May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M AY PRINTWEAR | 45 At the same time, our society changed in terms of how and what type of clothes we wore. No longer did we want to wear what everyone else was wearing. We want- ed to wear clothes that spoke to our indi- vidual personality, especially in women's fashion. This made sublimation a perfect marriage—women could get more person- alized clothing and were willing to pay a little more for it. The technology allowed companies to produce short runs and re- tailers to hold less inventory. Other big factors that really allowed sub- limation to grow in the women's fashion industry were the changes to the fabrics, especially the rise in popularity of burn- out garments. These burn-out shirts are 50/50 cotton/polyester garments, where a portion of the cotton in the garment is "burned out" of the shirt via a chemi- cal process. The result is a really soft and comfortable garment with a very unique washed out or "distressed" look. Also, the manufacturing process for polyester was evolving to where the fabric was woven into a kinder, gentler garment. Companies began to get creative pressing shirts that were already sewn together, in- tentionally leaving the creases in them to give a very unique look. During the transfer process, these creases became became affec- tionately known as "smiles" that graphic de- signers now plan for in the artwork. This trend in polyester continues to grow and it does not seem to be declining. Companies like Before+Again Clothing continue to find the latest designs, fabric, and out-of-the-box ways to create new fashion. Coupled with the fact that com- panies like Epson are getting involved in the sublimation market with printers that are designed around doing textiles, and it's a safe bet to say that sublimation is here to stay. Sublimation professionals will start to decorate other wearable items outside of shirts, if they are not already. We already see the likes of scarves, dresses, beachwear, gloves, beanie caps, and other wearables being decorated with the sublimation pro- cess. Keep an eye on these trends, as they trickle down to wholesale and influence your customers' expectations. Personally, I intend to keep an eye on my wife's closet (and maybe some of the receipts) to wit- ness all sorts of new trends in sublimation for women's fashion. pw IMAGE APPAREL MADE EASY 800-253-8080 Spring Forward GREAT STYLES ARE SPROUTING UP ALL AROUND! COME SEE WHAT'S NEW AT EDWARDSGARMENT.COM. EDW2529_NewSpring_Printwear_Half.indd 1 1/14/14 10:05 AM PW_MAY14.indd 45 4/17/14 12:01 PM

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