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Steelers' sleeve stripes


oldschoolvikings

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Watching the Steelers today...

It seems like the stripes on their jerseys are not the same kind of ugly/shiny silkscreen - heat transfer material that every other team that still has sleeve stripes uses. Compared to the Browns, or Lions, or Packers the Steelers' jerseys just look more... professional.

Am I seeing things, or are they actually manufactured differently?

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I don't think it's any "special technology" - that's the way ALL sleeve stripes were done on the old Durene fabric jerseys from the 1950s/1960s. The Steelers were one of the last (if not the last) team to use Durene jerseys, and they kept the Durene sleeves when they finally went to mesh jerseys in the 1980s. I've seen Steelers authentics, and the sleeve material is a very light version of the old heavy Durene fabric; they aren't the normal mesh or dazzle fabric of other jerseys.

Jersey trivia - back in the 1970s the Dallas Cowboys wore mesh jerseys starting circa 1973 but with Durene sleeves - look at close ups from Super Bowls X, XII, and XII. In V and VI the jerseys were all Durene, and by the time they got back in the 1990s the jerseys had the standard dazzle fabric sleeves with screened-on stripes.

By the way, the Browns are now also using the same jersey template and sleeve fabric as the Steelers - they went to that design last year.

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I think the process is called sublimation, and hardly any uniform manufacturers are capable of doing this anymore. You need special, old machinery, and not many machines still around that can do this. At least that's what I've been told.

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It's not sublimation - the stripes are, in fact, actually woven into the fabric using different color thread, just like they had to do way back when. Get a hold of an authentic Steelers jersey sometime and feel it - the sleeve fabric is heavier than any other part of the jersey.

According to the NFL shop:

Engineered stripe collar and cuffs (specific to team): 10-oz, 100% polyester

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I've thought for years that they can sew on numbers, they can sew on logos, but why can't they sew on sleeve stripes? Some of that stretch twill would work great for my Bengals tiger stripes and it wouldn't hinder the players movement as it is stretchy.

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I've thought for years that they can sew on numbers, they can sew on logos, but why can't they sew on sleeve stripes? Some of that stretch twill would work great for my Bengals tiger stripes and it wouldn't hinder the players movement as it is stretchy.

The only team I can remember that had sewn-in sleeve stripes was the 1978-89 Jets - that was the first version of with the green helmet. I'm not sure that they did this for all years of that set, but certainly from 1978 until at least the mid-1980s the stripes were either sewn-on (i.e. over the sleeve material) or sewn-in (i.e different pieces of fabric sewn together). They definitely went to screened on stripes on dazzle fabric with the 1990 revamp that added the black trim.

Edited to add:

Getting back to the original topic, I beleive the Redskin's throwback used this year also has the same type of sleeve/stripes as the Steelers and the Browns. This is a stupid photo, but it has the closest shot of the stripes of any photo on the Redskin's site:

IB1P0444pg.jpg

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