Awards & Engraving

2020 Team Sales Report

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A s printers have gotten better and easier to use, dye sublimation has increased in popularity, especially in the athletic markets. From dye-sublimated uni- forms to team accessories like blankets, mugs, stadi- um cushions and flags, the market is only limited by a person's imagination and the ability to apply a polyester coating to the objects being sublimated. "One thing driving sublimation is the simplicity," says Greg Brown, chief operating officer for Citadel Brands. From a cost standpoint, many people can try it and not have SPORTS SUBLIMATION P A U LA A V E N G LA D Y C H to break the bank, he says. Many new fabrics have been de- veloped that work well with dye sublimation and ink formu- lations have improved as well, helping to drive efficiencies in the market, he says. When sublimation was first developed, shops could only print on white material. Now sublimation is possible on pas- tel and even black materials. Sublimation has risen in popu- larity, especially in athletic markets, because it holds its color well. Unlike screen printing where the image sits on top of the material, sublimation actually presses the image into the fabric using a heat press. That means that even if the subli- mated product is washed incorrectly, the sublimated image is very forgiving. It won't fade, peel, or scratch away in the wash or dryer. Sublimation also allows a team to place more than one image on a garment, allowing images to be printed on the front, back, and sleeves of the garment at the same time. Sports teams love dye-sublimated uniforms because they are easy to personalize and they 12 | THE TEAM SALES REPORT 2020 Above: Basics for booster clubs can be sub- limated for a smooth finish. (Image courtesy Condé) Right: Sublimated patches for ac- cessories are another option for the sports market. (Image courtesy JDS Industries)

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