Printing and Fabrics for custom cycling uniforms

Custom bicycle uniforms are made from a large range of fabrics. All printed panels have one thing in common; they have at an least 80% polyester content. For custom bicycle jerseys the fabric is normally 100% polyester and for custom bicycle shorts the fabric is normally 85% Polyester 15% Lycra.

Polyester is the fabric of choice as it is the only fabric that should be used for dyesublimation printing. This form of printing is perfect for Cycling Clothing as it is the only print process that can stand up to the riggors of cycling.

Dyesublimation printing will never crack or peal as the fabric is dyed and does not have the ink sit on the surface. This makes the print virtually indestructible and should last as long the bicycle clothing item. This form of printing can now be done via digital printers which allows for a large range of colors at no extra charge.

With regards to cycling clothing fabrics there are some additives that make the riding experience a little better. The first is moisture wicking: The transfer of moisture happens due to capillary action. This is called wicking, and the fabric used is called wicking materials. When moisture has moved from the skin into fabric and in some will move to the surface which will create a larger surface area and will make evaporation faster and more efficient.

Synthetic materials such as polyester and microfiber-based fabrics are good choices as they do not absorb moisture but may transfer it well. They can also carry specialist finishes, such as anti-bacterial agents which reduce odour.

With the trend to sustainable products the bicycle clothing industry has pushed for a more eco friendly fabric which is now available. This is a polyester bamboo.

Bamboo takes in five times the volume of greenhouse gasses as an equivalent stand of timber trees and releases 35% more oxygen. Botanically categorized as a grass and not a tree, bamboo just might be the world’s most sustainable resource. It is the fastest growing grass and can shoot up a yard or more a day. Bamboo reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in about 4 years. Bamboo does not require replanting after harvesting because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots which almost zoom up while you watch them, pulling in sunlight and greenhouse gases and converting them to new green growth. And bamboo does this the natural way without the need for petroleum-guzzling tractors and poisonous pesticides and fertilizers.

Design tips for Custom Bicycle Jersey Design

Custom bicycle jerseys are fun to design. Showing o you team or company is a great way to stand out.

Most modern bicycle jersey manufacturers now use digital dyesublimation printing process that now allows your bicycle jersey to be printed with unlimited colours at no extra charge, which is a change from the older silkscreen process which most designs were one or two colours and each additional colour added substantial charges.

There are a few basic rules for designing custom cycling uniforms. As the print process is dyesublimation would not want to have any text smaller than 24 point. Text smaller than this will fill in and be illegible.

Another hint is to try and not have text or logo run over the zipper. This is often impossible to do but the construction of custom bicycle jerseys makes lining up the text difficult and every jersey may not be perfectly aligned.

A third thing to try and keep from happening is not to have text or images crossing multiple panels. As the bicycle jerseys change in size the panels will shift, making objects not line up.

Once you have decided to design your own Custom Cycling gear you will need to contact a vendor and have them email you a template in whatever program you would like to design in. Now that you have the template you will need your logos. There are 2 types of files you can use for logos. The first and best is vector format (normally done in Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand). This allows you scale the logo to any size without loss of quality. The second is a digital image which can be in many formats. (jpg, tiff and eps). This file format has restrictions for being used in custom cycling clothing. As logos need to be at least 150 dpi at the final size you want it to print, the file is often either too large to find or handle. I suggest you email the logos or pics you want to use to your custom jersey supplier and see if they are usable and if so to what size it can be scaled.

Now that you have all the problems out the way and you are designing your own custom cycling uniforms you can go in any direction you want. One last design hint is to stand back a few feet from your monitor and see if you can read your text and logos as well as see the design. (Other cyclists will normally be a few feet from you when looking at your jersey.)