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Author Topic: Sublimation, The New Fad  (Read 1593 times)

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Sublimation, The New Fad
Topic: May 03, 2019, 09:14:15 AM


Youth hockey clubs are slowly shifting from the norm of authentic heavy gauge purposed mesh with embroidered patches to fully sublimated paper thin ultra lightweight mesh construction.

What do you need to know?

The original universal choice with youth hockey clubs are made with heavier, much more bulky but durable material. Normally embroidered or stitched with number and logo patches on the front back and arms. These jerseys take time to design and manufacture. First jerseys have to be ordered then they go to a separate vendor for completion. Typically the price paid per jersey runs anywhere from $110 to $150 per on average. If you buy the right size the jerseys typically last forever. The cost in bulk for the jerseys alone normally runs anywhere from $70 to $90 per, depending on manufacturer. Lead time on large, (multi-team) orders is typically 6-8 weeks for fulfillment.



Onto the current fad as clubs are changing over.....

The new fad is called sublimation. Quick, cheap and easy printing with next to no limitations with what can be included in the design. These are normally seen worn by minor league hockey teams during the holidays, ie. Christmas, tuxedo, camo, New Year etc.



WHAT DOES SUBLIMATED MEAN?

When we describe a product as sublimated, we are referring to a process by which dyes are applied to the fabric. The dye-sublimation printing process uses heat to transfer dye onto the fabric and because the dyes bond very well with polyester it is possible to print bright, well-defined images. Logos, names and numbers can be printed onto the product at the same time, which means there is no additional cost for these customizations. You may or may not have seen reversible jerseys, home on one side, turn it inside out and away on the other. Yes, you can do that with sublimated jerseys and socks.

Now that we've cleared that up, as noted in the preface, these jerseys are more in line with what is considered "practice jerseys". They are ultra light weight and are not nearly as durable as their predecessors. They tear easily and do not hold up over time. With sublimated jerseys, a design is submitted to the vendor and an entire team of jerseys can be knocked out in a few hours. Not days, or weeks or even months. You can buy single blank jerseys for $25 a piece or cheaper. In bulk, depending on the vendor, the jerseys run anywhere from $14 to $17 per and can be even less depending on the model or if the vendor is running a sale. A team bulk order with a fully sublimated design will run approximately $27 to $35 per, again depending on the vendor. Lead time on large, (multi-team) orders is typically half of what the lead time would be if it were the older type of jerseys. Shells can also be sublimated.

Details and information gathered from various local printing vendors.
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Reply #1:
 May 03, 2019, 10:33:56 AM
At lower levels they have lasted 3 seasons for my kid so far. Sublimation has been dominating in other sports for some time. I'm not sure if they have quality issues at higher levels of hockey. As with anything though, make sure you know where your fabric is sourced from and get referrals. Everything is not created equally in this market and there is little to no regulation.
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Reply #2:
 May 03, 2019, 10:42:32 AM
 :o What's concerning is the price. Our organization changed over to these 2 seasons ago and they still charge the same price as the original. I had no idea how cheap these are. >:(
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Reply #3:
 May 03, 2019, 12:11:23 PM
Practice jerseys, seriously?
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Reply #4:
 May 03, 2019, 01:20:53 PM
It all depends - yes, you can get cheap sublimated jerseys, but some can be just as expensive as traditional cut and sew with twill letters/patches.  Depends on the vendor and many offer different levels of options.  That is just for what the jerseys themselves cost to produce.  We all know some associations will inflate the jersey cost as part of their player package because they can make additional money on jerseys and player gear.

Our club is non-profit and we try to offer good quality jerseys at a reasonable cost to the players/parents.  Yes, we could get fancier jerseys, but it’s already expensive enough for many families.

We have sublimated jerseys for lacrosse.  Personally I like the more traditional look for hockey.
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Offline G D T

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Reply #5:
 May 03, 2019, 02:52:00 PM
I prefer the look of the patched jerseys.

I don't mind the sublimated jerseys if it's for a Spring/Summer or Tournament team. You almost want them to be flashy & trendy.

I think the sublimated socks rip a lot faster then the knit ones do.
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