Laura discusses the evolution of lettering the Crunch jerseys over the last twenty years
Hey all, for those of you that don't know me, I have been working in the lettering shop for over twenty years. In that time, I have seen the apparel lettering industry change dramatically and McKie's Custom Sportswear has always kept up with the trends, but as we enter a new era, under new ownership, we are looking to be on the cutting edge. Currently, McKie's does embroidery, logo design, digitizing, screen printing, tackle twill, and small batch sublimation on premises. Moving forward we will be improving on the quality of our lettering and offering even more imprint options.
McKie's Custom Sportswear's biggest "claim to fame" is that we are in our 26th year of lettering the Syracuse Crunch jerseys. From the very first season, nearly every single Crunch jersey has passed through our sewing department. I was not here for the first year when the logo included flying ice chips that had to be individually sewn on the jerseys, but have been sewing jerseys for the Crunch as they passed through all their affiliations from Vancouver to Columbus to Anaheim and finally with Tampa In the early years, every letter of every name was hand placed on the namebar and sewn. Today, we have a high-speed CAD machine to cut the names that enables perfect placement in a fraction of the time. What do we do with all that extra time? Well, this year alone we will be doing three complete sets of regular game jerseys - white, blue, and orange, and five sets of specialty jerseys. Everyone has already seen the special Military Appreciation camo jerseys and the Hockey Fights Cancer lavender jerseys.
Coming in February, the Crunch will be wearing special 1980 USA jerseys that celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. These throwback style jerseys are an homage to that winning team in the iconic red, white, and blue. The primary difference is the SYR arched on the front instead of the original USA.
The very next week the Crunch will be wearing special Pride Night jerseys. The Pride jerseys are a McKie's first. The lettering is the result of a multi-step process. Each number is cut, dyed, and sewn on premises. The colorful, rainbow design was a challenge for our talented team, but we rose to the occasion and are really excited to show them off. Working with a unique concept and using techniques that we have developed over years trial and error, the final result will be visually striking on the ice.
Next up St. Patrick's Day! After more than a decade absence, the St Patrick's Day jerseys will be making a vibrant comeback to the War Memorial. I have yet to see the jerseys, but I am sure that they will be a fan favorite. I still see some of the old St. Pat’s jerseys wandering around at the games.
McKie’s not only does the game jerseys for the Crunch, we can also do replica jerseys lettered up with your favorite player’s name and number or put a personal spin on your lettering. Our files go back to the beginning so we can even customize that replica jersey that has been sitting in your closet for a few years like the alternate black and silver anniversary jerseys.
While the Crunch are our most visible customer, we also do the jerseys for dozens of leagues, youth organizations, and schools. We are known for our hockey, but our lettering shop does everything from custom golf flags to embroidered corporate apparel, Greek fraternity/sorority gear to custom coasters. Stop in and say “hi” and let us show you what we can do. We are right next door to the hockey shop. Remember baseball/softball season is just around the corner and we are gearing up to do Geddes Little League :)