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Creating the Leavers’ Hoodie You’ll Wear Forever

This is a refreshed version of a post from 5th March, 2014

As I write this, I’m wearing a hoodie. The hoodie I got when I left school. Ask anybody; your school leavers hoodie is the one piece of clothing you’ll own and wear forever…

If you can get it right.

Get it wrong, and it’s the shameful, scratchy pullover hidden in the back of your mothballed wardrobe.

So, without further ado, here’s the roadblocks you want to avoid when creating the leavers’ hoodie you’ll cherish forever.

Naming Nightmares

You would be surprised how many people get this crucial step wrong. If you’re adding the names of everybody from your year to your hoodies – and you should be – you need to get them right. Misspell someone’s name, and you’ve ruined the leavers’ hoodie for them.

Even more importantly, you don’t want to miss anyone out!

Appoint a Name Collector or team of Name Collectors to double, triple, and quadruple check the list before you send it off. You might be able to get a hold of class lists from your teachers, which are a great starting point – but don’t rely on them to be 100% correct.

You also need to be wary of your hoodie supplier’s print quality. You’ve got a lot of names to fit onto a small amount of space, so if it’s even slightly smudged, you’re not going to be able to read it.

Dreadful Discomfort

Have you ever received a dodgy jumper as a Christmas present, only to find that it’s the most itchy, uncomfortable item of clothing known to mankind?

Imagine if your leavers’ hoodie was uncomfortable. What’s the point of going to all that effort if the end result isn’t even wearable?

Luckily, you don’t have to settle for that. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Breathable materials. 100% cotton is breathable and great for t-shirts, but too weak and light to make a heavy-duty hoodie. A high polyester count can be sweaty and hot. The best approach is a blend of the two, at around 4/5ths cotton to ⅕ polyester.
  • Thick fabric. A lot of companies will try to fob you off with a lightweight hoodie. Look for companies that offer at least 250gsm thickness.
  • Soft, not scratchy. Some printing techniques and fibres result in an itchy, uncomfortable finish.
  • Stitching that won’t come undone. Where possible, seams should be double-stitched and then lockstitched on the reverse to stop them coming loose.

Pro tip: We’ve already checked off all of these points with our leavers’ hoodies.

Peeling Print

We’ve all bought printed t-shirts that have peeled, cracked, or faded after a couple of washes. Some manufacturers cut corners and use poor-quality inks and inferior printing processes to boost their profits.

Direct to garment printing, or DTG, is a common printing technique that companies use to save money, but it’s just not up to scratch and results in a faded design after just a few washes. Approach with caution!

Don’t go anywhere near transfers. That’s going to crack and peel almost straight away, as the fibres of the hoodie shift slightly after washing and push the transfer off.

To avoid your leavers’ hoodie becoming a plain pullover, look for companies that use high-quality screen-printing techniques. Properly screen-printed designs last pretty much forever, although they may fade slightly after a few dozen washes (which gives them an awesome vintage style!).

Dull Design

Some companies will offer you a single layout for your leavers’ hoodie, or force you to pick from a handful of options. On top of that, every school that orders with them ends up with the same bland colours.

You want your hoodie to stand out from the noise and be unique. Try to find a company that offers school logo printing so it’s clear you’re an alumni, a variety of colour options, and a choice from a wide range of templates.

We have 351,456 different combinations of colour, style, and design, so your hoodies can be utterly unique. Don’t believe me? You can see for yourself here.

We also let you mix and match styles, colours, and sizes, so everyone in your year can get the perfect hoodie for them.

Terrible Timing

Don’t leave it too late to order. Most companies need around 6-8 weeks to produce your order once you’ve submitted everything, so you could run out of time.

It’s best to go with a company that will do a quick turnover on design and print, so you don’t leave yourself with the last-minute stress of rushing to get everything sorted. 

Extras

I ran out of alliterations for this title. Sorry.

Not all hoodies are born equal. First things first: you want a kangaroo pouch on the front. It’s the ideal place to keep your hands warm, and it just looks cool.

Some hoodies come with earphone loops that you can thread your cables through, reinforced thumbholes on the sleeve, and even hidden smartphone pockets.

If you want to see all the hidden extras you can get with a premium leavers’ hoodie, check out our catalogue here. If you like what you see, have a look at getting your yearbooks with us too – we’ll even throw in a 20% discount!

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