Yesterday I had the opportunity to tune into “An Industry Ignited,” the very first “predictions” webinar ever presented on StahlsTV.com. (The one year anniversary for StahlsTV is coming up, they debuted last year at the ISS Long Beach) Josh has presented predictions in writing in the past, but this was the first live predictions broadcast. Congratulations on that milestone. If you didn’t have the chance to tune in, here is a very rough overview of the predictions. Basically they divided it into three sections, Apparel Trends, Decoration Trends and Business Growth Trends, or things that are happening that may impact your business.
San Mar reports “Athleisure” will evolve. Not just a mainstay, starting to see classic athletic styling trends evolve into fashion, including color blocking.
Another apparel trend, Texture in Textiles. These textures are being achieved with marbled fleece, Tri-Blends and Slub Cotton. Tri Blend contains cotton, polyester and rayon, and you need to take special precautions when heat printing. Not all tri-blends are created equally. Look for the least amount of rayon possible if you are a heat printer!
Color Blends and Stripes are popular. Ombre dip dye from San Mar features blending and fading from one end of the garment to another.
Fringe is another long term trend, Kavio has stepped into blank style fringed shirts in juniors and for young girls. Takes you back to the eighties, according to Zach.
Super Hero Performance Wear: To see what they mean by that, check out the MyoGrid line at Imprintables Warehouse.
Garment Decoration Trends
- Full Color Meets Free Standing Text (New Stretch-Litho Transfers)
- Laser Cutting: Watch the StahlsTV.com video on laser cutting to see what they are talking about.
- Plausible placement. Thanks to custom platens, you can heat print on just about anything.
- Sublimation combined with other transfers to create SUPER TRANSFERS. We’ve talked about mixed media forever, but now we’re starting to see how it is becoming production friendly.
- Sublimation Gone Wild–we are seeing sublimated uniforms, socks and more. This trend will continue to grow.
- The GLAZE CRAZE, one of those products, SuperTEK MatteClear, we’re seeing people layer Gloss or as a GLAZE to give a wet look.
Business Growth Section--These were overall industry trends that may have an impact or be “disruptive” to your business. Challenges and opportunities.
1. Performance Wear: If you’re a decorator, it’s 2016. You need to offer custom printed performance wear to your customers. Back in 2009 maybe had a choice, but this year, it’s performance wear or bust! Luckily, there are many ways to heat print on performance wear.
- Be Craft Conscious! There are a lot of crafters out there buying small cutters for in home use. You might need to up your creativity game and offer some of the products you see being produced by crafters, such as personalized pillows.
3. Demand for Speed
As noted in the January Wearables issue, rush orders are the new normal! (This issue of Wearables is a great source for more industry predictions, I heartily recommend it!) How quick can you get it? In 2016 people are used to getting it right now. As a decorator is how do you adjust? One way is to bring decoration techniques in house. Having cutter in house is one way to deal with on demand personalization. Take this into account when planning your 2016 prices. Do you have ways to profitably offer your customers overnight services? With a few stock items, a cutter and heat transfer films on hand you can.
I certainly didn’t do Josh and Zach’s presentation justice, they went into much more depth on each of these topics. If you have a chance “between the years,” please take a look at the entire webinar to get the full gist of their predictions. Until then, have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve! Looking forward to hearing from more of you in 2016. Let me know what you think of the predictions.