Have you heard of a DST tape set-up and ever thought to yourself, “what the heck does that mean?” Well, you’re not alone.

In this post, we’re going to explain what a DST tape is and how embroidery set-up charges differ from normal set-up charges.

Embroidery vs. Screen Printing

Let’s start with the understanding of why you might choose embroidery over screen printing. Firstly, embroidery only works on certain items (materials really). Think about it… you see embroidery mainly on clothing and bags too. You couldn’t really use thread and stitch it (embroidery) onto a power bank, could you?

When we talk about “embroidery”, let’s think about clothing and bags mainly.

What is Embroidery?

Embroidery is similar to sewing. Basically, we’re using machines to automate the process and stitch together specific yarn combinations on garments to bring your artwork to life!

How does Embroidery work?

In this quick video below, you’ll see first hand just how embroidery works.


What is a DST Tape?

A DST tape is the file the embroidery machines use to actually stitch your logo onto the given garment. One of the advantages of a DST tape despite it being higher than normal set-up fee’s is that you only need to pay for this set-up fee once.

Swatch Samples vs. Pre-Production Sample

A pre-production (pre-pro) sample is one physical product made with your item and the decoration included. Often times people might get a swatch sample confused with a pre-pro. A swatch sample is similar to a pre-pro but usually the item in which the embroidery is sewn onto is not your actual garment nor would it be in the same location. The purpose of a swatch sample is to see the embroidery first hand to ensure it meets your standards.

At the end of the day, embroidery is one of my favorite decoration methods! You might be using embroidery for your next team jacket, polo, hat or bag project. If you want ideas on how we can make swag work for your business (embroidery or not), then please send us a note at Create@SwagWorx.com.

Swag On,



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