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Athleisure: Beyond the Gym

February 12, 2024 |

In the coming months, expect to athleisure make statements across the board – as these styles permeate all aspects of our busy lives, from versatile silhouettes and colors to performance fabrications, sustainable options and much more.

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Womenswear Outlook 2024

February 5, 2024 |

What’s in a shirt? For custom apparel decorators: everything. Today’s savvy female consumer is looking for sustainability in addition to shapes, styles and colors

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Tees Go Tech: Trend Alert 2024

January 9, 2024 |

How do you define, “basic?” In 2024, a basic T-shirt only lacks decoration. Once decorated, it can take on many forms, with fit and comfort sitting front and center.

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The Nuts and Bolts of Embroidery Pricing

August 9, 2023 |

Pricing your embroidery for a profit is a skill that must be developed early on as you establish your decorated apparel business. Far too many commercial embroiderers pull a figure out of the air hoping it will cover their costs, and all to often it often does not…

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Ask the Experts: Jed Seifert

July 18, 2023 |

In this excerpt from the Impressions “Ask the Experts” podcast and online video series, Impressions Content Director, Adam Cort, talks with Jed Seifert, co-founder of Ohio-based decorator Stakes Manufacturing about how hiring the disabled doesn’t just provide an opportunity for the person being hired—it’s also good business

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Screen-Printing a High-end Denim Collection

July 15, 2023 |

In the beginning, Donwan Harrell and his wife, Jahayra, outsourced their company, Artmeetschaos’, garment manufacturing and printing overseas. But when minimum order quantities saddled the business with excess inventory, they decided to bring their screen-printing operations in-house.

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Fleecewear Trends: A Soft Touch

July 12, 2023 |

Fall is in the air, and with it comes a cornucopia of new apparel, with comfort continuing to be the name of the game. Fleece is also becoming more of an everyday wear item at the same time it straddles gender lines.

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Cutting-Edge Apparel: Fits of the Future

May 1, 2023 |

Despite capricious market trends that sometime seem to fluctuate daily, one thing will always remain constant: the apparel industry consistently stays ahead of the game by cultivating cutting-edge technology and techniques racking up win after win.

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Custom Decorating Software as an Investment

May 1, 2023 |

Do you want to spend less time on mundane business functions and more time on things like researching new markets and strategizing how to make more money? If so, there is no faster, easier way to become more efficient and productive than by incorporating an industry-specific management software system.

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A Call to Sustainable Action in Decorated Apparel

April 28, 2023 |

Environmental awareness and a sensitivity to social justice in general have long been integral to much of the decorated apparel industry, which is only right given the fashion and apparel industry is also a major polluter, currently responsible for 4 percent or more of greenhouse gasses globally, the same as Germany, France and the UK combined.

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Living the Apparel Decorating Dream

April 27, 2023 |

Born in Belize City, in Central America, John Pinnington’s early childhood was not an easy one. But he has since gone on to make his dreams a reality by going into the printing and decorated apparel business, where a combination of hard work and a no-nonsense emphasis on service and quality had led to continued success.

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The Nuts & Bolts of DTF

March 23, 2023 |

Direct-to-Film (DTF) has been hailed as a revolutionary embellishment process. No longer an abstract idea wistfully floating along within the decorated-apparel think tank world, DTF has infiltrated the industry, setting up shop and ready to upend the great pretreatment debate.

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Embroidering to Scale

March 17, 2023 |

Seemingly ubiquitous as a cliché (e.g., the dawn of time), embroidery possesses a rich, ancient-like history. A timeless classic, the art can be traced back to the Cro-Magnon days, roughly around 30,000 B.C.

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Flying High

March 17, 2023 |

A love for aviation took Rocky Smith on a lifelong journey from pilot to apparel decorating specialist. Smith, who earned his private pilot’s license in 2001, has had a lifelong love of airplanes—World War II planes especially.

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Deep Dive into Effectiveness

March 17, 2023 |

When it comes to your shop, what are you most effective at doing? Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you place two social media marketing posts on Instagram to boost sales. One of them gets several hundred likes and dozens of comments. The second one translates into over $17,000 worth of new orders.

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Staying Ahead of the Game

March 16, 2023 |

Today’s athletic teamwear is a fusion of fashion and function. Comfort reigned supreme at the height of the pandemic, and there are carryovers from that lifestyle for today’s brands.

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Stealth Success

February 23, 2023 |

Rich Khun is a man of many talents. He began his career in 2004 as a graphic designer, creating among other things, CD covers, nightclub flyers and billboard designs.

