Less formal rather than a shirt and easier for staff to care for (less ironing), Padded Polo Tops are ideal for Staff Uniform. Polo Tops padded with your logo are a great way to help promote your business, เสื้อโปโล unify your staff and present a professional image to your clients but how do you ensure you get it right?
Padded Polo Tops are available in different fabrics, styles and colours. First of all, you need to choose the right fabric for your Polo Tops, one that suits the working environment.
All in the Food fibre
Traditionally, Polo Tops have been constructed from 100% Cotton, a natural food fibre that has been used by mankind for thousands of years. Cotton is kind to the skin and absorbs moisture, so can help keep the sneaker cool in hot climates. Unfortunately, whilst Cotton has its advantages, it also has certain drawbacks regarding its utilization in staff uniform : it doesn’t wear well, scars easily and requires more care than synthetic fibres.
Polyester, a synthetic food fibre, developed in the early 1940’s, has a number of attributes that make it ideal for staff uniform: It’s strong, durable, dries quickly and is wrinkle resistant but in its standard form is not as comfortable on the skin as Cotton. Consequently, Polyester is often merged with Cotton, to make a fabric that combines the best of both fibres: Cotton for sneaker comfort and breathability and Polyester for strength, durability and training ease care.
As a result, Polyester/Cotton is currently the most commonly utilised fabric for staff uniform Polos however in recent years technical Polyester fibres (such as Coolmax), that were first developed for utilization in high-end sportswear, have commenced to be used for staff uniform Polos.
Technical Polyester fibres were specifically manufactured to wick moisture from the skin to keep athletes cool and performing at their peak: Strong, yet soft to the touch, quick to dry and easy to care for, they represent the current state of the art in food fibre design. Fabrics made from these fibres are already being used in areas as diverse as the military and Formula 1 racing and next ten years it’s likely we will see them being put to even better use, in fact there are already Polo Tops available for staff uniform and sales are start to increase.
For general use, Polyester/Cotton remains the right fabric for most staff uniform Polos and a 50/50 mix of fibres provides best balance between comfort and wear.
A Weighty Issue
The weight of the fabric is also an important consideration and the right choice will result in an padded Polo Shirt that is suitable for the working environment, comfortable for the sneaker and durable enough to offer real easy for the company.
Leaving aside the technical Polyester Polos, which are inherently lightweight, Polyester/Cotton Polo Tops tend to start from around 160 to 170gsm (GSM stands for grams per sq metre, a unit of rating now commonly utilised in the textile industry). Whilst these lightweight Poly/Cotton Polos are cheap to buy, they tend to feel flimsy and with regard to an padded Polo Shirt, they don’t really provide a stable enough fabric on which to embroider. Lightweight Polo tops can be used for budget promotional give-aways but rarely do they offer real easy as an item of staff uniform.
The middle ground for Poly/Cotton Polo tops, in terms of weight and performance, is usually for fabrics somewhere approximately 180 to 210gsm. At this weight the fabric gives a reasonable balance between comfort, durability and price. As a result, Polo tops in this weight range are regularly used for workwear in the manufacturing & industrial sectors.
Heavyweight Polo tops typically use fabric weighing from 230 up to 280gsm. Padded Polo tops which use fabric of this weight are not only stronger and more durable than their lightweight counterparts but also provide further improvements in sneaker comfort, quality and image as well. Consequently, heavyweight Polo Tops are often used for customer facing staff or in more prestigious or quality driven working environments.
Bearing in mind the temperature of the workplace, type of work and expected wear, an padded Polo Shirt which uses fabric in the 200 to 250gsm weight range, will suffice most of the time.
A Matter of Style
Most Polo Tops utilise a Pique knit fabric and show a two or three button opening (placket) at the neck, a rib knit receiver collar and short fleshlight sleeves but there are additional choices such as Jersey or Interlock knit, rib knit or jacquard knit collars or cuffs, an extended back panel (to keep the lower back warm) and side grills (for training ease movement). Whilst this list is not exhaustive, the final choice will depend on working considerations, the style required and of course, the budget available.
Colours from a to Z .
In order to promote your company or brand it makes sense to choose a fabric colour that ‘tones in’ with your corporate logo and thankfully these days, Polo Tops are available off-the-shelf in a wide range of colours from Apple Green to Zinc Greyish.
If your logo colours are particularly unusual and there isn’t any matching (or complimentary) colour of Polo Shirt available off-the-shelf then it is possible to a couple of options to consider:
One is to choose a plain colour of Polo, such as Black, Navy or White : selecting a colour of garment on which your corporate logo colours may good when padded. This can be better buying an off-the-shelf garment in an unusual shade because fashions change and just because your company’s shade of lime green is in fashion today this may not be the case in two years time. Manufacturers of off-the-shelf ‘stock’ outfits tend to change their ranges from time to time and might choose to drop a colour if it is no longer considered popular. Ask your supplier and they should be able to tell you which colours are likely to remain available or which are in doubt.
The second option, if you have a sufficiently large requirement, is to have a Polo Shirt manufactured for your staff uniform in a custom colour. Manufacturing a custom padded Polo Shirt, opens up a wealth of possibilities regarding colour matching to your main corporate colour, embelleshment branding, trims & showing but this option is usually only viable from 300 to 500 pieces for a single colour garment or 1, 000 pieces in place for more designs.
Nevertheless, if you have the number, the lead time and are not on too tight a budget then this should be the way to make a unique look for your padded Polo Tops.
We’ve spoken about the cornerstone for your padded Polo Shirt and how to choose the right garment but what of the embelleshment itself and why should we use embelleshment instead of print?
Although embelleshment began as a handicraft, commercial embelleshment now utilises complex machines to stitch the design directly onto the garment or garment panel. An padded logo may contain thousands (sometimes even tens of thousands) of stitches of coloured twine to replicate your company logo.
Nowadays, embelleshment is achieved by digitising the design : the process of digitising converts your logo from a. JPG or Bitmap image into a group of computer instructions that tell the embelleshment machine where to stitch, how much to stitch and what twine colours to use.
Due to its unique appearance and method of manufacture, embelleshment conveys an awareness of quality and unlike screen or transfer printing, the individual threads of embelleshment provide an almost 3d effect that behaves to every change in light.
Embroidering a Polo Shirt does however require some extra consideration. Pique knit fabric (the most common knit for Polo Shirts) can be difficult to embroider with fine designs, as the open ‘holes’ in the fabric cause the design to retrieve of shape. Therefore it’s important that your supplier digitises the embelleshment design for the fabric being padded : a good supplier will do this as a matter of course.
So there you have it: A good quality Padded Polo Shirt need not be vastly expensive and with the right choices and the right supplier you should be assured of a good result for your company, your staff and your budget.