How do you select the right threads to promote you and your brand?
Here are Shifty’s Top Tips
Garment Style – this is where you want to start the brain-storming
Pick something you would buy and wear. If you wouldn’t wear it then who are you marketing it to?
Maybe you think the consumers of your brand want them, that’s fine but do some research first.
Talk to your clients, as it’s always best to hear it directly. Social media is the most simple research tool in this day and age. Post up an idea and see what kind of response you get, the activity that generates will also boost your pages rankings. Win win!
Fabric Type – A crucial part of the process often overlooked. Here are a few types to consider
Cotton – Tried and true cotton is still the kingpin in the garment game
A natural fibre that is long lasting and comfortable. Its very versatile and lends itself to all kinds of embellishments including direct to garment, screen printing, embroidery and vinyl heat transfers.
Polyester – The new kid on the block, which is quite quickly becoming the most popular fabric in the fitness and fashion industry
A synthetic fabric with a soft smooth shiny appeal. Anytime you see the terms Drifit or Moisture Wicking that’s usually a polyester or poly blend garment. Easily embellished most commonly with sublimation, screen printing, embroidery or vinyl heat transfers.
Lycra/Spandex – From the days of Let’s Get Physical to the current tights as pants revolution even if you don’t want to admit it everyone owns something lycra
A synthetic fabric with great stretch capabilities. Can be tricky to embellish depending on the design and location on the garment due to the stretch element.
Sublimation on lycra is very popular because there is no risk of the embellishment restricting the stretch capacity.
Embellishments – Now how to get your brand onto your garments….. Lets go through the three most popular options
Screen Printing – Possibly the most popular garment embellishment – the options are endless
Screen printing uses the method of separating the colours within a design and then printing them to film in special ink that blocks UV. Using light to expose the image onto a screen which is made of a synthetic mesh with high tension to control the flow of ink. The screen is coated in a UV sensitive emulsion, which cures in all areas other than where the image is on the film. This leaves an image in the screen for the ink to travel through the mesh when printing.
The colours are printed in layers and then cured using heat. When applied and cured correctly the ink embeds itself into the fabric creating an almost impenetrable bond.
- Cost effect for large orders
- Custom ink colour matching for branding perfection
- Huge range of special effect inks, metallic, glow in the dark, glitter etc.
- Print locations can be limited on pre-made garments
- Due to the heat in the curing process not suitable for some delicate fabrics
Embroidery – The oldest method of garment embellishment, often known for that professional touch
Threads or yarn are stitched in various ways through the garments over and over to create your design in stitching alone.
Embroidery is the number one embellishment for professional uniforms, hats and other headwear and despite the complex nature of turning a digital design into a stitch pattern, most designs can be embroidered and the end result is brilliant.
- Suitable for all fabric types, including delicate fabrics
- Best embellishment for headwear
- Large deigns can be bulky
- Very detailed/colourful logos may need alterations to be embroidered effectively
Vinyl Heat Transfer – The best option for one off garments or things like names and numbers which change per garment
Heat transfer vinyl is made of polyurethane polymers and can be digitally printed or contour cut and using heat, applied to most fabrics. The application uses a mixture of heat and pressure to bond the heat activated adhesive on the back of the vinyl to the fabric of the garment.
- Great for sport uniform names and numbers
- Digitally printed transfer are a cost effect option for small orders
- Rough treatment or poor washing/care of garments can damage the vinyl transfer
- Not suitable for all designs
As you can see there is a lot to consider when wanting to get your brand on to garments and out there for everyone to see. A good print shop should be able to offer you assistance in selecting the right garment style, fabric and most importantly embellishment of your branding.
Here at Shifty Apparel we pride ourselves on helping you every step of the way from concept to finished garments.
Call us on 0421 844 017 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to see how we can help you and your brand!