Decoration Hits The Streets
Our “W By Wearables” clothing line and shoot took a lot of advance planning and excellent printing by industry decorators who went above and beyond. Here is how they created these signature garments.
Trucker Hat / Embroidery / Unionwear (asi/73775; circle 120 on Free Info Card)
Unionwear created and decorated this custom piece from scratch. First, the top visor piece was embroidered on fabric with the outline of the visor as a running stitch, and then put together with the bottom visor and an inserted board for the brim. For the rest of the hat, panels were cut and fused for reinforcement, then embroidered. “The front panels of a trucker hat are usually polyester laminated to mesh,” says Unionwear President Mitch Cahn. “However, this particular design required high density embroidery because of the numerous small color blocks inside the cross.
igh density is not a great look for any laminated spongy material because it is very difficult to keep the material around the edges of the design from being pulled in. This is caused by high elasticity in the foam material, but low elasticity in the poly material.” To make it work, Unionwear used two inelastic materials: supplex nylon for the neon green and a fusible monoflex mesh for the reinforcement.
Compressible Quilted Vest / Embroidered Sequins / Vantage Apparel (asi/93390; circle 86 on Free Info Card)
Gold sequins provide a bold, glittery look for the collection. Similar to traditional embroidery, sequin logos start with artwork that is digitized to create a file for the embroidery machine. Sequins are placed on the garment utilizing a tackdown stitch to adhere them to the fabric. While Vantage’s standard vest was shown on our cover, Booker highly modified another version for a stylized look for our shoot.
Jersey Tank Thong / Screen Printing / A&P Master Images (asi/702505; circle 122 on Free Info Card)
A&P used a mix of red and orange inks for the text and numbers, along with regular black for the outline. For simple, bold lettering like this, the company stuck with 110 mesh for both screens. A&P General Manager Sean Hogan used a supplied sketch and Adobe Illustrator file of the “W by Wearables” lettering to match the font.
Crop Top, Beanie and Compression Sleeves / Sublimation / Bishop, the Garment Co. (asi/40585; circle 88 on Free Info Card)
Stylist Conrad Booker hand-wrote the “W By Wearables” font that was incorporated into several of the pieces. It was then scanned and converted into a digital file that was sent to Bishop. The company repeated the phrase into a pattern that was printed onto transfer paper. It sent the papers and fabric panels to a printer who sublimated the artwork onto the fabric. Bishop received the panels back and then sewed them together into the crop tops and compression sleeves. The beanie actually started out as a crop top that was then sewn into a hat by Booker.
Boyfriend Brief / Vinyl / Heritage Screen Printing (asi/700490; circle 125 on Free Info Card)
Given the narrowness of the waistband, vinyl lettering proved to be the quickest and most effective way to maximize the imprint space. The “W by Wearables” logo on the waistband was repeated multiple times, each 3.5” wide by .4” tall. The large “W” on the front measured 2.5” in size. A heat press was used to apply the vinyl.
Suspenders / Screen Printing / Visual Impressions (circle 114 on Free Info Card)
Patrick Wedor, manager of specialty printing for Visual Impressions, used a flock ink from Nazdar’s DA series designed for stretchy materials like nylon and neoprene. “I set up the screen on two adjustable hinges,” he says, “and used double-stick tape to adhere the suspender to a ’diving board,’ or adjustable platen made for various shapes and sizes of products.” He then moved the suspenders after each print to get the repeating logo, leaving eight to 12 hours to dry and a full seven to nine days to fully cure to the garment.
The W By Wearables Collection
Conrad Booker, a Philadelphia-based designer of ultra-creative apparel and accessories, conceived, designed and stylized the apparel in the Fall Fashion Preview. Here, he describes his inspiration behind the designs:
“The main goal of this shoot was to take the idea of a client’s logo and rework it graphically to appeal to a hip and youthful audience. I wanted to be able to use the ’fresh’ logo and graphics in an artful way – by repetition or symbol recognition. The idea of graffiti was used to establish a visual identity that would convey a youthful vibe. Once established, the new logo could be manipulated and applied to almost anything: sweatpants, T-shirts, hats and more.
“It has always been stated that if you want to know what people want to wear, then go to the streets and look at what they are wearing. I used the idea of urban street life as a backdrop for what things to design and how to design them, with our W BY WEARABLES graphic. Today’s color trend of bright neons was layered onto the logo with a backdrop of black, creating a vibrant, edgy palette.”