Croatia shocked the world by beating England in the World Cup semi-finals. The team’s success, which is their third appearance in the final four of this tournament, has led to a spike in national pride. The country and its citizens are now more proud than ever to be Croatian—which is why it’s no surprise that Croatian manufacturers have made an impressive quantity of Croatian national team jerseys for fans to buy.
This article explains what goes into making a Croatian national team jersey, from cotton gins to the finished products. It also details the various processes that go into the production of these garments, including the types of machines used and potential hazards involved in their creation. As you read on, you will understand exactly how those Croatia kits came to be.
What Goes Into Manufacturing a Soccer Jersey?
National team jerseys can be made in any number of fabrics and materials, but most will use either a polyester or a cotton-polyester blend. In order to get an accurate idea of what these materials are and how they’re used in the manufacturing process, let’s start by looking at their raw forms. Cotton is a soft, lightweight fiber that’s spun into threads and woven into fabric.
Polyester is also spun into threads, but these threads are then woven with cotton. A blend of polyester and cotton is more durable and less prone to shrinkage than pure cotton. The designer will choose these fabrics based on the design, color, and intended use of the finished garment.
From there, the manufacturer will cut and piece the fabric in order to create the jersey. This process entails stitching panels together to form the desired shape and design. Once the panels are sewn and placed into a garment bag, the manufacturer will pre-shrink the jersey. This is done to reduce the amount of shrinkage that will occur during the final washing and drying process. It also helps ensure that the garment fits the athlete properly.
Cotton Ginning – Separating the Good From the Bad
Cotton harvesting and ginning are the first steps in creating the fiber that will eventually become the jerseys. The plant is harvested and stripped of its seeds. The seeds are used in other commercial products, while the plant itself is processed to create a clean, white fiber. This process involves cleaning and carding the cotton to remove any impurities.
The resulting material is then spun into cotton yarn. The quality of the cotton used in the jerseys depends on how it was ginned. Higher-quality cotton will be cleaner and have fewer impurities. This will result in a softer, more durable jersey fabric. A football jersey made from lower-quality cotton will be rougher and more prone to pilling, especially when it’s washed.
Sewing and Stitching
The panels are sewn together to form the basic garment shape and design. The stitching is done with either an overlock or a standard stitch. The overlock stitch is stronger and more durable, but the standard stitch is faster and uses less thread. After sewing the panels together, the manufacturer will insert the athlete’s name and number into the back of the jersey. This is often done with a heat press, which can result in a shiny surface.
The manufacturer will then stitch the sleeves onto the garment. If the jersey is made of a blend, the manufacturer may use a union finish. This involves stitching the edge of the fabric to itself with an overlock stitch. It’s used primarily on sleeves and hems, and it keeps the fabric from unraveling. It is also used to attach panels together in areas like the sides of the garment, where an overlock stitch would be unsightly.
Dyeing and Coloring
The manufacturer will dye the garment to the desired color. Most national team jerseys are dyed using modern reactive dyeing methods. This is because these dyes are more colorfast than other dyes.
They are also easier to remove during the cleaning process, which is important since sports apparel is generally machine washed. The garment will be dyed either in a tub or a vat, with the dye being added at the appropriate time. The manufacturer will also add a fixative at the end of the process to help preserve the color of the garment.
Importance of Quality Control in Sports Apparel Manufacturing
To ensure that the jerseys meet the manufacturer’s standards, employees will perform quality control checks. At each step in the process, they will sample an item and compare it to a predetermined standard. If it does not meet the standard, then it is discarded. If the sample meets the standard, then it goes on to be used in the production of the garment.
The manufacturer will also check the completed garment to ensure that it meets the standards set forth in the design. If it does not, then the sample must be remade and the entire manufacturing process restarted. These checks help ensure that the uniforms are ready for the athletes when the time comes. If the manufacturer does not perform these checks, then they may end up with substandard products, which will not meet the athletes’ expectations.
The Bottom Line
The national team jerseys are made of a cotton-polyester blend, which is softer and more durable than pure cotton. They are dyed to the desired color before being stitched together and sewn into the garment.
They are then inspected to make sure that they meet the manufacturer’s standards. When the jerseys are ready, they are shipped directly to the team. With the team’s jerseys now in hand, the players can focus on their game—not their threads.