It’s time to get active

Example designs from Polymark

There are many ways, many methods and many products that you can use to decorate activewear. What are you waiting for? It’s time to impress your customers and get active.

Worth a staggering £7billion in the UK alone, the activewear market has exploded – partly down to the boundaries between traditional fashionwear and sportswear becoming blurred.

Activewear is no longer restricted to just the sports environment or market; with high-end fashion designers incorporating activewear into their catwalk shows and nearly all of the big-name high street brands launching their own range within the last few years, alongside various celebrity endorsements.

Sportswear brands such as Nike are also getting in on the athleisure action. Nike’s president and CEO, Mark Parker, said, when accounting for the brand’s revenue increase of 6% to $8.2billion in 2016, that: “Our consistent growth is fuelled by innovation.”

A huge surge in consumer demand for activewear has resulted in an increasingly competitive market; and so there is a greater need for businesses to adopt creative, vibrant and intricate designs to keep their edge.

From embroidery to transfer printing, there are many ways that you can increase your activewear sales. Customers want to be able to brand their garments their way, which is why you should look to offer the most innovative techniques available.

A tubular arm makes decorating activewear easy


As activewear garments become increasingly close fitting and stretchy, this poses many problems for garment decorators, in particular for embroiderers. “Working on activewear demands embroidery to be located in a wide variety of places like sleeves, shoulders, hips or legs. Working with tubular garments when the embroidery is located on the left chest is straightforward, but embroidering on narrow stretch sleeves for example, can be a real struggle, both to frame and to stitch,” explains Andrew Stocks, MD of Stocks Embroidery & Sewing Solutions.

This demand to be able to successfully embroider on narrow tubular garments has prompted companies like ZSK to develop precision machines that have the slimmest cylinder arm available in the industry.

Andrew adds: “These new slim arms make almost every embroidery location accessible on any garment, turning working with activewear into an opportunity for embroidery businesses who are willing to invest in these versatile machines.”

But what happens if you’re looking for a more inexpensive option? Customised lettering and badges could be the answer.

Arem Italia is a leader in embroidery customisation and supplies writing and letters with laser-cutting technology to apply onto garments. The company says its professional team helps customers find the perfect solution to promote their brand. Embroidered badges provide that ideal customised look on any activewear garment.

The product portfolio that Polymark offers ensures solutions in textile identification and decoration that satisfy a broad range of application requirements. Providing transfers, emblems and tapes suitable for industrial workwear, sports and leisure garments, school uniforms and much more.

Technical variants such as flame retardant, eco-friendly and dye blocking capabilities go hand in hand with developed artistic effects such as embroidered, metallic and flouro to provide the complete solution for your products.

Going digital

For businesses looking for something different the digital route may be the way forward. Roland DG, for example, offers solutions that provide sharp print quality and vivid colour.

The XT-604’s advanced print technology, in combination with Roland’s own Texart ink and Ergosoft RIP software, ensure a picture perfect finish on even the most complicated of designs, whatever the quantity.

Fluor ink enables businesses to expand into other markets

Furthermore, Roland DG has recently launched Texart Fluor ink, which has been specifically developed for optimum performance with the Texart XT-640 and RT-640 wide-format dye sublimation printers. Available in both fluorescent pink and yellow, the new inks further expand the possibilities of dye sublimation transfer printing; which allows businesses to enter new, profitable markets such as the cycling and motocross sectors where complex, vibrant and distinctive designs are a necessity.

These are of course only a handful of examples of the variety of techniques and methods available in the printwear market.

The key is to listen to your customers, take on board what they want and produce a design they can be proud to wear down the gym, on the football pitch or at any other sporting event.

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