On a chilly Good Friday more than fifty years ago, a symbol of change had its first outing in England. The destination was Trafalgar Square and the purpose was noble – Nuclear Disarmament. Little was known at that time how a sign, which actually is a representation of a man in despair with his arms outstretched, would come to be associated with a movement followed by millions. If you are a child of the 60’s or the 70’s then you probably know what the symbol on the right really means. If you’re not, then its ‘Woodstock’, ‘Vietnam’ or something that vegan friend of yours would appreciate.
Symbols are essentially messages and messages transcend time and generations. Sometimes meanings get lost – for instance Gap selling Che Guevara t shirts – but that hasn’t stopped artists from expressing themselves. Considering that every individual is capable of an original thought, it would be a shame if there wasn’t a canvas to express it.
This is why there are custom polo t shirts.
Why Go Custom?
A lot of people might wonder about the ‘point’ of getting customized polo T-shirts when you can get them ready-made in so many colors and styles.
That’s the point. ‘So many colors and styles’ sometimes still don’t cut it. Take a look at some of the reasons why custom polo t shirts are making a splash.
Easy to Order –Through online stores and design houses, you can easily make your favorite polo shirt and order as many as you want.
Cheap and Affordable –Custom polo t shirts are quite affordable, allowing you a wide variety. Depending on the quality of the fabric and printing technique, the prices may vary.
The Right Variety – When you are looking for a particular type of polo T-shirt, you don’t need a lot of variety, you need the exact idea in your head to become a reality. And custom shirts do just that, provide the right variety.
When to Go Custom?
Now not every occasion calls for a custom t shirt. See specimen A on your right.
However, there are several reasons why you could go for custom polo shirts
When You Want to Communicate your Ideology – Shirts are a perfect way to make a statement about who you are. A simple quote expressing your thoughts and views, a small joke, or an intelligent remark, would be an interesting way to give people an insight into your personality. And is a great conversation starter.
When you Want to Advertise –Not only is this a fun way to promote the goods and services your company provides, but it is also very effective and powerful. For instance, twenty employees of a company in the same shirt, no matter what size, roaming around a promotional campaign would pick up way more attention than twenty dressed up in varying clothes. You can maximize the publicity option by customizing your polo shirt with any text, color, font, size, quotation, logo and image.
When you Want to Make a Style Statement –If there is even a small designer in you, you might want to use customized polo shirts as your blank canvas and design them to make your very own style statement. Use funky patterns, images and slogans etc to make a fashion statement that is unique to you.
When you Want to Support a Social Cause – Since people dressed in similar shirts can grab a lot of attention, a positive use of this could be support for social causes. Save the environment, Aids awareness, breast cancer awareness, blood drives etc are all potential causes you could gather support for with the use of custom polo t shirts.
When you Want to Represent –Custom shirts could be perfect when representing an organization, a college football team, a management team, a security team and so on.
When you Want to Celebrate –Whether it’s a themed birthday, a bridal shower, a bachelor party, a welcome home party or a baby shower, everyone dressing up in custom designed polo shirts certainly adds to the theme and adds to the celebration.
Which Printing Techniques Could You Go For?
If you’re thinking of getting custom printed polo shirts, then it’s best to know about different printing techniques. Following are the options you could go for:
Screen Printing –Screens are created and pressed up against the cloth to place paint onto the shirts. For every color there has to be a separate screen.
Pro: High Quality.
Con: Might be expensive for small orders, since a separate screen has to be created for every design and color.
Heat Press/LASER Transfers – Transparent inks are printed onto a special paper using a computer. Heat is then used to transfer the ink and paper onto the cloth.
Pro: Easy to print lots of colors and complex designs.
Con: Works best on white shirts. Dark shirts cause the print colors to look dull.
Vinyl Cutters – A machine is used to cut out designs on special solid color sheets of vinyl. Heat is used to transfer vinyl to paper.
Pro: Durable and high quality; great for small orders.
Cons: Does not work well for complex designs. Especially the ones that have the background of the shirt within the design.
Direct to Garment –Ink is directly printed onto the cloth.
Pros: Great for small orders, easy to design and produce
Cons: Works best on white shirts only.
Dye Sublimation – This is great for full color designs on white or light colored shirts.
Pros: You can use the process on many other mediums, such as mugs, tiles, coasters and key chains.
Cons: Usable only for man-made fabrics such as polyester; you cannot print on 100% cotton.
Embroidered: – One simpler method of getting a print on your polo shirt is going for custom embroidery.
Pro: Works best for small, uncomplicated designs, typically logos
Cons: A lot of embroidery might pull down the fabric
What Materials are Polo t shirts Available in?
There are six main types of polo shirt materials you could customized.
Blended – These fabrics are typically used for grocery store uniforms or corporate polo shirts as they are durable and stain resistant. However, it might make you more prone to sweating. If you are on a budget, this might be your best choice.
Performance – This material is best for athletes who wear polo t shirts because it offers odor reduction and might even come with UV protection. These shirts are slightly expensive and are suitable for exercise or sports like golf or tennis.
Polyester – You could go for this material if you need something that does not shrink or wrinkle and is resistant to staining. But keep in mind that it offers very limited breathability, meaning you will sweat a lot.
Silk –This material is light and comfortable. But try not to go for pure silk because it loses color when it gets hot and wet. A cotton silk blend or a linen silk blend might be a better option than pure silk.
Linen – This is the most common fabric for all types of knitwear garments. It looks crisp and sophisticated, but is rougher than cotton.
Pure Cotton – This material is ideal due to its moisture wicking abilities, durability and breathability. Cheaper varieties will cause piling and fading of colors, whereas better quality would offer greater comfort and color durability.
How to Care for Your Custom Polo t shirts?
Proper care of your polo shirts will ensure color brightness, fabric quality and collar shape, and will keep you looking sharp for longer.
Washing –Wash with like-colored items. Bright colored shirts often bleed during laundry and might ruin your light colored items. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding detergent and fabric softeners. Use cold water settings for both the wash and the rinse to retain fabric quality.
Drying –The ideal way would be by hanging out to dry. Machine dry is alright if the material of the shirt is rough and wrinkled.
Ironing –Some varieties of polo t shirts might require ironing. Iron your shirts shortly after they’ve come out of the dryer. Air dried clothes tend to wrinkle more. Use spray starch to help maintain a crisp look.
Storing –When storing your customized polo t shirts, make sure you never hang on wire hangers to avoid puckering. Folding is a much better option. When folding the garment, button the top button and arrange the collar as when worn. Then place the shirt face down on a flat surface, fold the sleeves inwards, and the bottom upwards.
Regardless of the event you are going to, the organization you are a part of, the cause you are supporting or the team you are in, you can customize your polo t shirts easily and with a great deal of creativity.
Imagine the t shirt as a blank canvas and you’re the artist, now let your imagine run wild.