Polo Shirts – Why we recommend Papini

We’re going to get this out of the way right at the start……… The Papini polo shirts range isn’t the cheapest one out there. If price is what’s really important to you we’d recommend something else!

So, Why do we recommend polo shirts from the Papini range? The answers simple, in our opinion they offer the best balance between quality & the price that we can offer.

polo shirts for workwear

Unisex polo shirt

Fabric: With a 210 gsm fabric the Papini polo shirt is at the top end of fabric weights used throughout our industry, Many of the “famous” workwear & promotional brands have, over the years, dropped back to a 180 gsm fabric, It doesn’t sound like much, 30 grammes but it’s 15% in actual terms

Papini use a 65/35 Polycotton mix which gives a hard wearing reliability to your garments. The fabric is treated for anti pilling (balling) & is produced with spirality control to hold it’s shape.

The twin decorative stripes look appealing on the rib knit cuffs, but come in to their own on the collar where they strengthen the fabric meaning when you’ve washed your polo shirt a dozen times you don’t end up with a wet lettuce leaf effect of a curled collar.

Want to see what it’s like with your logo? Decorate yours now!

The fabric is reactive dyed to preserve colour wash after wash. If you look after your polo shirt and follow the washing instructions you’ll get a great look & a long life for your money.

Now for us, the good part…….. Papini use a really tight pique knit on their fabric, It’s great for embroidery as it gives a really stable base to put your logo on to. In addition they have a resin coat to provide extra stabilisation (it washes out during your first wash cycle) so even an intricate logo design will hold it’s shape.

 

Size Range: Available in adult sizes from XS (32″ chest) up to 4xl (54/56″ chest) in most sizes (some of the less popular stop at 3XL or 2XL) as well as a complementary childrens wear range.

Colours: Currently available in 21 different colours.

Papini polo shirts range of 21 colours

lady fit polo shirts in 6 colours

Lady fit polo shirt

Ladies fit: As well as the unisex fitting, Papini also offer a ladies specific fit polo shirt in 6 colours (white, black, navy, soft pink, fuchsia & sky blue). The ladies fit features a 3 button placket as well as princess detail seams to enhance the look of the garment. Also included is an open, vented, hem allowing Papini ladies polo shirts to be worn comfortably outside of trousers.

 

 

 

The Elite Range: As well as the standard range of single colour polo shirts Papini produce the elite range. They’re in contrasting colours & styles & as well as adding a bit of individuality to your workwear & staff uniform range they’re an outstanding choice for clubs, teams & societies who are looking for clothing in their colour scheme.

Currently in 27 colour ways, Further new additions to the range are under review.

As well as all the benefits of Papini’s fabric the elite range has the added benefit of an open hem design.

elite range polo shirts colours

Papini elite range polo shirts

Contact us to discuss your requirements

 

Regatta Dover fleece lined Jacket

So, one of the questions we get asked most often is “Why do you recommend the Regatta Dover jacket?” – It’s a good question, It’s our largest selling jacket by quite a way, so here’s the reasons why:

Regatta Dover jacket

Regatta Dover jacket shown in royal blue

Fabric: The Regatta Dover jacket uses their Regatta hydrafort fabric. It  is both waterproof and windproof, providing reliable protection from the elements whilst reducing the production of body heat, making it perfect for outdoor activities.

Waterproof: The Regatta Dover jacket is waterproof to a hydrostatic head of 5000mm (4x British standard BS3424). It’s got taped seams, Elasticated adjustable cuffs, Storm flap protected front zip & pockets as well as an integrated, fold away hood.

Warmth: The Regatta Dover Jacket uses their symmetry fleece fabric. It is comfortable and practical to wear,  it has an anti-pill finish making it durable and long lasting abd it is quick drying. The Thermoguard insulation technology is made up of synthetic fibres which trap the air keeping you warm in cold conditions.

Size Range: Available in adult sizes from xxa (34″ chest) up to 4xl (52/54″ chest) as well as a complementary childrens wear range.

Colours: Currently available in 8 different colour ranges.

Price: With a standard price of just £30 including embroidery of logo to the jacket breast it’s not going to break the bank! Want to see what your jacket will look like with your logo embroidered on there? Take a look

So there it is! Price, Waterproofing, warmth and a great colour & size range, That’s why we recommend it. 

PRODUCT DETAILS

Please note this a Regatta Professional product, and as such is unbranded.

