Creating the Right Look
At Stahls', full-color digital transfers provide an alternative to screen prints or embroidery, as they can create vivid recreations of logos with fine details, gradients or more than four colors. "The advantages are that they heat apply at [a] low temperature with short dwell time, which allows you to easily decorate performance wear and the latest technical fabrics," Blondell said. "Full-color digital logos have stretch and rebound, allowing movement without cracking or peeling."
In its second year of availability, heat transfers have been gaining traction at Vantage due to an increase in performance fabrics, Cocco said. "As the fabrics get a little bit lighter, we were finding that lighter weight applications actually complement it a little bit more and it was more comfortable to wear," she said.
5. What's Popular
Screen printing remains popular with high- to medium-volume orders that have one- or two-color imprints, however, heat transfers have risen to the favorite decoration method, Blondell said. "With the performance wear and technical fabrics, the go-to decorating method would be heat transfers of full-color or special-effect designs and logos," she said. "Heat transfers continue to increase in popularity due to the ease of application, durability and mess-free decorating when screen printing and embroidery are not an option, due to fabrics and/or location."
Cocco added that embroidery is a popular choice at Vantage. "It has the best or greatest quality with the highest perceived value," she said. "It's also a great alternative for program business, whether it be single-piece orders and/or large-volume orders."