Back-to-School Wear and Accessories

Check out what back-to-school designs and accessories are hot for this school year. 

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In just a few short weeks, over 74 million students in the U.S. will be getting ready to walk the halls of schools all over the country. For apparel decorators, this is a perfect profit opportunity to take advantage of.

From spirit wear and fall apparel to personalized accessories, decorators can become a part of this ever growing market with just a heat press!

Fall Spirit Wear and Fan Gear

From Pre-K all the way to college, there is one thing every student has in common-their want for spirit wear.

Whether it’s for tailgating or the upcoming soccer game, being able to represent their school’s colors is most important. Incorporating retail-inspired graphics such as the split-text effects shown above will not only catch your customers’ eye but also make you their go-to decorator. Give your customers the sought-after looks that retailers like Nike and Under Amour offer by incorporating trendy finishes such as foil.

For every player on the field, there are at least four family members or fans in the stands there for support. This makes printing fan wear a lucrative niche in the back-to-school market. These game-day jersey Ts are perfect for customizing for any fan big or small. 

Game-day jerseys are typically made of a poly-mesh and are known to “bleed” under high heat. Bleeding happens when heat printing 100 percent poly-mesh at a high temperature and the dyes from the polyester start to migrate through your heat transfer vinyl (HTV). While these Panthers fans may bleed gold and blue, their graphics should not! Choosing these spandex-mesh and cotton/poly garments gives you the game-day jersey look and makes heat printing easy with no chance of dyes migrating through the HTV. 

Back-to-School Accessories

Adding personalization to school accessories such as backpacks and lunchboxes creates add-on sales for your business this fall.

When choosing the right accessories to personalize, it’s important to choose items that are polyester or cotton based. While heat transfer vinyl is most diverse when it comes to fabrics they can be applied to, you will have more options to choose from if you’re applying to a cotton or polyester item. This lunchbox and backpack combo was easily printed with a heat press with platens that are interchangeable. Using platens with dimensions such as 4″ X 4″, 8″ X 10″, or 8″ round will allow you to reach hard-to-print areas of these items to easily personalize.

Get creative with your HTV choice-a matte finish will do the job but switching it up with glitter or foil HTV will yield a higher profit.

Some additional items that can be easily personalized for students are lanyards and ID cases. Most lanyards and ID cases are made from a cotton-based fabric, which makes them the perfect accessory to personalize for add-on sales. When heat printing the ID case it’s important that the metal zipper is out of the way when applying your personalization. We need to have an even pressure when applying HTV and the density of the zipper will keep you from getting a flat surface. Using heat printing pillows or interchangeable platens such as the 4″ X 4″ will help with this. 

Don’t forget about accessorizing the staff. It’s not just about the students when printing for back-to-school. This canvas market tote is perfect for classroom organization, or even for carrying personal items to and from the classroom. With removable hardware, this tote can be easily personalized with an 8″ X 10″ interchangeable platen and special effect HTV.

When it comes to increasing your profits from add-on sales with accessories, the more the merrier! Personalizing a pencil case is a great addition to any back-to-school item you’re selling and can be easily printed with a heat printing pillow or interchangeable platen, such as 4″ X 4″. When selling an item like this, it’s best to package it with another item to get the most bang for your buck. Pair this with a lunchbox or backpack for a package deal your customers will say yes to! 

Find more decoration tips and trends from Sackett here

Jenna Sackett

Jenna Sackett

Jenna Sackett is an education content specialist and crafting enthusiast for STAHLS' TV. Beginning in 2012, she has worked as an outbound call representative with a dominant focus on all things heat transfer vinyl. From there, she advanced in sales and became a dedicated Inside sales representative. During this time, she learned the ins and outs of owning an apparel decoration business - whether decorators are crafting from home, or running a brick and mortar shop, she knows the tips and tricks that make a business successful in this ever-growing marketplace.

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