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Apparel Decorating

The popularity of decorated apparel is growing, as are the many processes that can be used to personalize clothing--direct-to-garment printing, sublimation, and heat-pressing transfers, to name a few--and the many types of products you can decorate from in-demand t-shirts to trendy wearables. Expand your apparel offerings or add this profit center to your business. These articles will provide you with information you need to move forward. 

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Over the past two years, the possibility to generate apparel revenue has become as strong as ever, thanks in part to so many customers starting small businesses, says Sue Wilcosky, marketing manager of Stahl’s Transfer Express.

Every market serviced by awards and personalization professionals experiences shifting trends, but few see the kinds of ebbs and flows in preference   that happen in the apparel and other wearables market. Whether it’s changes to popular colors or the emergence of a new clothing style, trends are always changing—and during few times has this been truer than in 2020. But not everything in apparel has been adjusted; plenty of timeless trends (and tips and tricks to consider when accommodating apparel orders) can still take you through this year and into the next. Here, we cover what has changed— and what has stayed solidly the same—for apparel and other wearables.

Clothes make the man, as the saying goes, but clothes can also help make the business, as some awards and personalization retailers have learned.
Did you know that you can use your laser to add bling to apparel, recognition products, and more? Your laser can turn cardstock into a stencil to help you position rhinestones. Pick up the stones with transfer tape, and you’re ready to press!
Get newest Ricoh sublimation printers from Marco Awards Group.
From in-store displays to highway billboards, lighted signage is everywhere. Did you know that you can create some pretty amazing lighted signage using little more than the laser system you already own? It’s easier than it looks, even if you don’t know where to begin. The three most important aspects of creating a successful lighted sign are materials, design, and construction.

Count on Johnson Plastics for sublimatable fleece products to take the chill out of the winter. They have scarves, hats, and ear warmers—just what today’s teens and booster clubs are looking for to keep warm while they cheer on their favorite sports teams. The line includes a 60-in.-by-8-in. scarf, 20-in.-diameter ear warmer, and beanie cap in adult and youth sizes. All are made of soft, supple, 8.1-ounce 100% polyester fleece with piping detail. They are easy to sublimate using large or small format printers.

Brian Martin, CRM, was following his customers’ needs when he got into apparel decorating 22 years ago. Like many recognition retailers, Martin had established a solid customer base in the awards business at his company, Winner’s Choice in Fairmont, WV. “It just became a natural tie-in,” Martin said. “Our customers were buying awards from us and started asking if we could do their team uniforms.”
At Champion Awards & Apparel, “we do a lot of stuff to make a living,” summarizes President and CEO Mike Bowen. Champion comprises nine divisions in 40,000 sq ft in Memphis, TN, with $4.5 million in gross sales each year.
When it comes to fashion, my age and Midwestern roots keep me behind the trends. I rely on my wife’s sense of style to help keep me in current clothing—within a decade or so. It is difficult, however, not to notice the ever-increasing trend for customized accessories. Personalized items are becoming more the rule than the exception. And when the weather turns cold, there are still sublimation options for customization!
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