  • Fabric Information
  • Waterproof Hydrafort 5000 polyester fabric
  • 220 series anti-pill Symmetry fleece lining
  • Fleece lined collar
  • Windproof fabric
  • Thermo-Guard insulation in sleeves
  • Taped seams
  • Special Features
  • Concealed hood with adjusters
  • Stormflap with hook and loop fastening
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • 2 zipped lower pockets
  • Inner patch security pocket
  • Concealed zip entrance in lining for embroidery access

Your Logo – it has power ……. It says a lot about you!

Why do we put logo’s on our work clothing? It doesn’t sound like a difficult question to answer, in fact there are numerous answers! But lets just take a while to consider just a few, why you’re doing it and how to get the best result from it:

Identification: Probably one of the most important reasons for putting your logo on your staff uniform or workwear. You’re people need to be identified when they’re at work, from customers knowing who works in the shop (they’re not always behind a counter) to identifying Which company that tradesman is working for on site, Identification is a major issue nowadays.

logo jacket

Your logo identifies you at work

Lets get right to one of the biggest issues here; You want to stand out! Think about where you’re staff are going to be seen & how to get exposure for your business brand.

Face to face? That’s easy, logo on the breast so it’s in front of people approaching you & talking to you.

Mobile around an area? Be it a waitress, a shop floor worker or a window cleaner (one of my favourite examples) consider which parts of you are going to be seen; A window cleaner usually has his back to everyone so it’s a great idea to have a logo there, where it will be seen. 

Visibility: If you’re doing a trade show or event it makes sense to get as much exposure as you can, With the increase in visibility comes a return on your investment and it’s crucial you get the best return on your money.

Advertising; Now the press won’t like this one too much, but traditional advertising is a game of diminishing returns. Higher costs, falling audiences & consumers who are jaded by being bombarded with papers, emails, text, flyers. You need to keep the fact you’re in business out there but you don’t want to alienate potential customers.

Rugby shirt logo'd

Rugby shirt with logo

Every time you, or a member of your staff, walks past someone in the street your business identity passes before their eyes; take a walk, wearing your uniform, down your High Street & keep an eye on how many people glance at what’s embroidered on your shirt – you’ll be surprised!

Think about what your customers can do for you. We all know word of mouth recommendations are the best advertising you can get. You don’t pay for it and no matter how much you tell people what a great job you’re doing, if it comes from an independent source someone knows it’ll carry a lot more weight.

We do a lot of garments as promotional gifts for our customers, Jackets, fleeces, Beanie hats, all the stuff people will wear because who doesn’t love a freebie? If you’ve a hundred customers wearing a hat with your company name on there they’re advertising for you every time they wear it that’s a colossal reach, at very little cost, and it’ll still be working for you one, two, three years down the line.

Image: If you think I’m going to let a plumber, builder, electrician etc. loose in my house who’s got holes in his pants & mastic all over his clothes you’ve got another thing coming! The image you present to customers sets the tone for the work you’re going to complete for them. So get off on the right foot by presenting a clean, smart professional image for your business. There’s hundreds of competitors out there and as the saying goes “You only get one chance to make a first impression”

Health & Safety: Probably one of the first reasons that comes to mind, but considering the above, not necessarily the best reason for that business expenditure. Yes, people need to be protected, kept clean & safe, but before begrudging the expenditure in providing staff uniforms or workwear consider the benefits to your business.

 

So we’ve got a little bit about why you do it, next we’ll talk about how to do it………

Work Fleeces: From Chemical Goo & Recycled Water Bottles to Smart Workwear!

Work fleeces are almost everywhere nowadays – I don’t know quite how many different fleece garments we have on the Stitch & Print website but I DO know that fleece revolutionised workwear (as well as outdoor gear) in the early 1980s when Malden Mills needed a new product to survive in the cut throat textile trade! That early surge shows no signs of disappearing – I reckon that about 35% of the custom workwear that we sell is made of fleece.

But what is the fleece itself made of?

Polyester is the answer – known as terylene or Dacron back in the 1940s – and made by reacting two chemicals, terephthalic acid and ethylene glycol (aka antifreeze) together to create a polymer.  Today, a lot of fleece actually has a high content of recycled polyester, up to 80%, and most of it comes from drinks bottles.  This recycling isn’t just good in terms of removing the plastic bottle waste from landfill but it’s also more energy efficient than making new or virgin polyester.

