Sublimated Jerseys Are a Worldwide Phenomenon

by Matt DeLaere, Marketing

A close-up of FC St. Pauli’s design.
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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve seen many examples of, shall we say, “unique” theme jerseys being worn by minor league professional sports teams in the US and Canada. We’ve seen jerseys celebrating special days like Groundhog Day, historical events like the Gettysburg Address, and popular movies like Star Wars and Ghostbusters. Other teams have gone the way of honoring their mascots with a chihuahua jersey and a uniform trimmed with bacon.

From all of this, you might have gotten the impression that unique special event jerseys are a North American phenomenon. Not so! In Europe, where soccer is all the rage, several clubs have become quite creative with their kits.

Back in the 2010-11 season, German squad FC St. Pauli debuted a reversible brown jersey, with one side sublimated with scenes from the club’s history.

Keep it classy, León.
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Spanish football club Culturo y Deportivo Leonesa recently celebrated their 90th anniversary with special jerseys. The classy kickers (foppish footballers?) took the field wearing a tuxedo-themed uniform kit. 10% of proceeds from the sale of these jerseys will be donated to charities for families of local miners.

By now you might be thinking, “Sure, these European clubs celebrate their history with their jerseys, but they’re not as unusual as some American jerseys.” Our final example proves you wrong.


La Hoya Lorca (broccoli) stalks their opponents.
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To celebrate their home area’s agriculture, Spanish team La Hoya Lorca dresses like a head of broccoli. The jersey and shorts feature a sublimated broccoli head pattern while the team socks are a lighter shade of green, meant to represent the stalk.

Yes, sports uniforms have come a long way from the flannels worn by early baseball players and the plain shirts and pants worn by soccer players. Whether your customers are dressing as an animal, a historical mural, or as their favorite high-fiber vegetable, Stahls’ has products that will help you decorate their uniforms.

For sublimated polyester jerseys like those shown above, Thermo-FILM® is the natural choice for letters and numbers. Featuring high opacity and a low-bleed formula, this heat transfer material helps designs stay true to their original color no matter the color of the substrate.

If you’re decorating sublimated jerseys with designs printed on your print/cut system, CAD-COLOR® SuperTEK™ Sublistop™ is the way to go. With STiX2™ adhesive that sticks to almost anything, and a charcoal-based lining to help stop bleed-through, this printable heat transfer material is perfect for sublimated materials like soccer jerseys and technical fabrics. Plus, it has excellent stretch and recovery.

As teams around the world continue to push the limits with their uniform designs, be assured that Stahls’ will continue to provide you with the materials you need to make those uniforms look even better.



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