Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - (Page 9)

Today’s appliqué is less “neat and clean” than that of the past, Bernstein says. “You can create new looks for teams that want to be a little different and take it to the next level. You’re not relegated to a large, rigid piece of material,” he explains. HEAT-APPLIED GRAPHICS Heat-applied graphics — which includes pre-cut letters and numbers; digitally cut letters, numbers and shapes; and heat transfers — has been a staple in uniform decorating for a long time, but recent improvements in materials are now giving this technology an advantage over other processes. “You don’t have different additives and catalysts to worry about,” says Josh Ellsworth, general manager, CAD-CUT Direct. “Rather than using low-bleed inks, you just use the heatapplied graphics material designed to block dye migration.” CAD-cut materials come in an enormous variety for different substrates — from thermal fi lms for blocking dye migration to special-effects materials like metallic and reflective. Other new innovations in heat-applied graphics include printand-cut materials that offer multiple-color numbers or letters on a single layer. “There are new fi lms available that are super soft and pliable,” Ellsworth adds. “You also can get tough, durable fabrics for football and contact sports, and a product called Super Film for technical and performance fabrics.” That said, heat-applied graphics still face the challenge of blocking migration and being thin and stretchable. Making the game more fun for decorators is the fact that customers increasingly want creative graphics. Dalco Athletic Lettering, Dallas, recently released a sublimated twill appli- qué with rhinestones called Spirit Bling. “It will have applications for volleyball, softball, practice jerseys, and spiritwear,” says Mike Carter, vice president, Dalco. The company also will offer a version without rhinestones, targeted more directly at the traditional team uniform market. Because the appliqué is sublimated, you get multicolor looks without multiple layers, keeping the design less bulky. Decorators also are using lightweight heat-applied graphics in one- and two-color options, Carter says. “They’re looking for it because of the performance wear, which has a high stretch to it.” Dalco is seeing sales surge for its permanent twill script names and numbers, which have a permanent adhesive on the back. Meanwhile, Imprintables Warehouse recently introduced Spectra Flex, a thin, stretchy product that works well on performance wear and other stretchy fabrics; and Eco Film Mesh, which is lightweight, has the look of mesh and provides breathability. “The design has a mesh look and it can be adhered to a standard T-shirt,” explains Bob Robinson, sales and education representative, Imprintables Warehouse, Masontown, Pa. Meanwhile, customers are requesting more elaborate, detailed name designs, something that decorators can achieve relatively easily using heat-applied graphics — especially print-and-cut designs. “They’re tired of the off-the-rack look,” Robinson says. “They want to stand out and be different from anybody else.” Custom transfers are another heat-applied graphics option that also avoids the issues of difficult-to-print fabrics. Custom heat transfer suppliers can create full-chest designs, numbers, letters — and all you have to do is apply it. Sue Wilcosky, business development manager, Transfer Express, Mentor, Ohio, says teams have been requesting drastically different placements. “They want new and interesting looks,” she says. “Now you see designs that go down a shirt vertically or down the back of a pant leg.” Customers also want increasingly novel, eye-catching artwork. “They want more color on their apparel — something that really pops off the shirt,” she adds. “They’re leaning toward graphics with lots of texture, gradients and shadings.” Achieving these popular styles, including the vintage look, is relatively easy and affordable using heat-applied transfers, Wilcosky says. “We’ve noticed screen printers and embroiderers are choosing heat transfers as a means of decorating apparel to give their customers a more cost-effective alternative to embroidery or the labor and time costs of screen printing,” she says. “They realize their efforts of personalizing and numbering each team uniform can be done easily with just a heat press.” Deborah Sexton, the former editor of Impressions, has been • Ink makers are striving to create the ideal athletic ink that will stretch, have bleed resistance and cure at a lower temperature. Wilflex has just released its non-phthalate plastisol series called Epic Performance, which is designed for printing on athletic fabrics. Photo courtesy of Wilflex, Kennesaw, Ga. A Supplement to Impressions writing about the decorated apparel industry for 28 years. In addition to freelancing articles, she also does marketing and public relations for decorated apparel companies. For more information or to comment on this article, e-mail Deborah at dsexton@sbcglobal.net. Fall 2010 • 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010

Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010
Flexfit/Yupoong
American Apparel
Contents
Augusta Sportswear
A&E Robison-Anton Embroidery Thread
Trends in Team Decorating
Sportco Masters the Team Game
Stahls’ ID Direct
School or All-Star Spiritwear?
Boxercraft
Dalco Athletic
Transfer Express
Gear Bag
Digital Art Solutions
Pepco Poms
Hanes

Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010

Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 (Page Cover1)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Flexfit/Yupoong (Page Cover2)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - American Apparel (Page 1)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Contents (Page 2)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Augusta Sportswear (Page 3)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Augusta Sportswear (Page 4)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - A&E Robison-Anton Embroidery Thread (Page 5)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Trends in Team Decorating (Page 6)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Trends in Team Decorating (Page 7)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Trends in Team Decorating (Page 8)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Trends in Team Decorating (Page 9)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Sportco Masters the Team Game (Page 10)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Sportco Masters the Team Game (Page 11)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Sportco Masters the Team Game (Page 12)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Stahls’ ID Direct (Page 13)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - School or All-Star Spiritwear? (Page 14)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Dalco Athletic (Page 15)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Transfer Express (Page 16)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Transfer Express (Page 17)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Gear Bag (Page 18)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Digital Art Solutions (Page 19)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Digital Art Solutions (Page 20)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Pepco Poms (Page Cover3)
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Fall 2010 - Hanes (Page Cover4)
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