More and more rec hockey teams are choosing sublimation jerseys. Here’s why.
Sublimation is a manufacturing process where the entire design of the hockey jerseys are directly infused into the fabric. Everything from the colors of the jersey, striping, logos, numbers, and player names become part of the fabric.
Sublimation jerseys start out as digital designs that are created on graphic design apps. Next, the design is printed on paper—in life size—using large-format printers. The printed design is then pressed onto the fabric at a high temperature and pressure. The heat and pressure convert the design into gas, which then bonds with the molecules on the fabric. Finally, the fabric panels are sewn together to create the finished jerseys.
When a hockey jersey is “sublimated,” the design, logos, numbers, and player names do not fade, crack or wear. That’s because they are directly infused into the fabric. These jerseys are different from screen-printed or embroidered jerseys; the logos, etc., rest on the surface of the fabric. After awhile the logos may wear or peel off; over multiple seasons, the added durability of sublimation hockey jerseys provides significant cost savings.
With sublimation jerseys, the number of logos, etc. has little impact on the price. Put another way, the more artwork you have on the jerseys, the more money you save versus a traditional screen-printed jersey. Most sublimation hockey jerseys have one all-in price that includes everything: multiple logos, numbers, player names, etc.—everything the team would like. This means teams can add artwork such as sponsor logos, jersey numbers, sleeve logos, player names, etc., without increasing the cost of their jerseys.
One particular advantage for the team would be more sponsorship opportunities without incurring additional printing costs. With screen-printed or stitched logos, there is always an added cost for every additional print on the jersey. For example, if you would like to add a player name or a sponsor logo, the cost goes up.
Sublimation jerseys are more comfortable than conventional jerseys. The fabric remains nice and smooth because the printing is within the fabric. As such, one only feels the fabric and not the print at all. This is a lot nicer than feeling the dried ink from logos which have been screen-printed onto the jerseys. What’s more, these hockey jerseys will feel lighter than jerseys with embroidered or stitched-on printing. For hockey players demanding lighter-weight jerseys for better performance, sublimation is the best choice.
Sharper Designs, More Color Choices
Jerseys produced using this process typically feature sharper designs than conventional jerseys, because they are digitally designed. Sublimation hockey jerseys can have gradients, textures, camouflage patterns, etc. There is also a much greater choice of colors: Sunset, Lime Green, Fuchsia, and Tangerine are common in sublimation but rare in conventional jerseys.
Another significant advantage of this process is that logos are printed in full color. With screen-printed logos every additional color on a logo will cost more. This is also true for player numbers and names. And with sublimation, numbers and names are offered in two or three colors—at no additional cost.
Considering all these advantages, sublimation hockey jerseys are getting increasingly more popular. Hockey teams who want both high quality jerseys and good value for money should give sublimation jerseys some serious thought.
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