Custom work shirts are typically uniform clothing worn by people in the automotive industry, health care professionals, hotel staff such as housekeepers and gardeners, restaurant kitchen staff and so on. Although occasionally the same professionals also purchase logo shirts that normally would not be considered work shirts.
The majority of work shirts are made with specialty fabrics that are meant to stand up to repeated washing. These types of fabric typically are more durable. Some of these fabrics also have different levels of flame resistance known as HRC, or Hazard Rating Category. Flame resistant specialty fabrics are typically made with either 100% cotton, or cotton and nylon blend. Note that polyester is highly flammable. So if you work near a furnace, you might want to avoid that. Also, I used the term “flame resistant”, not “flame proof” as the work shirts I am talking about here do not fit into that category.
Work shirts can be custom embroidered with logos just like regular logo apparel that are made with typical commercial fabrics. But it is more common to find name patches on work shirts than logo identity. These shirts usually have either one or two patch utility pockets on the chest, and are available in styles typical for this apparel category. Although they are less glamorous with fewer color choices than shirts in the corporate apparel industry, they serve very specific purposes and give a professional appearance to the people wearing them. Their predictable styles and colors also make staff members easily recognizable, serving an important branding and identity purpose.
There are well established brands in the custom work shirts industry such as Carhartt, Red Kap, and Dickies. In recent years, however, corporate apparel manufacturers have also started to enter this market with similar products at better prices. The purpose of entering this new product category seems to be to cover broader needs of their existing customer base rather than to compete with the established brands mentioned above. Consider this, the same human resources professional who is buying corporate logo shirts for the office staff might also be purchasing work shirts for the maintenance staff. Instead of going to two different companies, he or she can now purchase both categories of products from the same vendor. Not only does this make life easier, it also provides a better chance for better quantity discount.
By the same token, it is advisable for corporate apparel distributors to consider carrying work shirts to their existing customer base. This provides a new source of income, better product choices for their existing customers, and the potential for a new product category and therefore new customers. In this tough economic climate, it is important to explore new options for sales, and new additions of product offerings to fill any needs that might have been previously neglected. In the end, when we, corporate apparel distributors, serve our customers better, and in more ways, we are the ones who will benefit.