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An Education on Efficiency

February 21, 2023 |

There is no greater goal that any shop can have than to be efficient. When you are “efficient,” you are squeezing the most out of every minute, maximizing income.

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Plackets and Wovens Remain Strong

January 17, 2023 |

At the end of the day, despite recent challenges, wovens and plackets are proving more than capable of maintaining a place of prominence as their classic look and feel continue to be in consistent demand among consumers.

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Spilling the Tea on Tees

January 12, 2023 |

The basic T-shirt is anything but. Sure, the same standard tee that has been around for years is still here, but manufacturers are putting a different spin on these products. For example, while lightweight was once king, styles are inching back toward mid- and heavyweight.

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Apparel Decorating Shop Setup How-to

January 12, 2023 |

Setting up an apparel-decorating business requires doing some homework, as opposed to jumping right in. It’s important to research apparel options and the equipment needs that fit the type of apparel decorating you want to pursue, be it screen-printing, sublimation, heat pressing, embroidery or DTF/DTG decorating.

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Main Street Mogul

January 11, 2023 |

It’s one thing to build a single successful business in a half-dozen years, but four successful businesses? That’s been the reality for Nikkie Chadwick, president of Walnut Creek Apparel & Gifts located in Beloit, Wisconsin, a small college town an hour and a half northwest of Chicago

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Performancewear Outlook 2023

December 1, 2022 |

With new technologies surfacing every day, interest in the performancewear market continue to increase. Manufacturers, in turn, face the challenge of bringing these technologies to the mass-blanks market in the wake of COVID-19.

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Speed Up Your Orders, Maintain Costs with DTF Transfers

October 21, 2022 |

DTF transfer printing involves first printing onto a sheet of PET film with a DTF printer. The decorator then applies the transfer to a hat, tote bag, T-shirt or sports jersey using adhesive powder, pressure and heat: a technique that works well with smaller orders and quick turnarounds..

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Heat Presses and the Holiday Market

October 21, 2022 |

Heat transfers have become an increasingly effective means of custom apparel decoration, making them a great option to taking advantage of seasonal holiday markets. When you do so, be sure to look beyond T-shirts and caps to products such as aprons, dish towels, plaques and even notebooks.

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Profitable T-shirt Printing Post Pandemic

October 21, 2022 |

The decorated apparel industry was hit faster by the pandemic than many other industries. As the pandemic began to ease, a lot of decorators were also overwhelmed and unprepared for the influx of orders. Many companies were still struggling with labor issues, ink shortages, as well as difficulties getting garments even months later.

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Guide to Ordering the Perfect Embroidered Emblem

October 19, 2022 |

Nothing is more frustrating than using an outside service to fabricate embroidered emblems for a client only to open the box and find they’re not right. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your order is exactly what you need and meets the expectations of your client.

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Fashion Trends for ’22

April 7, 2022 |

We’re living in a new era of fashion. Gone are the days of sensible rules and structure. The lines have been blurred, leaving consumers to sometimes grapple with what’s hot and what’s not.

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Big Thinking Pays Off

March 23, 2022 |

Dawaud Muhammad already had built a name for himself in the urban clothing game before the apparel world would formally be introduced to San Leandro, California-based Big Printing T-Shirt Co.

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Making an Impression

March 23, 2022 |

The decorated-apparel industry has long been recognized as a place where creativity, innovation and giving back have become defining hallmarks of the community at large, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected everyone — regardless of occupation or industry — in the last two years.

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Athleisure Flexes its Appeal

March 23, 2022 |

Athleisure’s popularity went into overdrive as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current question is about this category’s longevity moving forward.

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Niche Focus: How to Reach Retail

March 3, 2022 |

Looking for a new niche to tackle? Try fashion/retail; it’s a large channel and has so many divisions, you’re sure to find a sub-genre that fits your shop’s strengths and capabilities.

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The Tee Party Goes On

January 27, 2022 |

If there has proven to be one certainty about T-shirts, it’s that they never go out of style — even though styles of this staple apparel product continuously shift and evolve. This year will find a mixed bag, with some trends carrying over from last year and others evolving.

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Heading in a Digital Direction

October 8, 2021 |

While there may never be a sufficient way to clearly describe the indelible mark the past 18-plus months have had on the decorated-apparel industry, here’s a start: The appetite for online shopping has never been greater.

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The Lady Print Boss

October 6, 2021 |

La Tonna Roberson always had a passion for apparel and design, but she had no idea the canvas she’d spend countless hours working on would be T-shirts.

