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2024 Impressions Industry Impact (III) Awards

Recognizing the products, innovation and technology propelling the decorated-apparel industry into the future

By the Impressions Editorial Team

July 1, 2024

It’s no secret the decorated-apparel industry is very much an industry on the move these days. Blank apparel, screen-printing, embroidery, heat-pressing, digital-decorating tech, you name it—not only is change the name of the game, but the rate of change seems to be becoming that much faster, that much more pronounced with every passing year.

In light of this fact, we at Impressions have created something we’re calling our Impressions Industry Impact (or III) Awards to highlight the best of the best in terms of the industry’s latest advances. Categories include everything from the best new heat-pressing technology to the best in blank apparel and everything in between, reflecting the fact that when it comes to custom apparel the rate of change is not only dizzyingly fast-paced, but all encompassing as well. For those interested in taking part in our III Awards program in the coming year, stay tuned. We’ll be revealing the details of our 2025 Awards in the months to tome. In the meantime, enjoy, and keep up the good work!

2024 Impressions Industry Impact Awardees


Best New Embroidery Tech: Brother GTX Pro Direct-to-Embroidery (DTE) System

Simply put, the system turns the entire practice of modern machine embroidery on its head by allowing decorators to embroider a design entirely in white, after which it is colorized using a modified direct-to-garment style printer. Click here for more.

Embroidery Honorable Mention: Coloreel Thread-Dying System

The Coloreel system foregoes the need for the multiple spools of different colored thread traditionally required by embroiderers. Click here for more.

Best New Embroidery Materials: Madeira USA E-Zee Green Backing

Madeira USA’s E-Zee Green Backing is a medium-weight machine-embroidery backing made from 100 percent recycled polyester. Click here for more.

Best New Screen-Printing Tech: ROQ E Self-contained Automatic Press

ROQ describes its ROQ E automatic screen-printing press as the industry’s “first ever self-contained automatic screen-printing machine,” i.e., an auto equipped with its own air compressor. Click here for more.

Best New Screen-Printing Ancillary Tech: Vastex Return-Belt Dryer

The Vastex Return-Belt Conveyor Dryer is a refreshingly straightforward solution to a number of challenges inherent in the operation and basic design of any point-to-point conveyor drying system. Click here for more.

Best New Heat-Press Tech: Hotronix ProPlace IQ Projection Alignment System

STAHLS’ Hotronix ProPlace IQ Projection Alignment System ensures perfect placement by projecting a rendering of the design in question directly onto the platen where the garment is going to be threaded for decorating. Click here for more.

Best New Digital Decorating Tech: Epson SureColor F1070 DTG/DTF Printer

Compact enough to qualify as a true desktop piece of equipment, the F1070 is not only easy to operate but comes at a reasonable price point. Click here for more.

Best New DTF Tech: M&R Quatro Direct-to-Film (DTF) System

M&R Quatro Direct-to-Film (DTF) System does everything from print your designs onto the requisite film to apply and cure the necessary adhesive with the help of a fully integrated high-efficiency infra-red drying system. Click here for more.

Best New DTG Ancillary Tech: ROQ READY Automatic Pre-treatment Machine

For those looking to execute even the largest DTG runs reliably and efficiently, there is now the ROQ READY automatic pre-treatment machine. Click here for more.

Best New Environmental Business /Tech: CICLO Biodegradable Polyester/Nylon Fibers

In layman’s terms, the CICLO process creates plastic fibers that biodegrade at roughly the same rate as wool. Imagine the possibilities! Click here for more.

Best New Team Athletic Apparel: A4 Recycled Materials/Pricing Program

A4 is not only employing recycled fibers wherever and whenever possible to “help reduce plastic pollution in our oceans and landfills” but doing so “without charging our customers a penny.” Click here for more.

Best New Headwear: Atlantis Headwear 100 Percent Sustainability by 2025

Atlantis Headwear has committed to incorporating sustainable materials and processes across its entire product line by 2025. Click here for more.

Best New T-shirt: Gildan/Comfort Colors Pigment Pure Line

The Comfort Colors Pigment Pure process breaks new ground both aesthetically and environmentally. Click here for more.

Social Justice Award: Transfigure Print Co.

Transfigure Print Co. prides itself on supporting Trans and Queer people, businesses and social outreach in general. Click here for more.


Updated: July 3, 2024