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A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing Branded Apparel for Your Company

February 29, 2024

When it comes to outfitting your team or organization with branded apparel, the choices can seem overwhelming. With so many fabric options, sizing considerations, and decoration methods available, how can you ensure you're making the right decisions? This comprehensive guide will walk you through key factors to consider for fabric, fit, and decoration to get professional-looking branded apparel that meets your needs and leaves a lasting impression.

Understanding Fabrics: Make Informed Choices

The fiber content and construction method dramatically impact a fabric's look, performance, cost, and care requirements. Let's break it down:

Fiber Types

Natural fibers like cotton are made from plant or animal-based sources. Cotton is incredibly soft, breathable, and moisture-absorbent - great for casual apparel. However, it can wrinkle easily and doesn't wick moisture, as well as synthetics for performance wear.

Synthetic fibers like polyester are man-made from chemical compounds. Polyester offers excellent strength, durability, wrinkle resistance, and color-fastness. It's a smart choice for activewear since it dries quickly and wicks moisture away from the body. The downside is that synthetic fibers don't breathe as well as natural fibers.

Fabric Construction

Knit fabrics like jersey and pique are made by interconnecting a series of loops instead of weaving threads together. This creates a stretchier, more flexible fabric suited for casual apparel like t-shirts and polos.

Woven fabrics are created on a loom that interlaces threads together horizontally and vertically. This results in a sturdier, more structured fabric perfect for professional button-up shirts, pants, jackets, and more.

Fabric Finishes

Many fabrics go through additional finishing processes to enhance their properties, like stain/soil resistance, wrinkle resistance, water repellency, and antimicrobial protection. When choosing a fabric, consider what finishes you need based on how the apparel will be used.

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Ensuring the Right Fit: Key Measurements and Sizing Tips

Fit is crucial for branded apparel to have a polished, cohesive look that represents your organization well. Sizing differs between men's, women's, and unisex styles, so use the specific size charts provided. But taking your measurements is recommended for the best fit:

For Tops:

  • Total Length: Measure from the base of the neck down to the desired shirt length
  • Chest/Bust: With arms relaxed at the sides, measure fully around the chest/bust area
  • Sweep: Measure around the circumference of the body at the point where the garment's hem or total length stops, keeping the tape comfortably loose

For Bottoms:

  • Waist: Measuring around where you want the waistband to sit, allowing ease for non-stretch fabrics
  • Hips: Standing with feet together, measure around the fullest part of hips/seat
  • Inseam: Standing with legs straight, measure from crotch to desired pant length

Picking Decoration Methods: Add the Finishing Touch

Now for the branding details! There are numerous decoration methods to explore, each with its own distinct look and feel:

  • Embroidery stitches the design directly into the fabric thread by thread using a machine. This classic technique has an upscale, embellished look ideal for company logos.
  • Screen Printing lays down the branding using a stencil to apply layers of ink directly on the fabric surface. This affordable method is excellent for capturing vivid colors and design details.
  • Heat Transfers fuse a pre-made design onto the apparel using heat and pressure. Transfer types range from flat/smooth to textured/raised impacts. These are an easy way to achieve a premium printed look.

More specialized decoration options include:

  • Sublimation printing, which uses heat to dye polyester fabrics with full color, photographic-quality imaging permanently
  • Laser etching, which delicately burns away part of the fabric's top layer to expose the design
  • Discharge printing, which uses a bleaching agent to remove dye from colored fabrics in the pattern shape

With so many variables around fabric composition, construction, fit, and decorations, it's vital to partner with branded apparel experts who can guide you to the right solutions. At Image Solutions, we have over 25 years of experience helping companies bring their apparel visions to life using top-quality fabrics, decoration methods, and precision sizing. Our team will thoroughly consult with you to determine your exact needs and provide recommendations to deliver flawless results.

Ready to take your branded apparel to the next level? Contact Image Solutions today to start the conversation!