It may not be a surprise to hear that the textiles industry is among the largest in the entire world, and that the United States stands as one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of garments in the entire world. Everyone needs clothes to wear, ranging from formal wear to everyday shirts and pants to sleepwear, and department and clothing stores across the United States will stock plenty of them. This represents quit a large industry and market, and that includes ways to modify clothing, too. Many customers like to have their clothes altered with logos and patterns, sewn-on decorations, added or removed fabric, and more. For example, manual heat press machines may add a logo or graphic to a shirt or hat, and specialized manual heat press machines, or hat heat transfers, may be used on baseball caps. How might someone make use of these convenient manual heat press machines to alter their clothes?
The Clothing Industry Today
Let us first consider the clothing industry as a whole. This market is already quite large, and it is due to grow even more in the coming years. As of 2016, for recent reference, the American apparel market stood at $315 billion in value, and experts say that it may grow to $385 billion in value by the year 2025. On average, a consumer will spend $1,700 on apparel and related services in the United States, and the average American consumer buys twice as much clothing as they did just 20 years ago. Around the world, this adds up to a total textile and clothing market value of $2.56 trillion or so. This includes e-commerce, or buying and selling goods online through digital catalogs. Well-known department stores may offer such catalogs, and in August 2017, women’s apparel ranked first among top-selling items online. This trend may continue well into the future.
Naturally, clothes are designed to be practical, comfortable, and attractive when worn, but some customers may be interested in further modification of their clothes. This may be done with manual heat press machines, or by making use of specialists such as tailors and dressmakers. Much of modern labor is automated, but not all jobs are so easily replaced with robotic arms. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, has shown that some 7,880 tailors, dress makers, and custom sewers can be found across the United States, and they often work in clothes shops or in larger retailers. Such specialists may alter, add, and remove fabric and accessories from shirts, gowns, coats, jeans, and more to fit the customer’s requests, and this may result in a high quality finished product.
Meanwhile, an interested customer may visit a custom shirt shop and have their T shirts or even their hats modified by adding new custom decals. No sewing is involved with this; rather, manual heat press machines are used, and they are simple to operate. Such a machine has two plates that may open and then close together, and the plates heat up when activated. When a customer wants to modify their shirt, they will visit such a shop, and if they need to, ask a sales associate to operate the machine or show them how to use it. The shirt and the custom decal are placed in between the plates together, and the plates are closed. Then, the machine’s settings are adjusted as needed, and these manual heat press machines will then use heated, pressurized plates (hence the name) to fuse the custom decal onto the shirt’s fabric permanently. This may result in a permanent, thorough, and professional-looking final product that needs only a minute or two to craft. More specialized heat presses may be used for baseball caps.
Meanwhile, some clothes owners may want monograms sewn on. A monogram is the person’s initials sewn onto their clothes, such as the hem of a shirt or the sleeve of a suit or even their shoes. Many men get monograms on one piece of their suit, and this fashion dates back to the 1980s. Unlike the garish and large monograms of the ’80s, however, modern monograms are small and discreet. The initials are often a similar color to the fabric itself, for a subtle look.