June '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 37 of 68

2 0 1 9 J U N E P R I N T W E A R 3 5 across companies. One important ques- tion to ask, Clark says, is where the recycled materials are coming from. "If it's recycled bottles, are they able to substantiate that it's not just a factory in China turning or pro- ducing a bottle around and making it into a T-shirt? Is it actually post-consumer con- tent?" In addition to recycled bottles and sustainably sourced fibers, Clark adds that T-shirts also come from recycled T-shirts where post-consumer garments go through a process of stripping out the color from a shirt, segmenting it by hue, and then break- ing the shirt back down into a fiber to then be twisted into yarn again. Outside the realm of eco-friendly blends, there are also different wash treatments, prints, and texturing techniques like pig- ment dyes, burnouts, garment dyes, tie- dyes, camo print, and slub cotton that all fall within the specialty T category. Al- though garment-dye and pigment-dyed Ts are 100% cotton, Clark says they're consid- ered a premium, one-off option with a dis- tressed look. The same is true for tie-dyed garments. For the blends and fabrics mentioned, different hemlines and colors complete the overall specialty look. According to Brumer and Clark, crop tops continue to trend for women while heavier weight Ts take the stage for men. Brumer also notes that neon colors and racerbacks remain popular, as well as details like side vents and rounded bottom hems. Additionally, Clark says curved, scalloped, and elongated hems are trending in the men's category. Davis says the strong push for retro isn't fading. "A lot of heritage, classic silhouettes like a ringer T or baseball T that have traditionally been 100% cotton are now being reintroduced in the market in terms of tri-blends or other elevated fabrics." In addition to cropped styles, Smith makes a note of raw edges, as well as fishtail and high-low hems. Katie continued on page 62 Garments that incorporate organic or recycled fibers of- fer the eco-friendly element that some companies and brands are looking for today. (Image courtesy Alternative Apparel) Want to be extra bold? Give special effect inks a try on a specialty style: Although garment-dyed T-shirts are 100 percent cotton, the wash brings an element of distinction that puts it into the specialty T-shirt category. (Image courtesy ComfortWash)

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