by Matt DeLaere, Marketing
|[Image from http://www.buccaneers.com]|
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL® recently introduced new uniforms for next season. The new design features a brighter red than the old jerseys, as well as a richer pewter, the return of “Bay Orange” (the creamsicle color of the Bucs’ original uniforms), and chrome. The Buccaneers follow a couple of recent trends in sports uniforms and performance wear.
Chrome “effects” are becoming all the rage in professional (and college) sports uniforms. Jerseys designed for this year’s NHL® Stadium Series had chrome-treated logos, NBA® Christmas day jerseys featured two-tone chrome logos, and the minor-league Bakersfield Condors have metallic wings on their jerseys.
The new Bucs jerseys feature more modern-looking numbers with beveled edges and lines designed to look like the slashes made by buccaneers’ swords. The numbers have a “reflective chrome border” to increase their visibility and add a unique visual effect. The facemask on the team’s redesigned helmet also has a chrome effect.
The metallic trend goes beyond pro and college teams, with the style increasingly showing up on fan wear, spirit wear, and fashion garments. You may already know that reflective materials like Stahls’ CAD-CUT® 3M™ Scotchlite™ 5807 are great for safety apparel and materials with a metallic finish, like Fashion-FILM® Metallic II is great for fashion garments. Each can be cut with a vinyl cutter and applied easily with a heat press to T-shirts, sweatshirts, and more.
But the high-tech fabric used in performance wear and many jerseys these days is trickier to decorate because of its stretchability and sensitivity to heat. New Stahls’ TEK™ materials are specifically designed for performance wear and feature incredible stretch and rebound properties. Plus, they’re lightweight with a soft hand and apply at a lower temperature which avoids scorch marks on technical fabrics.
CAD-COLOR® FoilTEK™ printable heat transfer material is available in Metallic Gold, Silver, and White colors, as well as “Silver Shift” and “Gold Shift.” Metallic Gold, Silver, and White are pretty much self-explanatory – they give printed designs a metallic sheen along with the color printed on them. The “Shift” colors give a unique metallic visual effect, with their appearance changing depending on the material they’re applied to and the angle at which they’re viewed. All four are great options for adding the metallic look to performance wear and can be used with a print/cut system.
The other trend followed by the Bucs regards their new letter and number font. Instead of traditional styles like Pro Block or Varsity, teams are turning toward newer, more stylish fonts for player numbers.
Following the lead of pro and college teams, you can provide stylish (and aggressive) numbers to your customers. Stahls’ recently introduced 26 new fonts for Pre-Cut Numbers and 5 new fonts for Pre-Spaced Numbers. These include more modern fonts like Chopper and Fury, as well as plenty of others you can use to provide the best-looking uniforms possible.
As always, test materials for each job, making sure that the material used adheres properly to the garment and is appropriate for the garment’s use (for example, stretchable materials for Lycra®/spandex or more durable materials for full-contact sports like football).