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Midwest Stitch Blog

Read about our latest news, interesting stories, frequently asked questions and embroidery-specific information in this blog. Check back often, or subscribe by email using the link above. Thanks for visiting!

Midwest Stitcher's Favorite: The Perfect Layering Piece

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I am a lover of cotton.  No doubt about it.  Sure, I wear garments made of other fibers, especially being in the apparel industry.  But my favorites always have some cotton fibers.  That is until I tried this Ladies Tech Jacket.  Seriously – I tell you about my love of cotton so that you believe me as I rave about this 100% polyester jacket.

Where do I even begin to describe this jacket?  Well, since I’m also a lover of gadgets, I think I’ll start with its abundant features.  For example, this ladies version has thumbholes, which besides being cool, make it a perfect layering piece.  You won’t have that annoying sleeve bunched up to your elbow when you layer it under a heavier jacket or outer shell. 

Then there is the hood with toggles.  This makes the hood fully functional, meaning it can be tightened so it actually stays on when you need it.

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Midwest Stitcher's Favorite: Design and Performance

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During hot summer days no one likes to get (and stay) sweaty, especially when you’re trying to look presentable for business.  Garments that wrinkle as soon as you put your seat belt on are also a challenge.  Problems like these are solved by many modern performance fabrics.  This favorite of our sales person and digitizer, Carla, is no exception. 

The fabric of this favorite garment wicks moisture away from your body, and also provides a bit of stretch for ease of movement.  Both men’s and ladies’ version have subtle two-color stripes that add a bit of character to the garment.  Unique to the ladies’ version are raglan sleeves with ruching, and unique to the men’s version is a solid contrast color collar.

Carla says she especially likes, “the fit, it’s comfortable.  Also it’s easy to wash, dries fast and is wrinkle-free.”  In addition to these great features she adds, “it reminds me of a Nike golf shirt, but is not as expensive. All my criteria for a perfect shirt.”  Although Nike really pioneered the performance wear movement with their DriFit technology, the fabric is now widespread from a variety of companies at varying price points.

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What You May Not Know About Performance Wear

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Performance wear used to be almost exclusive to the field of athletics, but today it has become popular for everyday wear and can be found from the board room to the tennis court. 

So, you may be asking: What makes a fabric worthy of the word 'performance'?  Whereas the designation 'performance wear' can have a broad application, the features may include many of the following properties:

moisture wickingantimicrobialanti-fadeanti-wrinkleanti-pillanti-shrinkUV protectionSome of these properties can be achieved by fabric treatments, but many synthetic fabrics have these attributes innately.  For example, the synthetic fabric polyester is most popular when it comes to performance garments.  Polyester is inherently wicking, meaning it moves moisture away from the body to the surface of the garment where it can evaporate.  This process makes the wearer drier and feel cooler.  Polyester is also a strong fiber that resists shrinking and wrinkles. Polyester?The mention of polyester may bring to mind images of leisure suits from the 1970s, but innovations in the production of polyester fiber and has come light years since then.  No longer the coarse, stiff fibers of yesteryear, today's fibers allow the making of a much thinner polyester fabric that breathes, and it some cases even feels "cottony". Trademarked brands like Nike Dri-Fit and Under Armour did much to advance the notion of performance wear.  In fact, customers will come in our showroom asking for these by name.  And although we can show them Nike Dri-Fit, or perhaps Adidas ClimaCool in our showroom, much of the time they are looking for the performance fabrics, not necessarily the brand.  Many manufacturers make these fabrics that perform just as well as the well-know brand names.  We keep samples of several in our showroom.  For example, here are two specific garments we'd like to share with you. Two examplesThis first polo has contrast panels along the shoulders and sides for a sporty look.  The benefits though go far beyond looks.  The performance polyester fabric is incredibly lightweight, antimicrobial and resists snags.  It also resists wrinkles and will not shrink or fade.  Most notably is the moisture wicking ability of this fabric.  Our customers have testified to this during hot summer days. The second polo shown here has a pique fabric that at first glance may remind you of a traditional knit polo.  Upon examining it though you will find it's made up of a polyester performance fabric that wicks moisture, fights odors, breathes and resists pilling and snags.  If that were not enough, it also has a soil-release finish gives the fabric a stain resistant quality. The field of performance wear is growing every day.  Whereas there are many garments out there touting performance features, not all perform to the same degree in every area.  Through our own wear and use, our customer's feedback, and years of apparel experience we have become familiar with the attributes of a wide variety of performance garments.  If performance wear is right for your business apparel, let us know what features are most important to you and we'd be happy to guide you in the right direction.

 

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