Wristbands are great for a wide variety of purposes. You might be most familiar with them from sports and music events, but they are now being used for a lot of quite unusual purposes – charity fundraising, for instance, or just as fashion accessories.
Wristbands can be constructed in a lot of different ways. The most basic types of wristbands are commonly made of paper, and these are fine if the wristband is going to be used for one night. Paper, however, is not very strong, and becomes very fragile when it gets wet.
Making wristbands from silicone gets rid of some of these problems. Silicone is pretty tough, and can be produced in a variety of colors. However, it is also expensive, and not that comfortable to wear.
The best wristbands are those made from Tyvek. Tyvek is a wonderful material, originally developed to protect buildings but now used for a huge variety of purposes. It is tough, but can be cut and worked easily. It is breathable, and so much more comfortable to wear than silicone. And, best of all, it can be printed very easily.
There are several different types of printing process used for Tyvek wristbands, and which you chose will depend on the quality you want to achieve, and how much you have to spend. Here are the most common types.
This is the most basic form of printing on Tyvek. Wear-resistant ink is screen-printed onto the wristband, and a good variety of colors and designs can be achieved. Unfortunately, however, prints produced by this method tend to wear off quite quickly.
Debossing processes were used for the Livestrong wristband campaign, which has sold more than 80 million bands since 2004. This process uses a laser to engrave text or images onto the surface of the Tyvek, and can produce very long-lasting designs.
A variation on the deboss process, deboss-filling also involves engraving a design using a laser, but then the recess is filled with ink. This can produce designs that are both long-lasting and colorful, and for that reason this process is often used by music festivals and other outdoor events.
Embossing is basically the opposite of debossing. Instead of a design being sunk into the wrist band, it is raised above it. There are a variety of processes that can achieve this effect, but most commonly a metal die is stamped into the rear of the wristband.
This process takes an embossed wristband, and then prints on top of the raised sections. If done correctly, this can produce a unique-looking wristband that makes a great fashion accessory. It is also the best way of making sure a design is seen, because text and images printed in this way really stand out.
The process you chose will depend on what you want to achieve with your wristbands, of course. Unusual techniques like emboss-printing can make them look great, but for more mundane purposes you might want to stick with more basic types of printing.