What is Cut & Sew?


Following our previous blog post: What is sublimation printing?, this week we’re going to look closer at sublimation’s brother: cut & sew.

Most garments that are printed or embroidered, are created using off the shelf, pre-made, blank garments. Like many of those that can be purchased from our Online Shop. However, people can use cut and sew to make their garments a little more unique.


What is cut & sew manufacture?

Put simply, cut and sew is used to denote a garment (like a t-shirt), that has been customised from “raw” fabric, instead of simply being printed onto a pre-made, off the shelf garment.

Cut and sew may simply be the augmentation of an existing garment. For example, changing the sleeve design, or adding pockets to an existing pre-made garment. This is often used when sublimation printing a t-shirt to allow for different designs to be printed onto sleeves. Or it can be the manufacture of a complete garment from scratch.


Advantages of cut & sew

  • Cut and sew is great for when you want your clothing to be unique
  • It works great with sublimation printing, allowing for a complete, all over print
  • Works best for large quantity orders
  • Allows for the augmentation of existing garments, eg. add pockets or change the sleeves

Disadvantages of cut & sew

  • Cut and sew is more expensive because you don’t benefit from economies of scale
  • Not suitable for small orders 
  • Can take longer due to the labour-intensive process
  • Not suitable for drop shipping (unless buying in bulk and storing)

Is cut and sew right for me?

Cut and sew garments aren’t right for everyone. Often a design that you think would need to be made from scratch can be achieved by customising a ready-made garment.

Cut and sew is right for you if:

  •   You require more than 1000 units of standard garments.
  •   You are a large brand that requires unique, custom-made products.
  •   You require a custom design that cannot be re-created with print or embroidery.
  •   You require a custom sports kit with over 50 units.


Cut and sew T-shirts vs cut and sew Sportswear

Here at A.M Custom Clothing we offer two types of cut and sew manufacture.

Standard Garments

This type of cut and sew is used to manufacture garments from scratch. This enables you to have fully custom clothing, allowing for alterations in garment fit, colour and style. This is typically only suitable for large brands due to the minimum order quantity. The majority of our clients find that our ready-made garments fulfil their requirements; we have over 5000 products to choose from.

Sports Garments

If you are a sports team looking for a custom sports kit, from t-shirts to hoodies and shorts, this type of cut and sew is right for you. The panels of the garment are dyed before sewing, allowing for a custom, all-over print in your team colours and with your sponsor’s logos. The technical feel of the products gives a high-quality finish that both look and perform great. We have a low minimum order quantity on these products, so we can accommodate all teams big and small.


Cut and sew vs sublimation

Sublimation printing is a good option if you require a custom all-over design that cannot be achieved with standard printing. Similar results can be achieved with cut and sew however sublimation has some drawbacks. Sublimation is unable to reach certain areas such as under the arms or close to the side seams which can leave white patches. Cut and sew negates these problems as each panel is dyed before being sewn together, ensuring full coverage of the garment.

Cut and sew tees can also be made with different fabrics as long as it is compatible with your chosen print method. Whereas sublimation is only possible with 100% polyester garments.

If you would like to find out more about cut & sew or sublimation printing, or you would like to place an order then you can request a quote.


This post was updated in January 2022 with the most up-to-date information and advice from our expert print and embroidery team.

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