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The Idea Generator: Part 3

August 13, 2021 |

The first article in this three-part series on idea generation was about the power of collaboration. In the second article, we explored the idea of randomness to inject some fun creativity into your ideation process.

 

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A Playbook for the New Normal

August 2, 2021 |

As COVID-fighting vaccines are on the rise and lockdowns are being lifted across the country, companies must strategize growth opportunities that consider consumer patterns in a post-pandemic world.

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Light in the Darkness

July 22, 2021 |

Amber Penny Massey experienced her first case of severe anxiety at age 22. Upon getting her master’s degree in emotional behavior disorders from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, she worked as a special-education teacher in the Muscogee County School District.

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Refocused on Fun

July 21, 2021 |

After more than a year living of through the COVID-19 pandemic, apparel suppliers have pivoted where necessary; tried to keep “business as usual” as attainable as possible; and didn’t slow down in efforts to meet trend demands — or the lack thereof — in the childrenswear and teen/tween categories.

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‘Where the Real Magic Lives’

June 9, 2021 |

Talk to Michelle Moxley about innovation in our industry, and it’ll be immediately clear that she’s not one of those people who simply discusses it in a “turn-it-on-turn-it-off” manner. It’s not just an eight-hour-a-day obligation meant to justify a paycheck. The passion with which she talks about the subject is evidence of the fact that she lives it.

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Change Agents

June 9, 2021 |

Six years ago, Scoreboard Sports started offering e-stores. And while several of the industry’s biggest players — Soccer.com, Eastbay and BSN Sports — already were striking gold with their own custom platforms, owner Sean Macklyn thought the initiative was worth the effort.

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Niche Focus: Making the Grade

June 2, 2021 |

In the past year, the stoppage of school events and team sports — along with a shift to virtual learning — has changed the way many decorators have approached selling apparel to educational institutions.

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Staying the Course to E-Commerce

June 1, 2021 |

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked the biggest change that La Tonna Roberson, sales manager at Dallas-based Roberson Printing & Graphics and TShirtShopDallas.com, had seen in her shop in 20 years.

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Trend Report: Athletic Wear is Back in the Game

April 22, 2021 |

While the country is slowly recovering from a devastating year that saw a global pandemic sink its teeth into our collective way of life, sports are increasingly becoming more of an outlet for those trying to weather the storm and maintain a bit of normalcy. Still, the fact remains that the athletic-wear sector was affected.

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In Full Bloom

April 16, 2021 |

In many ways, Ada Asenjo’s foray into decorated apparel exemplifies the quintessential journey on which many nascent business owners in this industry embark.

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Doing the Heavy Lifting

March 23, 2021 |

Americans are resolving to make health-related goals a top priority in 2021, which is great news for fitness centers and gyms that experienced a severe downturn in 2020.

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Talking Trends: Dressing Down

March 18, 2021 |

If you think you’ve heard all there is to hear about the pandemic and its effect on fashion, think again. It’s a bona fide phenomenon, and 2021 will be no different.

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Doing the Heavy Lifting

March 4, 2021 |

Americans are resolving to make health-related goals a top priority in 2021, which is great news for fitness centers and gyms that experienced a severe downturn in 2020.

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Plackets and Wovens Check All the Boxes for Wearers

February 11, 2021 |

For the time being, much of the world is working from home and comfortable clothing is ruling the weekdays. Still, with the rising popularity of video meetings, it’s important for workers’ top halves, at the very least, to look professional.

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Merch and More

January 26, 2021 |

When he was 17, Upstate Merch owner Dylan Gilligan was installing appliances for a New York Sears by day and practicing with his band at night.

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Tees: Still Comfy & Classic

January 25, 2021 |

In recent years, T-shirts have evolved to be anything but basic. Identity and versatility consistently define tees, according to industry suppliers, communicating consumers’ needs and visions.

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Going the Distance

November 12, 2020 |

Once upon a time, performancewear was limited to the gym or other athletic activities. Today, however, comfort reigns supreme.

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Kids Cozy Up to Comfort

November 12, 2020 |

Each year, new trends surface in the childrenswear market while those from previous years persist — and 2020 is no different. What actually has changed is an apparel market that is functioning amid a COVID-19 pandemic.

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Why DTG is in Your Future

November 12, 2020 |

From the early days of converted desktop inkjet printers to today’s purpose-built direct-to-garment (DTG) machines, many things have changed with this digital application.

