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PennFUTEX: The Future of All-around Decoration

by Randi Blumenthal-Joseph, The Penn Emblem Company

A successful uniform has to be versatile and functional. It must represent an organization and signify the status of the person wearing the garment. Emblematic identification determines how well a uniform meets those standards. However, finding an affordable option that both performs well and looks sharp can be a challenge. Not anymore.

A new category of emblems called PennFUTEX makes it possible to get the exact image you want in full color with an upscale, textured look. The process allows for perfect color matching to meet strict organizational color guidelines. Not only will color be exact; it will be long lasting. The flock fibers of this sublimatable substrate bond with the ink so that the image is permanent. Graphics actually fuse into the material leaving a logo that won’t fade or wash out over time. Full-color logo reproduction and photographic images look sharp and vibrant from day one forward. This means that a uniform very well might wear out before its emblematic identification.

No worries, however. These Made-in-the-USA PennFUTEX emblems can be attached, removed and reattached numerous times, allowing the identification to transfer from one uniform to another easily. Some organizations have chosen this emblematic solution so that identification can be moved from shirt to jacket or from hat to duffel bag as occasion warrants. Other situations demand a low profile. Military and law enforcement professionals, for example, sometimes need to remove identification for covert action.

Alternatively, the emblem can be permanently applied with heat. The advantage of a PennFUTEX emblem is that it adheres to most any fabric or substrate. Because it is applied at a low heat, even fabrics too delicate for a standard heat transfer can accept a PennFUTEX patch. This opens the door for nylon jackets, for example, that would otherwise rely upon embroidery. With PennFUTEX, the result looks elegant and feels more comfortable. The emblem is lightweight, flexible and does not require backings or leave-behind threads on the inside of the garment.

Another reason organizations might choose PennFUTEX over embroidery is cost. Artwork with high stitch counts can make traditional embroidery quite expensive. Yet, the lustrous quality and texture that embroidery delivers is still desired. PennFUTEX 3D solves the dilemma. It can be used as a transfer, sticker or appliquė to create a three-dimensional effect similar to embroidery, but at a much lower cost – as much as 40% less. The unique woven face of PennFUTEX 3D shimmers as light shines across it. The iridescence looks rich, setting the appropriate tone for insignia designed to indicate authority. This is particularly important for organizations such as police, military and fire fighting. The look is equally upscale for professionals in the hospitality and resort industries. Not only is it less expensive to use this process, it’s takes less time to produce and deliver these Made-in-the-USA emblems. When image matters as much as budget and turn time, PennFUTEX is a solution.

It also addresses embroidery’s limitations. Whereas embroidery is restricted in terms of the thin, fine detail it can achieve, PennFUTEX 3D can reproduce even the most intricate designs crisply. For example, a police badge that signifies rank, identifies the officer by name and includes an organizational shield likely requires tiny lettering and numbers. While most experts would agree that embroidering text smaller than 1/4 inch tall is difficult, it is no problem for the PennFutex process to replicate.

PennFUTEX also opens the door to decorating a range of products that are difficult to hoop. For example, caps and bags limit where and how a logo is placed with traditional decorating methods. PennFUTEX, however, allows for logo placement on bag straps or cap brims, rather than only on a bag front or cap crown. There are no restraints as to size or placement of the logo. Even an accessory as small and challenging as a glove is no contest for PennFUTEX. The process works for almost any substrate or shape, even shoes and hard hats.

“We’re big fans of the PennFUTEX process,” says Andy Shuman of Rockland Embroidery Inc. “It has been a way for us to offer quick turn time of a unique product/process that can be utilized when direct embroidery may not be a realistic option. The quality of the emblems are fantastic and truly allow you to achieve details in a logo that would not work with traditional embroidery. I think the process will find a solid home in the world of decoration.”

Because PennFUTEX allows for fine detail and full color reproduction, it is an excellent candidate for uniform programs representing brand identity or mascots. The material is easily CAD cut to any shape or size, including images with cutouts. Already, the process has been used by entertainment properties to create character stickers, including Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars and the famous chipmunk trio from Alvin and the Chipmunks. Sport teams and collegiate properties similarly make good use of this process’ ability to replicate a mascot or logo for team uniforms or fan wear.

PennFUTEX is easily layered for popular multiprocess looks. It has been customized with a multitude of mediums, including glitter and foils for added bling to glow-in-the-dark variations. Reflective inlays, for example, increase the safety value of the emblem, making it high visibility for low-light work environments. The potential for creating unique, one-of-a-kind emblems is endless. You gain all the advantages of going custom but none of the drawbacks. Because PennFUTEX is Made-in-the-USA, your emblem is created quickly, undergoes stringent quality control and is delivered promptly.

While the customized image you achieve with PennFUTEX is spot-on, the feel of the emblem is equally important. PennFUTEX decoration has a raised, velvety nap that translates to luxury. Likewise, PennFUTEX 3D is textural, with a silky woven hand. Both styles are extremely thin so that they practically meld into the garment for a smooth, seamless appearance.

The thin, flexible nature of PennFUTEX makes it an excellent option for active work environments. Uniforms must move with the worker who wears them. Therefore, emblematic identification should move with the uniform. Any stiff, rough or heavy decoration can be a distraction for a worker and therefore unsafe. Lightweight PennFUTEX makes movement easy and leaves behind no scratchy backings or threads to irritate the skin.

Even more important is the fact that PennFUTEX is made of 90% recycled materials and is lead- and Phthalate-free. It has passed stringent testing to ensure its durability, even standing up to industrial laundering once heat applied. Consumer brands such as Nintendo and Disney have tested and approved PennFUTEX for their use. Anyone can wear PennFUTEX emblems with confidence that they are safe and durable.

These Made-in-the-USA emblems also mean tight turn times are possible. A customized PennFUTEX patch can be designed and produced in as little as 7-10 days. Furthermore, the USA-made status of these emblems makes them more appealing to unionized workers. In addition, PennFUTEX is manufactured by a Women’s Business Enterprise, certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Many organizations have procurement preference for women- or minority-owned vendors to satisfy supplier diversity goals. Likewise, selling a USA-made product can automatically push a bid right to the top of proposals being considered.

It’s a win/win emblematic solution. Organizations that choose PennFUTEX to adorn their uniforms get full-color logo reproduction and the appeal of a lustrous texture at a fraction of the cost associated with traditional emblematic decoration. Workers who wear the uniforms gain the ability to move their identification from garment to garment and enjoy the comfort of a lightweight, thin, flexible emblem. Applications are endless. A sticker sheet of PennFUTEX emblems can be used to instantly logo a uniform for a trade show or for community outreach. After the event, the logo can be permanently applied with heat. Service or security organizations can use PennFUTEX patches as part of a uniform incentive program, adding an emblem to signify achievement or step up in rank as goals are reached. To learn more about the process and how it can solve your emblematic identification needs, visit

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