One of the most important factors of spirit wear success is the custom design. Obviously, you’ll make more sales if the logo on the garments appeals to the majority of your target market. There are two aspects to consider with custom designs. The first is the concept, and the second is the execution. If your organization plans on utilizing a spirit wear program, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of spirit wear decorating methods. This will help you ensure that the design concept you see on paper or on your computer screen will translate onto the actual garments.
One of the most common spirit wear decorating methods is screen printing. First, a negative of the design is printed on a screen and then placed on the garment. Ink is then rolled over the screen (which serves as a stencil) and onto the garment. Screen printing works best for designs with limited colors, as well as designs that include details like shading or gradients. Most custom designs fit that description, and that’s a big reason why most spirit wear is decorated by screen printing. Finished screen-printed garments look good, and the ink stands up to everyday wear and tear and multiple washes without issue.
A decorating method similar to screen printing is a transfer. The most common type is a heat transfer. First, the design is printed onto transfer paper or vinyl. After that, heat and pressure are used to transfer the ink onto the garment. One advantage of transfers is that designs can be very detailed and include many colors since the art is processed by a computer.
Embroidered logos are sewn into the garment with thread rather than utilizing ink. Embroidery is not as common as the ink-based methods. It’s more expensive and is applied to a small area of the garment. However, it is the best decorating method for garments that have rough surfaces or ones with thick of fuzzy material. The most commonly embroidered garments are hats, jackets, fleeces and polos.
The previously mentioned spirit wear decorating methods are the “big three.” Almost all spirit wear garments will be decorated using one of them. Additional less common options fall under the “bling” category. They include glittery inks, rhinestone applications and sequins. The bling methods are most common for ladies’ garments.
We’ve had experience with all of these decorating methods and utilize screen printing the most by far, followed by embroidery on certain items like the ones mentioned previously. We’ve tried transfers but discovered that screen printing produced higher-quality designs that had better durability.
Remember to find out how your garments will be decorated when the time comes for your spirit wear program. You want to make sure your customers receive quality products. To learn more or to start a program with Win-Win, call 1-877-6-WINWIN (694-6496) or submit a free proposal