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Advantages of Supportive Software

November 12, 2020 |

As print shops face the new reality of workplace adaptations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, many apparel decorators are questioning whether their everyday processes will support the new way of conducting business — specifically with regard to maintaining social-distancing requirements and modifying physical workspaces.

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Ahead of the Curve

November 2, 2020 |

It’s not an understatement to say that when you want to talk about innovation in decorated apparel, the first person you should call is Mark Coudray.

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Managing Today’s Workplace

October 1, 2020 |

Two months ago, we were all enjoying the synergy typically found in most workplaces, whether it’s handing out high-fives for fellow colleagues’ accomplishments or socializing near the microwave in the break room. Conversations — mostly of the trivial nature — centered on traffic or whatever weather Mother Nature felt like throwing at us.

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The Intersection of Innovation

September 25, 2020 |

In 2020, decorators have access to a wide variety of new apparel styles, fabrications and decorating techniques to better serve other industries, particularly those centering on fitness, fashion and athleisure.

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The Gameplan for Athletic Wear

July 21, 2020 |

If there’s a buzzword that sums up the predominant 2020 trend in athletic wear, it’s “sublimation.” Though not a new technology, sublimation has been a game changer for decorators who embellish athletic wear due to its ease of use on most fabrics, general affordability and turnaround time.

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The ‘New Normal’

July 17, 2020 |

What’s the new reality for your print shop after COVID-19? Honestly, it may be difficult to determine, as businesses most likely are at different points in the reopening process due to regional differences determined on a state-by-state — or even a county-by-county — basis.

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Signs of the Times

May 21, 2020 |

Are you considering jumping into the sign, graphics and visual communications industry? Despite the obvious natural tie-ins — and customers — stepping into a new line of business can bring big opportunities, along with significant questions.

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Fewer Problems with Poly

April 29, 2020 |

Often referred to as athletic, performance, synthetic, novelty or blended apparel, high-polyester blended garments have grown in popularity, which can be attributed to the athleisure trend.

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‘It’s in My DNA’: A Roundtable Q&A

April 28, 2020 |

The world has seen a cultural shift in the past few years, with women in all industries being embraced in roles ranging from supervisors and directors to C-suite executives — and every leadership rung on the proverbial ladder in between.

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What Women Are Wearing

April 22, 2020 |

With the many evolutions of women’s apparel, it can be challenging to stay updated on current trends. One fashion trend, however, remains constant: customized tees and other wearables.

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No Place Like Home

March 31, 2020 |

Sue and J.R. Howell own and operate Marshallton, Delaware-based Shacraft Inc., a home-based decorated-apparel business that offers screen printing, sublimation, embroidery and CAD-cutting services.

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Your Shop’s Sweet Spot

March 10, 2020 |

With new decorated-apparel shops popping up every year and plenty of online competition, you must find ways to differentiate your business from other decorators to remain relevant and successful.

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Peaks and Valleys

February 25, 2020 |

Wendy Schenck-Benson’s first adventure in screen printing occurred in late-spring 1983 in Salt Lake City. The area had
record-breaking snowpack that melted because of a warm spring descended the mountains.

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Tees: Packed with Purpose

January 28, 2020 |

In 2020, expect the basic tee to be anything but basic. Like last year, expect trends to reflect both identity and versatility. However, this year comfort will be king.

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Gandy’s Rapid Growth

January 23, 2020 |

Phil Gandy calls it the “bulldog mindset” — that drive and ambition that was necessary when he started Gandy Ink in San Angelo, Texas, more than 30 years ago.

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New Year, New Solutions

January 9, 2020 |

Are everyday business challenges limiting your company’s potential? Are you searching for the best way to tackle demands head on in a competitive industry?

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The Evolution of Athleisure

November 21, 2019 |

These days, athleisure is much more than an apparel buzzword. It’s a phenomenon that has changed where and how consumers wear apparel like slogan T-shirts, leggings, joggers, hoodies and caps.

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Branding Basics

October 22, 2019 |

There’s a lot of jargon that gets thrown around in the marketing world, but if there’s one concept that decorated-apparel shops should consider when building their businesses, it’s branding.

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Full Steam Ahead

October 22, 2019 |

Paul Whitmore still remembers the biggest job that rolled through Rhino Graphics. Not too long before a 44,000-shirt order came in, the San Marcos, Texas-based shop had just purchased an automatic screen-printing press.

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The Outlook for Outerwear

October 18, 2019 |

We heard it all the time as kids: “Don’t forget your jacket!” Our parents didn’t want us to get sick because of the cold weather, and jackets were the first line of defense.