Going from liquid polyester to a fleece garment takes a number of stages, as you’d imagine, with some familiar from other textile manufacturing and others unique to fleece.
Firstly, the chemicals are mixed and heated under pressure to create polyester (or PET for short).  As this cools, it forms a viscous liquid that can be extruded through a disk with tiny holes (a bit like a showerhead) called a spinneret.  As the liquid sprays out of the spinneret and comes into contact with the air, it hardens into fibres which are wound on to a spool and form a structure a bit like a think rope, called tow.  The tow is then pulled through the heated rollers of a drawing machine (a bit like a mangle) to create longer, stronger fibres with the polymer PET molecules aligned.  It then goes through a crimping machine to make it crinkled and folded like an accordion before being dried and cut into short lengths for baling – it’s beginning to look a lot like wool!

The fleece production process from now on also seems to be very like wool with the cut tow going through a carding machine to align the fibres and then into a spinning machine to twist strands into a finer finished yarn.

Most fleece garments use fabric in a block colour and this is made by dyeing the polyester yarn and drying it again before the knitting process. However, patterned fleece fabric is made by printing on to finished fabrics, just as with other textiles.

But back to fleece.  The manufacturer now has their coloured polyester yarn but how does this become the fleece that we know and love?  First it is knitted to create  a continuous tube of cloth, about 1.5m wide and several hundred metres long.  To achieve the fuzzy texture, this knitted material is next fed through a napper, which runs mechanical bristles along the cloth (usually on both sides of the fabric) to raise the surface fibres.  These are then trimmed to an even length in a shearing machine and that gives you the textured piled fabric that we know as fleece.

By its very nature, fleece is durable, water resistant and with moisture wicking properties to keep you cool and it dries quickly and is light, soft to the touch and, best of all, warm because of the way that it traps air in its fibres.

Fleece can also be given other properties by spraying it with a textile finish such as anti-pilling (to prevent pesky bobbles) or waterproofing or by layering it with other fabrics such as Lycra to give it additional stretch for sportswear and work fleeces for specific conditions and industries.

A majority of the work fleeces that we customise and sell are made of what’s regarded as regular or medium weight fleece (about 370g per metre and also known as Polar Fleece 200).  You’ll also come across microfleece which is aka 100 and weighs about 240g per metre and then there’s heavy weight fleece, aka 300 and with a weight of about 400 or more grams per metre.
So browse the website and have a look at our huge range of fleece jackets, fleece hoodies, fleece hats, fleece gloves and everything else that you can possibly think of to be made in fleece – even hi vis custom fleece workwear garments.

In the 35 or so years that fleece has been on the market, it has proven just how adaptable it can be and the developments in making it from recycled polymer just add to its benefits.  Who knows what we’ll be making from fleece 35 years from now – but it’s already been into space!

Brexit, Exchange Rates & the shirt on your back

So how does the recent UK referendum on European Union membership get to affect the cost of the workwear you buy? We take a look at the effects of Brexit.

Exchange Rate

The £ the € & the $ all affect the price of goods in the global economy, Brexit affects that balance

Now we don’t want to get in to a deep political view here, but there will be things that happen in coming months that will affect you & the money you spend on work clothing. The British Pound has fallen to a 30 plus year low versus the US Dollar & much of the worlds garment production & buying is based on that International Currency. In short terms, It’s going to be more expensive to import clothing to the UK & as such prices will rise. At present the exchange rate has fallen by over 7.5% so a mid-year price increase is going to happen! We’ve already started to see warnings from major suppliers:

“Due to the recent results of the EU Referendum and the UK leaving the European Union, there have been a number of fluctuations in exchange rates, and consequently this will mean a number of price adjustments from brands across our marketplace in the coming months.”

Some products are bought at fixed prices, well in advance, so it’s not likely to be every product, or even every brand that has an immediate increase, but our view at present would have to be that by the end of the year it’s going to be an across the board increase in every sector of the workwear, staff uniform & promotional clothing industry.

The UK promotional clothing industry, like many low cost industries, is also seeing the pressure of rising costs in wages, Where the underlying National Living Wage is rising quickly, along with an increased employers National Insurance Contribution. These are combining to push the cost of production up considerably. To put this in some kind of context, Adding the two together & production costs from workforce labour will have a possible increase in the order of 35% over the next four years.

So in summary: We see prices rising from now through in 2017 from a product point, and through 2020 from a production point. Our advice is, If your staff uniform needs replaced, now is a good time to do some buying as it’s only going to get more expensive.