Dimensional Emblems Take Center Stage

January 31, 2020

It’s an exciting time to be involved with garment decoration. For many years it was solely a choice between screen print or embroidery. Since then, we have enjoyed the changes in technology and the ride that has brought wider adoption of heat press, DTG, laser and digital printing. Today, a new heat press trend is starting to emerge in dimensional emblems.

What is a dimensional emblem? Well, good question. Arguably we can consider high-build screen print inks, multi-layered embroidery applique and even thick silicone heat press products to be in this mix. What appears to be just starting to trend are flexible emblems, retro style patches and even a new style of leather patches.

It’s been amazing to watch the resurgence of patches! The return of the merrowed edge patch adds a fresh yet retro look to modern garments. Laser etched leather patches creates looks ranging from rustic and rugged to high-end workwear.

Another new trend in the world of patches is the woven label patch. We have all seen these traditionally stitched at the waistline of jackets or on the tails of higher-end uniforms. Most common is the brand label inside that is sewn at two side ends leaving the top and bottom open to create a hanger loop. The appeal of fine detail on a single layer raised emblem is moving from simply a brand identifier to a fashion forward decorating technique.

This woven patch style could have two distinctly different looks: either a woven finished edge or the merrowed edge borrowed from the traditional patch style.

While these are only a few of the pieces and trends starting to emerge, there are a lot of compelling opportunities. Considering the wide array of uses, your own ideas can quickly transform into hot products and even hotter profits.

Three-dimensional, flexible emblems are quickly becoming popular in apparel and the wide variety of uses seem limited only by people’s imaginations. Consider both pressure sensitive (sticker) and thermal (heat press) adhesives for either hard good or soft good applications but also unbacked for sewing applications.

For anyone wanting to offer a high-end or truly unique option, try creative placements for eye-catching appeal, like uniform soft badges for bicycle patrols, sleeve closures, mechanics gloves and even zipper pulls. These emblems are popping up in a variety of ways and can propel a simple order into opening an entire niche market.