June 1, 2015
Now that some of the domestic sporting seasons are coming to an end, sportswear is becoming ever more prominent in advertising especially as the individual sports start to swing into full gear such as tennis and cycling with the Tour de France just around the corner. The design and manufacture of sportswear is at an important part of the year getting ready for the new football and rugby seasons starting in August, so it is a great time to finalise your designs for up and coming sportswear and fitness clothing. There are lots of ways that designers consider branding when they are labelling sportswear. Whether it be a direct print onto the garment, embroidered on or a label or a badge there are many benefits to each type of label.
Printed labelling of sportswear tends to be on light weight seamless garments such as Under armour and cycling jerseys. This type of garment finishing is used as it requires no stitching, is relatively cheap and it means the label won’t cause any irritation to the skin. Printed labels tend not to be very durable over time with repeated washes and distortion through wear. This type of label tends to fade and crack and this is why it’s considered a lower quality of garment finishing, but can form an integral part of the products design. Printed sportswear labelling can also have a reflective finish for “High vis” elements for products such as running and cycling gear.
Embroidery is also a common way of labelling sportswear and is used predominantly for team jerseys and garments i.e shorts and socks. Embroidery is a cheap easy way to put a brand on a product that’s used several times for different teams or sports. Football kits are a perfect example of this many sportswear branding companies using the same product for many different teams. They will embroider the team crest, there own logo and even sponsors logos if the images and words are of a simple design. Embroidered logos which are used in labelling sportswear tend to be heavier in weight and are durable but can cause irritation which is usually why embroidery isn’t used on running gear or tighter streamline garments.
Woven badges are commonly use in labelling sportswear for team kits, again football and other team sports like netball and hockey use woven labels and badges as a great alternative to the traditional embroidered logos because a badge has a clearer an crisp finish and it is possible to create more detail. So for teams that have a high amount of detail in there crest this is the preferred option and a woven label or badge is considered a higher quality form of branding and labelling. Labels are also a great option and are now used on sportswear extensively, usually on garments to prove its a genuine product of the team or to provide more information. For example, Walero are a fire retardant motorsports underwear designer and manufacturer who use their labels to let you know that their products conform to certain standards. Woven labels are also used as care labels rather than traditional printed satin due to the garments going through repeated washes. A printed satin care label will fade whereas a woven label will hold its colour and the instructions will say clear.
In some cases designers will use all three elements when labelling sportswear to create the biggest impact possible as it is such a competitive market. By far the most important aspect of sportswear labelling is its branding and garment finishing as one is emblematic of the quality of the other. So when designing your products make sure you take the time to make the most of your brands identification and use your garment finishing to emphasise the key elements of your product as it can be the difference between a high quality/performance brand and something a customer might just wear round the house.