Whether you run a sports team or a kitchen, you’re going to need uniforms. An important question that needs to be asked is: what is the best material for custom garments? Well, it all depends on your needs.
While looking good and branding are important parts of adopting a uniform, its utility should come first. No matter how skilled your chef is, you don’t want them cooking in a polyester top that might melt onto their skin if it’s exposed to heat.
In order to make sure your uniforms work for your team as best as they can, we will cover a few common materials and things you should consider before ordering your custom uniforms.
Dating back thousands of years, cotton is one of the most readily-available and versatile fabrics for clothing. Garments made from cotton are typically breathable, soft, and easy on sensitive skin — a combination of advantages that many workers will enjoy!
However, you’ll also want to consider the upkeep, especially if these uniforms will be worn multiple times a week. Cotton garments are more likely to shrink, wrinkle, and produce lint. If your workers want something they will never need to iron or something that is built to last, you might want to consider synthetic materials such as polyester.
Polyester was developed in the 20th century and one of its primary advantages is cost. This makes it a popular option for custom garments, as you may be able to order the same amount of units for less than you would pay for cotton counterparts. Furthermore, the fabric is easy to care for — it’s less prone to wrinkles, dries quickly, and is even naturally water-resistant!
While the material is quite versatile, it doesn’t make it perfect for every situation. Because polyester is basically plastic, the material is not as breathable as cotton. Additionally, polyester garments will melt when exposed to high-enough temperatures, so keep them out of the kitchen!
Another thing to consider is polyester’s environmental impact. Because it is made from a non-renewable resource (petroleum), polyester fabrics are considered to be less sustainable than those made from plant fibers. However, there are also plenty of polyester garments that are crafted from recycled materials. If a big part of your brand identity is being eco-friendly, those may be more suitable for you!
Garments made from linen are known for being durable and breathable. They may feel tough when they’re new, but the more you wear and wash them, the more they start to break in and feel soft (kind of like a pair of boots). Like cotton fabric, linen is made from plant material (flax), making it a more sustainable alternative to fabrics made from non-renewable resources like polyester.
Because it’s so breathable, linen is also really effective at keeping you cool. That’s great in warmer seasons but not ideal in the winter. If you are looking for a uniform that will keep you comfortable in hot and cold weather, you may want to opt for a different material. Another factor to consider is that like cotton, linen is prone to wrinkles (even more so), which could make uniform upkeep a hassle.
The professionals at BYOG have decades of experience in creating custom garments for a variety of organizations. If you have any questions about specific materials, garments, or printing methods, please feel free to contact us — we’re happy to help!