August '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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42 || P R I N T W E A R A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 Becky Mollenkamp is a freelance writer based in St. Louis, Mo. Her work has appeared in Bet- ter Homes & Gardens, Prevention, and a variety of B2B publications. In her free time, she runs a food and music blog at Balance bold fab- ric prints with a simple, single-color logo. (Image cour- tesy Stormtech) Get Out! Get Out! Outerwear Trends for Apparel Decoration B Y B E C K Y M O L L E N K A M P O uterwear is practical. It's de- signed to keep you warm or dry during inclement weath- er. That doesn't mean it can't also be a stylish addition to your wardrobe. In fact, many manufactur- ers note an uptick in the category. "Jackets are more popular than I've ever seen them before," says Brad Rambo, owner of Independent Trading Company. "There's more perceived value than a hooded sweat- shirt but the price is about the same, and it's a fun printable that can be used in the same way." As interest in outerwear increases, so does demand for its decoration—and manufac- turers say the possibilities are nearly endless. MATERIAL MATTERS In general, most outerwear materials lend themselves well to decoration. As with any apparel category, however, not all fabric is created equal. "Some fabrics are more complicated than others," says Doug Jackson, president of Storm Creek. For example, Jackson says stretchy, light- weight fabrics can be complicated for em- broidery, while looser-knit fabrics like poly- ester or nylon can be temperamental with heat making things like heat seals difficult. Gina Barreca, director of marketing for Vantage Apparel, expands saying perfor- mance fabrics can be challenging for em- broidery. With heavier garments, it can be important to stitch in areas without seams. "Also, if you're embroidering a waterproof garment, what are you doing to the seal?" she asks. "Will it no longer be waterproof, and is that ok or will it be an issue for the customer? Would you be better off decorat- ing in a zone where you wouldn't have to worry about that?"

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