Thinking About Printing for Teams?
Top 4 Ways to Number Uniforms
If you own a heat press, you can learn how to number uniforms. You don’t have to have a lot of experience. Anyone can learn to print a professional looking team uniform with the right products. If you own a heat press machine, and have a phone and internet access, you can be in the team printing business by noon tomorrow. But first, let’s look at some of the basics of team uniform printing.
Advantages of Heat Press Numbers
First of all, one thing every team player needs is a numbered jersey. Not every team puts player names on their shirts, but they all need numbers. The advantages of using heat press numbers over screen printing are numerous (pun intended). Screen printing numbers can be a lot of work. You have to burn individual screens for each number. Even if you’re doing a huge number of uniforms, it’s still a complicated process. A high level of technical expertise is required to successfully screen print numbers—even with equipment designed specifically for athletic numbering.
Screen Printers Count on Heat Press Transfers
This is why screen printers are the largest users of pre-cut, ready to apply heat transfer numbers in the world. Screen printers will screen print logos on shirts but when it comes to adding individual names and numbers, they turn to heat numbers and letters. Heat press numbers are a fast, easy and clean way to number jerseys, whether you’re printing ten shirts or 10,000.
If you stock pre-cut numbers you can print jerseys today. The beauty of heat press transfer numbers is that you can create a single jersey, with a single number, in just seconds. This makes heat printing ideal for last minute orders or replacement jerseys. The same can’t be said for screen printing.
Top 4 Ways To Number Uniforms
Teams are usually made up of about 15 players, who each need an individual player number. Here are the top four most popular heat transfer number solutions:
1. STAHLS’ PRE-CUT or DIE-CUT: Stahls’ offers a wide selection of pre-cut/die-cut heat press transfer numbers and heat press transfer letters in packs, convenient kits or team sets for a lower cost, which allows you to layout the names and numbers yourself.
Adding names and numbers is easy. Just arrange on your garment and heat apply. Layout guides and templates are available for proper alignment. Numbers are available in the most popular styles and sizes, in both one and two-color styles. Thermo-FILM® is the world’s most popular athletic numbering material, offering excellent opacity, wash ability and durability. When applied properly, they don’t peel, chip or flake off—ever!
2. PRE-SPACED PLAYER NAMES:To take care of both numbers and player names at the same time, order pre-spaced player names and heat transfer numbers from a service company. They come on one sheet, you simply heat press on the shirt.
3. CUT IT YOURSELF: If you have a vinyl cutter and a heat press, you can use cuttable heat transfer vinyls designed for use on garments. Cutting your own player names is very cost effective and can be done for around .30 cents per name, depending on the size of the lettering. You may choose to combine cutting player names with die-cut numbers.
4. TRANSFER NUMBERS:For a look that is indistinguishable from direct screen printing, try screen printed transfer numbers. They are available in the most popular athletic styles, sizes and colors. Another huge advantage transfer numbers have over die-cuts is apparent when it comes to two-color styles. Two color transfer numbers apply just as quickly and easily as one color and have a lightweight, soft finished hand.
Mix and Match Methods
You can use a variety of methods to get the job done. Don’t be afraid to mix and match heat press film numbers and letters with screen printed logos and team names. In the long run, your customers don’t care which print method you use. They just want professional looking uniforms which will hold up after washing and last the season.
Team jerseys can be anything from an inexpensive t-shirt to a more expensive stylized athletic garment. Teams always want to look like the pros. Kids love seeing their name on a shirt. Some youth leagues may purchase licensed pre-printed uniforms that mimic their big league, pro-sports counterparts. But even if the leagues uniforms already have logos on them, you can still make money adding names and numbers.
What to Charge
As always, this depends on your local market. You’ll probably find the average retail charge for a player name these days varies from $5.00-$7.00 or more. Remember, it’s usually easier on everyone to charge by the name, rather than by the letter.
More Heat Printing How-To
A version of this article originally appeared in Stahls’ How To Make It in the T-Shirt Business. If you would to read more articles on how to use your heat press, heat transfer vinyl and transfers to make custom shirts, subscribe and read.