Did you know that the garment we call a polo shirt, sport shirt, เสื้อโปโล or golf shirt actually started on the tennis court? In 1929, French tennis champ René Lacoste created a short-sleeved piqué knit collared shirt with a buttoned placket. Soon, he added an embroidered crocodile – a symbol of his tenacity on the court – to the left chest area. The shirt caught on among polo players, and by 1950, “polo shirt” was the garment’s accepted name. The embroidery tradition has lived on as well. Since polo shirts are popular on the golf course, in the board room, and around town, many companies put their logo on the shirts and give them to employees and clients.
Choosing a polo shirt for your company logo can be kind of overwhelming, especially if you are not particularly fashion-conscious. Here are the top 5 features to pay attention to when coming up with your selection.
- Fabric type and texture
The original polo shirts were 100% cotton, and that fabric is still very popular – especially premium cottons like Tangüis and Pima. These are particular varieties of cotton noted for their quality, softness, and durability. Cotton/poly blends are also popular, because the fabric is wrinkle-resistant and less likely to reduce. Some go for 100% polyester, because of the sturdiness of the fabric when washed over and over again, and because of moisture-wicking properties which make it great in sweaty situations. Finally, you may prefer an exotic or unusual fabric like bamboo or eco-friendly choices like recycled polyester and organic cotton.
Fabric content is just half the picture, however. The texture of the fabric determines its look and feel. Shirt is a casual, inexpensive choice. The same sort of fabric used for T-shirts, it is wonderful for screen printing or embroidery. Similar to shirt, interlock fabric is double-knit, making it thicker and smoother. Piqué is the original polo shirt fabric; if you look at it closely, you’ll see that it has a waffle-weave texture. Interesting tonal effects may be accomplished with jacquard fabric, which looks and feels luxurious. Finally, mesh fabric is popular for fit settings, because the space between the fibers allows the garment to breathe.
- Performance Features
The term “performance fabric” refers to a fabric that has been designed to provide practical benefits to the individual wearing. They make the experience of wearing the garment nicer and convenient. Moisture-wicking or moisture-management polo shirts pull sweat away from the body and promote evaporation. They keep the individual wearing cool and dry, and are highly desired by players and hard-working employees. Where there’s sweat, there may be odour, so anti-microbial features are important to curb the growth of smelly bacteria. Stain-resistant fabric is a must if the polo shirt will be worn in a restaurant or hospital. Teflon and Scotchgard are popular fabric treatments which will make spills better to clean. Snag-resistant fabrics try to keep the sport shirt looking new for a long time, and are suggested for any heavy-duty use.
It’s possible to put your logo on a polo shirt with a well-known brand name like Adidas, Champion, Nike, and so on. The people you give a brand-name polo to will spot the brand and know they’ve gotten a high-quality garment. There is one possible downside to a brand-name sport shirt, however: the manufacturer’s logo, like the Adidas stripes or Nike swoosh, can take place prominently on the shirt and will take attention away from your logo. The other option is private label polo shirts. These clothing are manufactured designed for embroidery and other logo decoration. You may not know the names from shops, but the quality and value may be excellent.
Most of the time, polo shirts are one color from top to bottom – in other words, they are solid color sport shirts. Another option, which is favored in fit settings, is the color block polo shirt. This garment combines different colors in areas of the shirt. For example, leading and back of the shirt may be grey, and the side panels may be black. There may be stylish color panels on the sleeves or chest. Universities love color-block polos because they can choose a shirt that combines their school colors. Another color consideration is tipping. A tipped polo includes narrow region on the dog collar and sleeve hems. Piping is similar, but it highlights the seams of the garment.
Last but certainly not least, consider the decoration method used to apply your logo to the polo shirt. Embroidery on the left-chest area is the traditional option, going all the way back to Lacoste’s original crocodile. The benefits of embroidery include durability and a shiny, classy look. If you’re acquiring a less traditional look, other spots for your logo are the upper back or the sleeve. Of course, embroidery isn’t the only way. You could opt for screen printing if the polo’s fabric is smooth, like shirt or interlock. New sport shirt decorating trends include laser etching, which essentially “burns” the surface of the fabric to create a tone-on-tone design, and heat elephant seals.