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Fit Factors

October 17, 2019 |

Fit can be one of the most challenging issues an apparel decorator faces when selecting the correct style for a customer. A garment that didn’t fit the way the customer expected is the No. 1 reason for most online apparel returns, according to a 2017 Narvar report, Making Returns a Competitive Advantage.

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Pitch-Worthy Apparel Trends

August 27, 2019 |

From fields to factories, the fashion industry is evolving its practices to meet the requests of conscious end users everywhere. While trends previously focused on the latest coveted colors and patterns, consumers are increasingly concerned with where and how their products are made and the ideas they espouse.

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Social-Media Hacks to Score Sales

August 26, 2019 |

Lee Romano Sequeira, co-owner of Durham, North Carolina-based Sparkle Plenty Designs, offered a “take-the-shirt-off-our-back” campaign on social media to get the word out about her wares.

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Strong Roots

August 23, 2019 |

To say that California Roots Presents (CRP) is a dynamic and intertwined group of creative businesses may be an understatement.

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Cut from the Same Cloth

July 23, 2019 |

They may be small, but children and teens/tweens have a big voice in the apparel industry and are influential when it comes to driving trends.

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Hidden in Plain Sight

July 23, 2019 |

Camouflage is in the middle of a cultural renaissance. At no time in the past has it enjoyed more growth and diversity in the apparel and fashion marketplaces than now.

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Old is New

July 23, 2019 |

If you think about the state of the headwear category one year ago, you’ll probably remember a proliferation of retro headwear, with the front-and-center positioning of trucker and low-profile styles.

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Eyes on the Future

May 31, 2019 |

There’s something unique about the apparel-decorating community. Ask decorators about their counterparts and what epitomizes the good things about the industry and — surprise — they won’t ramble on about themselves. They’ll actually defer praise to others.

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The Long Road to Innovation

May 30, 2019 |

In the past century, the apparel industry has witnessed a dizzying number of changes in the way companies source, manufacture and decorate garments. From hand cutting film for screen-printed letters to designs that are ready to use in less than 30 seconds, there’s no doubt that the digital age has launched commercial decoration into a realm that industry veterans could only have dreamed of just two decades ago.

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The Innovation Era = Now

May 30, 2019 |

This is an exciting time for the decorated-apparel industry. So many new things are happening not only in our market, but also in surrounding ones, so it may be hard to keep up.

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Athletic Wear: It’s Still Personal

April 30, 2019 |

Why mess with a good thing, right? If you’re looking to define the athletic wear and team-uniform categories in 2019, look no further than where things stood last year — with customization.

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4 Marketing Tactics to Try This Year

April 23, 2019 |

Visiting Boston-based Johnny Cupcakes is like going to the best bakery in the world — on steroids. There’s the scent of frosting wafting through the showroom, oven-lid decorations and, not to be overlooked, decorated T-shirts stacked in industrial ovens.

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Laser Focus

April 2, 2019 |

Many decorators and customers think of lasers for the traditional applications of teamwear numbers, names and mascots.

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Marketing for Slower Seasons

April 2, 2019 |

If you’re like many garment decorators, the cold weather also can cool off your sales. As the summer rush winds down, fall and winter can find you scrambling to minimize costs and planning for the lower end of the bell curve.

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The Lowdown on Ladies’ Apparel

March 21, 2019 |

From distinct cuts and colors to fun slogans and witty messaging, today’s womenswear niche isn’t slowing down. And some industry insiders say the trail is blazing as hot as the past comes full circle.

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Self-Made Sublimation

March 21, 2019 |

Donray Printing has a rich history — a classic story of a man and his vision. Founder Art Ferriola was first introduced to sublimation printing when he worked as a press man — and eventually salesman — for Devries Printing in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

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Decorated Apparel’s Youth Movement

February 14, 2019 |

When 31-year-old budding hip-hop star Chad-Eric Montgomery founded streetwear line Gold and Gems Clothing, he was interning in Silicon Valley, bunking with his parents and investing each check he received in his business.

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Tee Talk in 2019

January 28, 2019 |

In 2018, T-shirts were defined by versatility. This year, industry suppliers say that versatility will be coupled with the element of communicating wearers’ identities. The basic tee has a touch of fashion but can adapt to current trends, whether it’s paired with a hoodie, sweater or blazer.

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Cause Central

January 25, 2019 |

In February 2018, during a lecture at Harvard Business School, Skya Nelson was asked how his company, organic sweatshop-free boutique apparel maker Fed By Threads (FBT), was going to change the minds of today’s corporate consumers regarding sustainability.

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