Apparel that appears, at least in some small part, to be handcrafted made a big showing at January’s PPAI Expo. Suppliers debuted new decoration methods that mimic centuries-old techniques, and they also promoted tried-and-true embellishment styles as of-the-moment trends. Here’s a look at the three we think you’ll see a lot of during the coming year.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based supplier Bodek and Rhodes (UPIC: ULTRACLB) partnered with designer Tim Lunt to enhance jersey knits with allover “stains.” The eco-friendly dyes used in the process, called T-360, interact with garment colors to produce unique shades and a weathered look. The final product resembles fabric decorated with old-fashioned block prints, in which designs are carved out of wood blocks, dipped in ink and applied to cloth. It even has subtle variations and imperfections typical of allover wood-block prints.
Tie-dyed tees aren’t a new concept, but they were everywhere at The PPAI Expo 2012. Mega-suppliers displayed them in their booths, and tie-dye centric suppliers such as Hilliard, Ohio-based Dyenomite (UPIC: DyeNo439) debuted new tie-dyed items, such as its new Cyclone Tee. Dyenomite’s tees are still individually dyed by hand the way tie-dye has traditionally been done—by twisting, tying and dunking shirts in buckets of colorful dyes. Best of all, each tee comes out slightly different than the rest.
St. Clair Shores, Michigan-based supplier Stahls’ ID Direct (UPIC: STAH0001) introduced its line of rhinestones and rhinestuds to the industry during The PPAI Expo 2012. Stones and studs have long been ways to personalize and add detail to garments at both retail and DIY levels, but they’re a relative newcomer to the promotions industry. Stahls’ versions can be applied alone or on top of heat-transferred or screen-printed designs, which allows for endless customization options.