Decoration methods in the promotional industry are ever-expanding. You already know the top two decoration options for apparel and accessories—embroidery and screen printing—but rhinestones and dye sublimation both have loyal followings as well. Decorators always are exploring different ways to apply these imprint favorites, coming up with creative ways to get the most out of the item's decoration. This exploration can create a lot of choices for you and your clients, the biggest of which being indirect or direct decoration. We broke it down for you on the next few pages so you can figure out which option is best for your clients and your business.
Indirect decoration, as its name suggests, is when a decorator works on a garment indirectly. This can be done in a number of ways. For screen printing, it means using a heat press to transfer artwork from a piece of paper to the garment, and for embroidery, it means using a debossing process to simulate the effect.
Brian Fuchs, president of Windswept Marketing, Asheville, N.C., explained the company's "indirect advantage" and what it means for distributors, end-buyers and end-users.
What Are Your Options?
"The 'indirect advantage' is a big umbrella name that covers all the ways that we brand and decorate apparel," he said. "But we do them all in a very unique way that allows us to stock the decoration and brand the apparel as needed, when needed." Fuchs mentioned that the most popular indirect decoration is embroidery, but your client can choose one of many other imprint options as well, such as dye sublimation or bedazzled rhinestones. Fuchs noted that the indirect decoration process with embroidery or any other imprint option eliminates issues that arise with direct imprinting like loose threads, an itchy backside of the imprint and puckering.