A lot that went into making this new cut, and we're not ones to flippantly boast that we got it right on our first go. It took time and brain power to develop the jersey that we as ultimate players want to wear.
Step 1: Inspiration.
The old cut was a triumph for Five in 2010, but news flash... this is 2017! It was time boost the ultimate aesthetic by giving it a more athletic silhouette. The old jersey's shape was boxy, the sleeves were too long, the collar stuck up, and the Five patch was distracting. Plain and simple, we wanted to showcase ultimate players for who they are: athletes. Athletes who also happen to be pretty rad people to hang out with in general, but we digress.
Given all the modifications we wanted to make, we certainly had our work cut out for us! It was time to stop dreaming, and start desiging. For a complete list of all the new jersey features, check out this post.
Step 2: Drawing board.
We knew that we already had the right fabric. Electro fabric wicks sweat, suppresses odor, and feels great on your skin, even after four straight games of ultimate. That's why we chose to stay with Electro and simply adjust the shape and the fit.
To do this, we had to update our cache of brown paper cutouts called bahns:
AT working on jersey bahns in our Seattle office.
Bahns are used as patterns in garment production. When we make a size small jersey in our cut & sew facility in Beijing, we are actually laying the bahn over a huge sheet of Electro fabric and cutting around the bahn in order to cut out each piece of fabric to the perfect size.
It takes 5 bahns to make one of our new short sleeve jerseys, and since we have a total of 8 different jersey sizes across the men's and women's cut. That makes 40 total bahns!
Fun fact: Ever wonder how we make your mock-ups? Nerrrrrd. Just kidding, it's actually a cool process! We digitize the bahns in Photoshop so that we know the exact measurements of each piece on the jersey! That way, we're able to make sure that the artwork on your mock-ups is sized perfectly whether your ordering XXLs or youth jerseys.
Step 3: Production Time!
Once we targeted the things we wanted to change, we began to produce rounds and rounds of prototypes. Every time a new sample would come in, we tried it on, made some picky changes, and then waited for the next round of gear.
It wasn't all rainbow unicorn shorts either.
The first samples we made were much too short in the front. When we ran them through our group of product testers, many of them came back asking why jersey rode up so high when they put their arms in the air --can you say 90's mid-drift?!
This was important early because it helped us to understand that we wanted the back to be slightly longer than the front without losing any length in the front. Remember kids...
"There's no such thing as failure. Only feedback." - Robert G. Allen
We knew the second we slipped on our final product sample, that we had done it. It felt like getting a hug from Jimmy Mickle. It was time to make hundreds, no thousands so that teams all over the world could ball out in our new creation.
Throughout the process we found ourselves constantly trying to balance the age-old question of form vs. function. In other words, how good the jersey looks vs. how well it performs and is comfortable. We’re really pleased with where we ended up and we can't wait to hear what you think!
If your team's interested in trying on a variety of jersey sizes, you can request a sampler below!
You can also view and purchase the new jerseys here in our online store.
Over to you
Want to know more about the process or the jerseys themselves? Just ask! We can't talk about them enough.