Union College 2006-07 - How NOT to Produce Jerseys

Regardless of what you read below, I love these jerseys. They are some of the most unique items ever to be worn on the ice and find their way to Johnson's Jerseys. And now on with the story...

Who is running the quality department at Reebok?
At the time this web page was compiled (Nov 2007), the NHL was neck deep in a major issue concerning the quality of its on-ice jerseys and their new RBK Edge system which was debuted in 2007-08 for the NHL and AHL teams. After reading pages and pages of comments on these jerseys, it seems the main issue is that the jerseys were manufactured with materials that had special coatings designed to prevent the jerseys from absorbing sweat and keep the jersey lighter. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to consider where all that moisture would go, and many players complained that their skates and gloves were getting soaked like never before and causing problems.

So where does Union College fit into all this?
Well back up one year to the 2006-07 season and let's look at some of the construction issues that were allowed to go out the door on these two sets of home and road jerseys, also with the Reebok logo "proudly" displayed on the exterior (the jerseys also have CCM size tags in the neck).

Union College 2006-07
Home and Road Set #1
#5 Mike Schreiber



To paraphrase Herb Brooks, the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the one on the back so let's start our look at these jerseys with the first place everyone will look - the crest. Hmmm, well not the best effort I've seen. I would have to guess these were sewn together by the local high school's home economics class.

The cresting on the maroon jersey is a backing of white twill with a black ring of twill (the white lettering are negative space in the black twill). The center "U" is a solid maroon section with another black twill outline. No part of the center "U" is sewn down to the crest or the jersey. The white jersey is an exact inverse of the maroon jersey, however the sewing is no better.

Nameplate issues anyone? Well you could start by aligning the letters straight on the nameplate (left image). Using the same color twill for all the letters would be helpful as well (center image). And to top it all off, I would recommend actually sewing the letters to the nameplate and then finish it off by sewing the nameplate to the jersey in a manner somewhat close to straight (right image).


Maybe the quality is a little better as we move down the jersey to the back numbers. Nope, not much better here. First, it appears that the fight strap was under the numbers when they heat pressed them to the jersey causing the twill to discolor (left image). Then when they tried to sew the number to the jersey they completely missed the number in some places (right image). The center image highlights the change in stitch width throughout the sewing.

Here is a close-up look at the sleeve numbers. Some teams choose to simulate a second color edging by using very close stitching on the edge, however here they used a contracting color with a wide stitch (left and center images). I'm not sure if the width or the color is wrong but the two together don't seem to make sense. The center white section is not sewn at all.

On the maroon jerseys, there is a high density stitching, however it is done in the same color as the jersey so again, it doesn't seem to serve a purpose.


Thankfully, we've finally reached the end of this bit of jersey torture. These last few photos highlight the fight strap being sewn down to the jersey (top left), non-uniform number heights (top right) and unfinished hem seams, which to Reebok's credit might have been intentional. However given the rest of the jersey that would be about the only thing they actually executed in the construction if it was part of the plan.

So now you see the RBK Edge system isn't so bad after all...

Page last modified 4/30/2013
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