Every brand has a story and Cotswold Industries and Charming Trim have a new way to tell it. The pocketing and trim providers are co-marketing sublimation heat transfers as a new, improved and more economical option for pocket branding for jeanswear companies.
Charming’s sublimation heat transfers turn prints into permanent images. The transfer is created by turning liquid ink into a solid and then turning the solid (the image on transfer paper) into a gas. The gas dyes the face fiber with the print.
Rich Ringeisen, president of Charming Trim, says the printing technique is ideal for polyester and polyester blended pocket materials, as high amounts of polyester makes the color appear brighter and more vibrant. “The more polyester, the better, and Cotswold has a number of options that fit well,” he said.
It’s a process that Levi’s has been using for a few years and is now being extended to other brands. “Levi’s asked the industry to create a printing alternative that would withstand washes better and make the print softer, because the other process could leave it a little scratchy,” Ringeisen explained.
The result was a sublimation process that is also more cost-effective and eco-friendly. One color prints cost about three cents, while seven color prints cost seven cents. Ringeisen said other formats, like direct screen printing, are three to 10 times more expensive and can’t produce the same quality of color and longevity as sublimation. Plus, designs are printed with water-based inks on recycled paper, which weighs half of what competitors use, meaning more product per roll and lower transportation cost. Ultimately, the process creates less carbon footprint in shipping.
“Competition in the denim market is huge, and pocket branding is an inexpensive way to tell a story,” Ringeisen said, noting that companies should apply the cost to their marketing budget, rather than sundries.
With more players entering the denim space, he said companies shouldn’t limit themselves to branding on just a back patch, or care label. He says, “Pockets give you a wide format to tell a story or to cross brand.”