Printwear

2020 Team Sales Report

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2020 THE TEAM SALES REPORT | 15 2020 THE TEAM SALES REPORT | 15 a team to create more personalized uniforms. Some teams de- sign jerseys that honor someone in their community, country, or even law enforcement. In the past, numbers and names were pressed on to jerseys. They were heavy and thick. Sometimes they would fall off (although most modern heat transfers have solved these prob- lems). With dye sublimation, that is not a problem. To make athletic jerseys in-house, it is important that shops have their own jersey templates and the ability to sew them together. Once a team's design is in the system, it is simple to go back in and make new shirts for new team members. All they have to do is change the name and number in the pro- gram before setting to print. Dye sublimation ends up being less expensive than screen printing in the long run, especially when it comes to personalization and one-off items. Print shops are cropping up that specialize in certain types of athleticwear. Some focus only on basketball and baseball jerseys. Others might focus just on personalized bowling shirts or wrestling singlets. "It is good to have a niche. To find that sport and really market it," she says. When print shops first decide to target athletic markets, many believe the largest expense will be the dye sublima- tion printer, says Jeffrey-Andersen, but the biggest expense is usually the heat press. There are many types of heat presses out there, so the key is to find the type that fits best with the products your shop is dye sublimating. A shop can get into this market for as little as $1,500 or tens of thousands of dollars depending on the size of items being sublimated, Ellston says. "The hardest part is doing the graphics part, doing the design work. If you don't have a de- sign background, you can always fake it with stock imagery." Anything polyester or with a polyester coating can be dye sublimated. Shirts made up of a polyester blend can be dye sublimated but the image will fade more or less depending on the percentage of polyester content in the fabric, says Ellston.

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