Less formal than a shirt and simpler for staff to care for (less ironing), Embroidered Polo Shirts great Staff Uniform. Polo Shirts padded with your company logo are a great way to help market your business, unify your staff and present a professional image to your clients but how do you ensure you get it right?
Embroidered Polo Shirts are available in different fabrics, styles and colours. First of all, you need to choose the right fabric for your Polo Shirts, one that suits the operating environment.
All in the Fibre
Traditionally, Polo Shirts have been manufactured from completely Cotton, a natural fibre that has been utilized by mankind for thousands of years. Cotton is kind to the skin and absorbs moisture, so it can help keep the wearer awesome in hot climates. Unfortunately, whilst Cotton has its advantages, it also has certain drawbacks regarding the use in staff uniform – it shouldn’t wear well, wrinkles easily plus requires more care than artificial fibres.
Polyester, a synthetic fibre, developed in the early 1940’s, has a variety of attributes that make it ideal for staff even: It’s strong, durable, dries rapidly and is wrinkle resistant but in the standard form is not as comfortable on the skin as Cotton. Therefore, Polyester is often blended with Natural cotton, to create a fabric that combines the very best of both fibres: Cotton to get wearer comfort and breathability plus Polyester for strength, durability and ease of care.
As a result, Polyester/Cotton is currently the most commonly used fabric for employees uniform Polos however in recent years specialized Polyester fibres (such as Coolmax), that were first developed for use in high end sportswear, have begun to be used intended for staff uniform Polos.
Technical Polyester fibres were specifically engineered to wick moisture from the skin so that athletes cool and performing with their peak: Strong, yet soft to the touch, quick to dry and easy to care for, they represent the present state of the art in fibre design. Fabrics made from these fibres are already becoming utilized in areas as diverse as the armed forces and Formula 1 racing and the next ten years it’s likely we will see them being put to even wider use, in fact there are already Polo Shirts available for staff uniform and sales are beginning to increase.
For general use, Polyester/Cotton remains the right material for most staff uniform Polos along with a 50/50 mixture of fibres provides the greatest balance between comfort and wear.
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A Weighty Issue
The weight of the fabric is also an important consideration as well as the right choice will result in an padded Polo Shirt that is suitable for the particular working environment, comfortable for the wearer and durable enough to offer real value for money for the company.
Leaving aside the particular technical Polyester Polos, which are innately lightweight, Polyester/Cotton Polo Shirts often start from around 160 to 170gsm (GSM stands for grams per rectangle metre, an unit of dimension now commonly used in the textile industry). Whilst these lightweight Poly/Cotton Polos are cheap to buy, they tend to feel flimsy and with regard for an embroidered Polo Shirt, they do not provide a stable enough fabric on which to embroider. Lightweight Polo shirts can be utilized for budget promotional give-aways yet rarely do they offer real value for money as an item of staff standard.
The middle ground for Poly/Cotton Polo shirts, in terms of weight and functionality, is usually for fabrics somewhere around 180 to 210gsm. At this weight the fabric provides a reasonable balance between comfort, durability and price. As a result, Polo shirts in this excess weight range are regularly used for workwear in the manufacturing & industrial industries.
Heavyweight Polo shirts typically use fabric weighing from 220 as much as 280gsm. Embroidered Polo shirts which use fabric of this weight are not only stronger and more durable than their lightweight counterparts but also provide further enhancements in wearer comfort, quality plus image as well. Consequently, heavyweight Polo Shirts are often used for customer facing staff or in more prestigious or quality oriented working environments.
Allowing for the temperature of the workplace, type of work and expected wear, an embroidered Polo Shirt which uses fabric in the 200 to 250gsm weight range, will suffice in most instances.