Impressions - November 2010 - (Page 80)
EMBROIDERY >> HANDS ON DIGITAL DECORATING >> HANDS ON SCREEN PRINTING >> HANDS ON TECH TIPS HANDS ON
EMBROIDERY HANDS ON DIGITAL DECORATING HANDS ON SCREEN PRINTING HANDS ON TECH TIPS HANDS ON
Proﬁting>> With Poly-Performance Apparel
Learn how to decorate and sell these premium garments to increase your shop’s margin.
In the world of decorated apparel, polyperformance products are cool when it comes to comfort, but hot when it comes to sales. Performance apparel is composed of a unique, 100% polyester fabric that is designed with cutting-edge, moisturewicking capabilities that draw sweat away from the skin. The result is an all-season garment that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. OK, so maybe the word polyester is starting to give you a rash. After all, 100% polyester garments were hot (literally) back in the days of disco and leisure suits, then quickly disappeared. Though billed as a durable, maintenance-free fabric, polyester eventually lost out to cotton when it came to comfort and breathability, thus leaving behind a legacy of negativity. And for many of us who have been in this industry for (ahem) a “few” years, the word polyester does leave some bad memories. But that was then, and this is now. The polyester of today, at least in terms of poly-performance fabric, is a far cry from the stuff of yesteryear. Realizing they had to overcome the negative connotations associated with polyester, fabric manufacturers cranked up their marketing engines and carefully crafted new terminology for this cutting-edge fabric: polyperformance, or just performance apparel. Notice how the word polyester has been stricken from the description, lest it doom the product before it was given a chance to prove its worth? Interestingly enough, many poly-performance garments even have the look and feel of cotton, which is another step toward separating today’s polyester garments from those of the past. This is an important lesson for you, as you may encounter the same battles when selling to the end user if you use the term “polyester.” Sure, most items are made of 80
Impressions >> November 2010
Cycling jerseys, such as this example from Sawgrass Technologies, Charleston, S.C., are compression-ﬁt poly-performance garments that are ideal for athletes because of their stretch-and-recovery characteristics.
100% polyester, but that has little to do with the actual features incorporated into the fabric. So when describing these garments to your customers, always focus on the “performance” (i.e. moisture-wicking) and comfort characteristics that make it what it is. From a technical perspective, moisture-wicking fabric is composed of tiny cells that allow perspiration to be pulled away from the skin and transferred to the outer surface of the garment, where it can evaporate. A simple retail reference for your uneducated clients is Under Armour. This supplier has, by far, the most wellknown brand of performance apparel. Most consumers not only are familiar with it, but they also own some of it. Thus, it’s a good reference point, not only for the quality but also for the price points. Under Armour isn’t inexpensive and neither are most blank performance garments.
SELLING THE VALUE
Poly-performance apparel is unique and offers features that other products do not, so the costs are going to be higher when compared to standard garments. For eximpressionsmag.com
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