Hiya, Luke here.
I am the Senior Sales Manager at Shirtworks and my blogs are all going to be about ‘product’.
I will be focusing on seasonally relevant garments to bring them into focus and help you decide what would be the most suitable option for you.
In this blog, I will attempt to make a connection between the styles of winter jackets available through Shirtworks and how they may or may not match your ‘brands’ image.
For clarity, I am going to create a few segment profiles and show some of the styles available that fit the brand context of those segments.
1. Corporate (I am serious and conservative, I probably work in Banking or insurance and like to look smart)
2. Sporty (I am fit, active and work in some sort of sport management,facility or team. I value the technical aspects of clothing).
3 Outdoorsy (My favourite celebrity is Bear Grylls. He has tight buns but lacks the knowledge of Ray Mears. I work in an outdoors/adventure sector and buy brands and technical features).
4 Youth fashion (I am 18-30, I work for a brand that is perceived as young, energetic and fashionable. As a representative of my brand, it is important for my customers to see me and feel that we are on the same wavelength.I am being judged mainly on my appearance).
5 Hard grafter (I am a proper man. I work with my hands and with heavy metal objects, mostly outdoors. I am tough and my clothes need to be tough and functional.Pink is not an option for me).
Hopefully you have an idea now of the wide variety of products now available to the corporate or organisation buyer and how there is almost certainly a style to fit your brand.
Now the techy stuff.
A lot of the jackets are Goretex and or made from similar material giving you a top end technical product at a fraction of the price you would pay on the high street.
A great many Jackets are suitable for embroidery only. This is due to their construction and fabric.
Embroidery is great for a breast logo or a small area of text on an arm or nape but it can get very expensive for decorating large areas with designs or logos.
This is because embroidery is priced per thousand stitches and a typical breast logo is 5000 stitches. This represents about the right amount of stitches and price ratio that makes embroidery an affordable decorative option but as soon as you go big, you go expensive as the stitch count increases.
The drawback with embroidery onto waterproof jackets is that the embroidered area no longer is waterproof as the needle has punched thousands of little holes in the outer of the garment in order to weave the thread into. Holes= porous= possibility of getting wet in that area if subjected to a downpour.
The answer is to heat press some vinyl backing on the inside shell if you can get to it to seal the back of the embroidery. If this is not possible, then a generous application of Scotch Guard over the embroidery will give you the repellent required.
Screen printing onto jackets is a different matter.
Jackets often have their own water repellant coating which also acts as an ink repellant. There are some ink systems with solvent additives that will penetrate the coating to stick the ink to the fibres of the garment but each jacket needs to be assessed on its own merits and the viability for a screen printed image needs to be established.
Even if you can get ink to stick to a jacket, you will only be able to print 1 or 2 colours at most due to the other problems which jackets often present, namely the presence of a lining. This lining will always move independently from the outer which can cause registration problems (lining up your colours)with your colours. There are specially designed pallets to help mitigate or eliminate the movement of the jacket between ink colours but it takes a skilled practitioner to work with this equipment.
There are two other applications which can be used to decorate jackets.
1. Heat applied transfers.
This is where the logo/design is printed onto a thin plastic transfer and applied using an industrial press to the jacket.This is a great solution if the logo is multi-coloured and complicated and can look extremely effective.
2. Heat applied vinyl.
This is where the logo or design is cut from a micro thin layer of plastic and then heat pressed onto the garment. This is great for text or single colour logos with clean edges and no gradients.
All in all though, if you have the budget and if the jacket will allow, then embroidery is always the better option.
Your jackets should be an investment that communicate to your audience the values and personality that you brand stands for.
New products are coming out all the time to help you achieve your brand objectives and if you need any advice, then I am on standby and more than happy to help.
feel free to comment or email me with feedback at luke@shirtworks..co.uk