February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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44 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 direct-to-garment designs. This is in part because they are compat- ible with the nature of the fabrics used in this market; lightweight, soft and breathable designs. And with both techniques, photograph- quality images can be printed onto shirts with a hand so soft that it almost doesn't feel like any ink is on the garment at all in some cases. Now, because of that, it's hard to find a gift shop that doesn't have at least one or two shirts in juniors' and adult sizes that have subli- mated designs on them. Demand has also increased for these meth- ods as both have taken root in the market. In terms of screen printing and other disciplines, multiple industry experts report that they have seen more printing with water-based inks in recent years. The more eco-friendly inks are also accompanied by decorations with a bit of sparkle, such as foil transfers, glitter prints, and rhinestones. Seeing as rhinestones are most often applied using a heat press, this continues to be an easy way for decorators to keep their presence in the juniors' apparel market. However, according to McCarrell, bling is sometimes now being replaced with distressed or block prints. Lisa Potts, The Rhinestone World, also explains that the decorative designs that are most popular for juniors' apparel are often those that cater to their social media- related tastes. She reports that they like to have one or two phrases printed in heat trans- fer vinyl on their clothes. This might also include the use of phrases with hashtags on it. It is important to note, however, these trends don't typically stick around for long. Seymour notes that the messages and target content tend to change frequently while the blanks—tank tops, dolmans, V-necks, and other similar styles—tend to remain mostly the same for years. For this less predictable side to juniors' apparel though, the newest decoration methods offer ways to keep up. Seymour clarifies that digital direct-to-garment printing presents an important opportu- nity for marketing to teens, because it allows for a greater variety of designs and shorter runs. Above: By and large, apparel marketed to ju- niors tends to be more casual than styles for older groups. (Image courtesy Boxercraft) Joggers and matching sets are of- ten well-re- ceived pieces for juniors, as they combine versatility and comfort. (Image cour- tesy Boxer- craft) TRENDS IN JUNIORS' APPAREL

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