November '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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4 2 P R I N T W E A R N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 9 In that same realm, Edwards says elec- tricians also have to be wary of synthetic materials in their clothing due to the pos- sibility of arc flash hazards. She adds that once a shop outfits a company with logoed apparel, the company might then want per- sonal protective equipment. She informs decorators, "Flame resistance regulations are some of the most stringent, including the NFPA 2112 and NFPA 70E standards. ANSI Class 1, 2, and 3 are standards requir- ing high-visibility garments for employees working in areas close to traffic. You can usually find suppliers who offer colors such as safety green and safety orange that pro- vide hi-vis protection." These are just a few examples of why dec- orators must familiarize themselves with the market segment they plan to serve and the safety standards that come with it. WEAR & TEAR Another aspect to consider is durability, wear, and wash. Decorators want to make sure their workwear client and the end-user are satisfied with the garments and decora- tion provided, for the long haul. Two par- ties have a responsibility here: the shop and the wearer. The shop must ensure they're using the highest quality products. The garments will not only be in rough condi- tions but will likely need to sustain regular washes. On the flip side, the wearer also needs to make sure they're following all care instructions appropriately to ensure the gar- ments stand the test of time. Again, it's the responsibility of the decorator to pass along the proper care and wash instructions to the client. Something to consider is a simple print out with the complete order or even hangtags with the shop name and a few bul- let points for washing. Shops are also encouraged to do a little research on products before committing to anything. Potter says items that feature snag-resistant properties are always a good bet. Polyester, in the right setting, is also a viable option due to the simple fact that the wearer can easily take care of it. Addition- ally, 100% polyester thread is good for the same reason. When working with clientele who are subject to heat- and fire-prone environments, specialty threads with fire- retardant properties are necessary. Edwards echoes Potter's push for polyester, stating, "Polyester provides ease of care, du- rability, and moisture-wicking properties." She continues, "Denim and cotton twill or canvas fabrics are also popular for work- wear because of their durability and can be treated for flame resistance if necessary." The main thing about choosing the right garments, and ensuring they last, is under- standing how the product will be worn and in what capacity, according to Pendergraft. A quality, completed product starts with choosing the right garment then the appro- priate decoration method(s) and consum- ables to pair with it. Pendergraft says quality products are the ticket to a lasting relation- ship with a customer. Shops can gain quality control by requesting samples from various suppliers, comparing them, and showing the options to their customer. As opposed to mockups, in-person samples allow shops and customers to test and feel the quality of the garments and decoration method(s). DECORATION WOES Decorators who serve the workwear seg- ment also need to keep in mind some of the challenges they might face. According to sources, those challenges include application temperature, the proofing process, choosing a decoration method, and deadlines. Zulfiqar says safety products with 3M reflective tape need special consideration during heat applications. Too high of heat will burn and ruin the tape, and, thus, the garment. UNIFORMS& WORKWEAR & WORKWEAR & Decorators serving the workwear market need to ensure the garments they offer meet safety standards. In some cases, this means looking out for ANSI-certified colors like safety orange or safety green. (Images courtesy Bayside) Uniforms and workwear can range from all types of products, including personal protective equipment to company-branded T-shirt and polos. To better equip the end-wearer for his/her job, shops need to know their customers' needs, and how the garment(s) function. (Images courtesy Signco Designs)

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