   

The embroidery technique involves a frame being put on a particular area of a garment to apply tension for the stitching. Then the logo/text design is uploaded to the machine for the automated needlework to begin, incorporating the colour variations of threads.


We use industry standard materials and machines operated by experienced staff to provide the highest quality threading.

The embroidery technique can be applied to most garments but has especially great results on polo shirts, sweatshirts, aprons/tabards, fleeces and jackets.

Screen printing

Screen printing is a process that separates the different coloured sections in a design and mesh screens are created for each of those colours. Plastisol ink or water-based ink is then poured individually through the mesh frames to apply the final design. The print is then dried and finished for long lasting effect.


This technique is great for large colourful designs that will be printed multiple times on one or many different types of garments. Screen printing is ideal for big vibrant designs on t-shirts, hoodies, shell jackets and polo shirts. Due to the lengthy process of this technique, it is only available for bulk orders of over 25 garments. 


Printing via vinyl transfer is one of the most common ways personalised printing is done in small quantities. The design/text is cut into a piece of vinyl with a cutter, then the vinyl is applied to the garment via a heat press. 


This method is very efficient with clean results and is ideal for all designs that only require one or two colours. Vinyl printing is available on all garments apart from Fleeces and wool based materials. The vast majority of our work wear customisation like hi-vis garments are done with this method. 

Direct to garment printing 

Direct to garment printing (DTG) is a process where a specialised printer is used to apply special ink to the garments. The garments are prepared with a fixing solution for the ink to be absorbed easily and then dried. For this method the final printed garments are also washed to clear the fixing solution.


This type of printing is great for quick turnaround orders with multi-colour designs and text. Due to the limiting size of the printers, we only use this method on t-shirts, polo shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts. The second reason is that these types of garments are easily dried and washed after the special printing process. 


Check out how the personalisation process works at Tops Workwear.

Long row of orange safety jackets being embroidered
  • How do you confirm the artwork I have requested?
    Once artwork or text type has been submitted with the order, we will look to send a digital sample via email within 12 hours. This can mean you receive this the next day if the order is placed in the afternoon. Once you approve the artwork or text, we can begin the processing of the order. We cannot begin the processing of the complete order without approval so if there are delays in approval, it will mean delays in the order. If there are issues with the sample sent, we will aim to rectify this promptly over the phone if possible. Please check the sample thoroughly as once approved and in order is in process, any mistakes cannot be rectified and we will not hold any responsibility.
  • How long will my order take to process?
    We do offer same day or next day order dispatch with 24hr express delivery. However, this is dependent on a few factors: Time of day – If orders are placed before 12pm and customisation is confirmed they will be posted the same day. Order complexity - If the order is one type of plain or printed garment it will be posted the same day or next day at the latest. If there is a bulk order of many different printed garments, processing can take up to 4 days. Workshop activity – During busy periods like Christmas or major holidays we might have high order numbers. Therefore, processing might take up to 4 days, even for simple single orders. Please bear this in mind, although we will also notify you in advance where possible.
  • Which types of payment do you accept?
    You can complete payments with all major credit and debit cards. We also accept payment via PayPal.
  • Which customisation technique shall I choose?
    The choice of vinyl printing, silk screen or embroidery will depend on the garment type and intended use. On some garments we will only use one type of tried and tested customisation so please see our customisation guide to make the right choice. For specific questions and queries on a logo/text please contact us for clarification.
  • What is your returns policy?
    Our returns policy is different for plain and customised orders. Plain orders – We accept returns on plain orders up to 30 days after purchase and will replace the order at no cost or refund where there is an unlikely case of garment defect. In all other instances where the customer is unsatisfied with the order, they will need to pay for postage costs of returns within 30 days. Customised orders – Our digital sampling (as well as physical sampling option) order procedure means that we only accept returns on custom orders where there is a fault with the customisation and/or garment. This is valid for 30 days upon purchase. Any other instances of customised order returns like artwork mistakes or changes will not be accepted. Despite our strict policies outlined above, customer satisfaction is very important to our company ethos and every return case will have individual issues that will be dealt with by our considerate staff. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any issues on the orders dispatched and we will aim to resolve them promptly. Call 01923 440001 or drop us an email.
  • Do you have a size guide?
    Each item in our online catalogue has a separate size guide in the description so please check this before ordering. We use a variety of suppliers and each have their own size guides per item. If you are unsure about a particular size fitting, please contact us and a member of our team will clarify the size guide and stock available.
  • I can’t find the right colour/size of a garment in your catalogue. Do you have it?
    If there is a particular type of garment colour, size or fitting that is not available in our online catalogue, then please contact us directly to make a special order with our suppliers.
  • Do you supply samples on customisation?
    We do supply samples for all orders submitted upon request, but this will be charged as a normal single order on that garment. This is due to the processing costs.
  • Which formats do you accept for artwork?
    We accept most image formats for printing and embroidery customisation from JPEG, PDF, PNG and TIFF. If you have difficulty obtaining these types of common image formats a screenshot from mobile or computer will also be acceptable depending on resolution and clarity. Please also check our artwork submission guide and contact us if you have further questions.

Other points to mention

There are certain methods we do not use on particular types of garments. For example, we will not use vinyl printing on certain brands of shell jackets and gilets. These selections will not be available in the customisation at checkout. If you do request a certain type of method that is not offered or recommended, we will contact you via email or telephone with alternative options and suggestions.

Check out our full clothing range now

Almost any item in our full clothing range can be personalised with embroidery or printing to suit your requirements.

Tops Workwear logo




Monday : 09:00 - 17:30
Tuesday : 09:00 - 17:30
Wednesday : 09:00 - 17:30
Thursday : 09:00 - 17:30
Friday : 09:00 - 17:30
Saturday : 10:00 - 15:00
Sunday : Closed

bottom of page