Tips on jersey quality
Let's face it, It's downright confusing to know all the differences between all the brands, and styles among brands, when buying an NFL jersey. Here at End Zone Kit, we've analysed all these brands and, using several aspects of quality, determined five categories which normally correlate with price. In the future, all listings will include a JQR (Jersey Quality Rating) to help you determine if this jersey is a good entry-level jersey, a durable, hard-wearing jersey, or a collector piece to be savoured.
So what should you look at to gauge jersey quality?
Fabric type and quality
Graphics application type
Quality of details (jock tag, NFL shield, name plate, neckline)
Let's discuss these one by one.
Fabric type and quality
- Most jerseys are 100% polyester, but some older ones (still very high quality) are nylon or other fabrics
- Some jerseys have shiny snag-prone fabric
- Many are made of mesh for breathability, and the quality of the mesh can vary
- Extremely high quality jerseys feel almost waterproof in texture as they are made to replicate what the players wear on field
- There is no one type of fabric that screams "high quality;" other factors have to be taken into account such as fabric weight and feel
This older Reebok has screen-printed graphics and high-quality diamond mesh fabric
- This boils down to stitched vs. printed graphics but it's a bit more complex
- The highest quality pieces have stitched graphics; beware, however, that some just have a stitched "look" and are actually iron-on type
- Older jerseys are screen printed (ink applied through a mesh screen over a blocking template). This doesn't mean low quality--in actuality, many screen-printed jerseys are extremely hard-wearing
- Most contemporary printed jerseys have decals applied, and these can vary in quality and texture from very thin which peel easily, to textured decals that are durable and sturdy
- Some graphics are embroidered, and some are stitched on the edges
A Nike Game jersey has polyester fabric, a ribbed neckline, plastic NFL shield, and printed (decal) graphics
- Better quality jerseys that are more expensive tend to have better detailing in the following areas:
- Less expensive jerseys lack an NFL shield at the neck (unless it's an older jersey) and these shields can be made of plastic, metallic, or even occasionally embroidered.
- Better jerseys usually have a "jock tag" near the hem, which states the brand and (usually) the size--these are typically absent on cheaper jerseys
- Name plates stitched on the back are a hallmark of a better-quality jersey
- The quality of the neckline gets better with a higher-priced jersey (these tend to be ribbed to avoid stretching)
Our next series of blog posts will cover each Jersey Quality Rating (JQR) and some of the brands and types of each, so see you then!
Check out our range of jerseys at End Zone Kit--new and pre-worn, basic and higher-quality--there's something for everyone!