Manufacturing Question About Cheer Uniforms

Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by King, May 25, 2013.

  1. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    IMO, yes. I would want to see the fabric before it goes into production and I would want to know that production would not be sub-contracted overseas, unless, they have a full time rep located there to check quality, sizing and push things along throughout the entire production and shipping process.

    What I find puzzling though, is everyone should be receiving a sample prior to production. Are those production samples a good representation of what the final product is looking like? They should be, and if so, I'm starting to believe the biggest hurdle may be as simple as the window is just too narrow to accommodate changes and gyms are just settling in hopes they will get their uniforms in time.
     
  2. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    Sounds like the hurdles are relatively simple to get over if you just have enough due diligence to test fabric and give yourself enough lead time (and extra just to be sure).
     
  3. AerialsAllstars_Ash

    AerialsAllstars_Ash I make my own voiceovers

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    I am just going to throw out a fun fact for you all - Every bolt of fabric that is received in the gk warehouse is unrolled, and inspected for proper quality. Then a sample of each fabric bolt is taken and put through a serious of stretch tests, as well as other tests to ensure that we are using only the best quality of fabrics for our garments.

    And there my friends, is your snapple fact of the day. :)
     
  4. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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  5. CoachTamara

    CoachTamara Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    There is a coach that is not on here, but she made her uniforms. She is a gymnastics and cheer gym, and she learned how to sew leotards. Her leos cost her about $5 to make. She eventually got a cheer program started, and made the leos and shorts. They used a rhinestone place to create the name and ironed them on the front. Even with the shorts, she did them for about $20. Obviously she charged for her time, but even with that you are saving about $200/uniform. Just a thought for those crafty kids out there... :)
     
  6. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    I am not trying to suggest people should eschew manufacturers and make their own, just curious why so few had.
     
  7. CoachTamara

    CoachTamara Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I think people assume it's more difficult than it is. Or, it's a time thing. For an owner, you aren't losing money by forcing your customers to use a company, because they are the ones paying a boatload for a crappy uniform.... If they'll pay it, then it's easier to just call someone and have them do it.
     
  8. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

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    Opportunity cost basically. But if a disruptive technology came along and made the whole process easy then the whole game would change. Similar to how t shirt printing went from being a hard thing few could do to something with tons of local shops that many could do.

    Then it would just be a matter of how large an economy of scale is required to be effective.
    Then like cheer camps would Allstar gyms become the uniform manufacturers for themselves and all their local high schools?


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  9. SharkDad

    SharkDad Most Positive, Best Parent '12 Staff Member National Champion

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    Unfortunately this is part of why it keeps happening. Some gym owners don't have incentive to make the uniform deliver on their promised delivery dates/quality. If parents take the money away from the gyms profit, maybe they will stop commiting to crappy uniform companies. Some of them are the biggest.

    Not all companies are like this. Correct me if I mess up the name but I believe Rebel Athletics is the company that promises their dates and quality. All reports I have seen of them is that they are continually on time. If they make mistakes they compensate customers and provide fixed uniforms quickly to replace them.

    This is what we should expect of any company-its called customer service.




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  10. njallday

    njallday Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    in an old thread about cheer savannah, it came up that their old uniforms were custom made by a costume maker (which was controversial because the woman made "exotic dancer" costumes) but anyway, i found that very interesting. i am not sure if the costumer they used hand produced all of the uniforms or simply drew up a design/made a sample and sourced it to someone else. They switched to GK a year or two ago, so i wonder if it was more hassle to do it that way?

    I know FAME also uses sew factory. again - not sure of their logistics and who actually makes the uniforms, though.

    i looked on the link @catlady posted and just selected the first "activewear" company that showed up. now, i may have misunderstood since i don't fully understand the whole industry, but it seemed that you had to purchase the fabric and create a sample to send to them. there was also a minimum of 500 pieces being ordered, otherwise the prices were much steeper. i'm sure if you shopped around, you could find someone to accommodate your needs though.

    now, which gym wants to be the guinea pig?;)
     
  11. 5-6-7-8

    5-6-7-8 I have my own cheer message board

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    Ill never understand why this industry puts up with the terrible uniform service.

    I think another (albeit small) factor in not sourcing uniforms is the little logo in the front. (Maybe applied more to GK than the others.)

    I'm still wondering when Under Armor is going to get I the cheer uniform business (they already make tennis apparel, so the basic "shapes" are there.)


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  12. XtremeWpg

    XtremeWpg I have my own cheer message board

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    And you know if Under Armor got into this game they could bust out a uniform with a super supportive built in bra component. I'd get them just for that!


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  13. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    That's part of the issue though, gyms are custom designing their uniforms so there are no basic shapes. Anything custom designed and produced is costly and takes time. Swimwear, lingerie, dance costuming, etc. are expensive because of the fabrics you are dealing with, it is much harder to sew stretchy/silky/sequined/mesh fabrics. Active wear fabrics need to be cut by hand and in the same direction to prevent pulling so you have to use more yardage to accomplish this. I can't speak on current technology, however, machine cutters could not be used on those fabrics in the past because it would stretch it in the process. Old technology was very similar to a die cut machine but, they wouldn't use it on custom designs with smaller quantities, anyhow. Then to prevent the fabric from stretching during the sewing process they would apply a narrow strip of "sticky tape" to all rough edges that were going to be sewn. Add to that intricate patterns, various fabrics and bling, it's tedious and expensive work.

    To reduce cost you would have to take production overseas, however, in corporate retail, a minimum of a year was needed to get an import from design to completion and on the shelf. They, also, had employees there to insure quality and see that deadlines were being met. Even if gyms sized their athletes at tryouts and immediately sent their size runs to an overseas contractor, the window is still too small to be confident they would receive them by October or November. Cheer has created a need for a quality costume production company with the ability to produce large quantities in a very short window.

    Curiosity got the best of me so I read up on the sublimation process. It appears you can get a printer and transfer roller for about $35,000.
     
  14. Bling it On

    Bling it On I think I can mix Cheer Music

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    I just want to throw out there that sublimation is only for certain types of fabric. Albeit most uniform fabrics do work with sublimation however you can't invest in a sublimation set up and expect to be able to sublimate your uniforms and also throw your gym logo on your t-shirts and soffee shorts with the same equipment. Sublimation is for non-cotton/cotton blend fabric such as polyester or nylon. Direct to garment printing and screen printing are for cotton fabrics.


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  15. njallday

    njallday Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    yes, I recall AZ Power's (i think it was them?) first fully lace uniform was outsourced to China because no one here would do it for them. i know there was a "hype" waiting for these new and original unis and if i remember correctly they came in much later than expected. and the sizes were very tiny.