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Brian Jachens
by Brian Jachens
Apr 9, 2024 12:45:13 PM


Another spring sports season is here and with it comes another opportunity to tap into the, multi-million dollar a year market of custom sports uniforms. Whether you're just getting started or a seasoned decorator, this guide will explore four dynamic options of getting individual names and numbers onto your customers uniforms, all made possible by the power of heat pressing. These techniques will ensure your orders get out the door fast, correct, and looking so great that your customers will be back next season.

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Advantages of Heat Pressed Names & Numbers

Everyone is faced with the same decision when it comes to decorating uniforms, the same fork in the road, and it's a critical decision to get right; the choice between screen printing and heat pressing. Traditional screen printing has a laborious set up for every name and number, a time consuming cleanup, and limited design applications. Heat press technology on the other hand offers a streamlined solution that is easier, faster, and more economical. That's why when it comes to getting names and numbers on uniforms, heat pressing reigns supreme.

For even more reasons on how heat pressing is better than both screen printing and direct embroidery, check out our top five reasons here

  • Efficiency:
    As mentioned earlier, screen printing demands meticulous screen burning for each number, letter, and combination whereas heat press machines have a much faster application time, allowing you to decorate a jersey within seconds. You'll be finishing jobs before the competitions screens are even dry.

  • Simplicity:
    Heat pressing eliminates the need for intricate setup, making it an ideal solution for last-minute orders or urgent jersey replacements. However long it takes to turn on your heat press machine is how long it will take you to start applying. Anyone in the screen-print industry will tell you how painful it is to do a one off and any one of their customer will tell you how expensive it is.

  • Versatility:
    A few specialty inks are nice but there is no comparison when you can choose from countless materials and combinations for truly custom effects. Everything from a simple single layer of cut fabric all the way to a three layer patch with decorative embroidery and printed patterns. With the amount of leagues, ages, colors, and price points out there, you'll need an answer for all of them.

1. Pre-Spaced Player Names & Numbers "Kits":

Ensuring consistency and uniformity is crucial for team apparel. Take the guesswork out of hand placing and spacing your numbers and letters by using "carrier paper". Carrier paper has a tacky, clear plastic top layer and a wax paper bottom layer, with your decorations in the middle. Simply peel off the bottom paper layer, place the clear plastic holding your decorations onto your garment, and then press with heat. Then it's as simple as peeling off the plastic, leaving behind your perfectly placed and spaced digits. All orders from Lion Brothers with disconnected "floating" elements like team names and numbers are shipped with carrier paper in place, free of charge.

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2. Heat Transfers:

For a flexible and more cost effective option, heat transfers are an excellent choice that can cater to diverse customization needs, and withstand the rigors of being worn on field. Lion Brother's Velocity product is a domestically based, digital heat transfer service, that offers all the benefits of traditional heat applied decorations. Engineered to be quick turn and ideal for large or small runs, Velocity heat transfers makes handling any job, with any color, at any size a breeze.



3. Vision Stitch:

If you're looking for the classic look and feel of sewn down jersey numbers but want all the ease of heat application then we have a solution you won't find anywhere else. We call it Vision Stitch and it is a single layer of printed material that recreates a multilayer patch by stitching along the edges of different colors within the printed design. This creates the illusion of multiple layers of fabric while still being a single layer of light weight material.

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4. Individual Digits:

For simple number and letter sets, a collection of pre-cut parts could be the best way to go. While not recommended for high volume jobs do to the manual nature of working with individual digits, the flexibility to tackle unique custom jobs is a great resource to have at your fingertips. Stock common colors to grab and go as needed or order custom printed digits as needed that exactly match specific PMS colors. Lion Brothers has over 15 unique printable and PMS color matchable materials, all with different textures and finishes including twill, felt, mesh, and satin.

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Brian Jachens
Post by Brian Jachens
Apr 9, 2024 12:45:13 PM