2020 Team Sales Report

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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SUBLIMATION can't feel the design on their skin, says Lisa Ellston, sublimation supervisor at JDS In- dustries. It is also an extremely breathable option because of how the process fuses to its sub- strate. "Sublimation dyes the fabric. It be- comes part of it where you don't feel it or get hot and sweaty underneath it," she says. Sublimation has been around since the late '70s and early '80s but it wasn't very good back then, Ellston says. The printers weren't as quick or efficient and the result- ing images were subpar. "It's really been the last five to seven years that it has really taken off because printers have gotten so much better and gotten so much easier to do," she says. Screen printing takes many extra steps, whereas in sublimation the design is print- ed on transfer paper and then transferred to the material using a heat press. It is a quick process, she says. Darci Jeffrey-Andersen, national sales ac- count manager for Coastal Business Sup- plies, says that about five years ago, the athletic markets stopped outsourcing the printing of their team jerseys to companies overseas. The problem with outsourcing is that it takes too much time. There can be a delay in shipment, or if something is misprinted, it has to be sent back and the turnaround time is very slow. "Now people see the value of having it done in the U.S.," she says. "There is defi- nitely a trend in dye sublimation to have jerseys done in the U.S. and more and more shops are popping up all over the country doing sublimated athletic jerseys." And it isn't just jerseys for football, bas- ketball, and baseball teams. Groups that represent all types of sports are printing sublimated jerseys as well, including bi- cyclists, disc golf participants, fishing, and bowling teams. Because of the ease of dye sublimation, personalization has also become easier. "I've seen some really unique sublimated jerseys out there," says Jeffrey-Andersen. Because the cost has come down and these jerseys are made in the United States, it is easier for 14 | THE TEAM SALES REPORT 2020 Beyond typical basketball and football jerseys, sublimation is great for cycling sports.

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