Olympic Bling | Sports Apparel, Gymnastics and Dance
It’s no secret that the US Olympic Gymnasts are flashy, but it’s not just their technique. Each one of them is wearing a custom uniform embellished with rhinestones.
If you are an apparel decorator yourself, or want to be, you should be particularly happy that this high profile, world class, gold medal team is wearing performance outfits decorated with a rhinestone transfer machine. That’s right, for the last several Olympic competitions those costumes have been enhanced by rhinestone transfers made by the CAMS Automatic Rhinestone Machines from ColDesi!
Bling represents a big opportunity for small companies to hit the world stage, and do it profitably. While the end product from a CAMS rhinestone machine is stunning and looks high end, the equipment it takes to produce bling transfers worthy of Olympic athletes is actually very affordable, even for a startup business.
The market for bling transfers isn’t just for those super athletes either. Gymnastics classes, dance classes and competitions and the stands of school sporting events are filled with people wearing rhinestone apparel. The vast majority of that apparel wasn’t made in a factory, it was bought as a plain garment and then decorated with imagination.. and rhinestone transfers from a CAMS
About Making Rhinestone Transfers
“Automatic” means that after you send a design to the machine it picks up and places individual rhinestones on the transfer sheet (like a big sheet of tape). Depending on the machine it can do this with up to 4 different sizes or colors of stones at a time. While the rhinestone machine is making transfers, you can go and be doing something else productive for your business.
Manual systems involve cutting out a template, then physically brushing stones into the template, multiple times for multiple colors and sizes.
Having an automatic system makes it easier and more profitable to do volume production of custom bling t shirts, leotards, uniforms, yoga wear and more.
The differences in equipment has to do with numbers of colors and sizes of stones you can use in one pass of the machine. For example, the CAMS 1V2P, the one that most people start with, is a desktop machine the will allow 2 colors or 2 sizes of rhinestones at once. The CAMS 1V6P allows for up to six different combinations! But if you’ll notice in the photo of Simone Biles you’ll find here, there’s only one color – crystal – on her uniform.
What’s Next in Performance Wear Bling
What you MAY see in the near future is an important substitute for rhinestones called Spangles. Spangles are a kind of sequin, but without the hole in the middle and that’s applied with a heat press just like hotfix rhinestones are.
The advantage to Spangles, like the ones produced by the ProSpangle and SpangleElite machines, are that they offer holographic bling that LOOKS like rhinestones but are much less expensive to produce AND are smooth to the touch.
One reason that many performers don’t wear rhinestones during dance, gymnastic or cheerleading performances is because they are actually small pieces of hard glass. Not very comfortable to land on, tumble on or impact someone else on stage with.
Spangle are completely soft and make to attach to the fabric in such a way that you can hardly feel they are present.
The weight of a dense spangle design is negligible.
Obviously rhinestones are a great way to embellish apparel – they made it to the Olympics after all – but if you’re just starting your business you may want to look at both rhinestones and spangles for bling.
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