Champion Authentic Athletic Apparel has a long, esteemed history in the US having been founded in 1919 in Rochester, New York State.
Their reputation for high quality sweatshirts, tees, hoodies and much more, has meant that their appeal has spread beyond sport into street fashion. Their patented Reverse Weave construction technique means that garments made in this way are protected from vertical shrinkage when washed, and maintain their shape for longer.
College Football In the 1920’s their high quality sweatshirts and sweatpants came to the attention of the Michigan University football coaches, who negotiated a contract for Champion to be the provider of their team’s kits. Word soon spread to the coaches of other university teams across the country and soon Champion had several big college football team accounts.
Champion Knittting Mills Inc. In the 1930’s Champion adopted the name Champion Knitting Mills and expanded the range of products they produced. They soon became the brand of choice for casual wear on college campuses, basketball teams and they even produced thermal underwear for outdoor workers. The US Military Academies then selected Champion products as the kit to be worn by cadets during physical exercise.
Reverse Weave The technique of the Reverse Weave was invented by Champion, in conjunction with various experienced sports coaches, in the 1940’s. Since then it has played a big role in the growth of the brand’s reputation for providing apparel that stood up to vigorous use in sport and life in general. By reversing the fiber fleece to an upright position (hence the name ‘Reverse Weave’), the thread ran in a horizontal direction so the garment could be washed numerous times without shrinking. The deep ribbing on the cuffs, neck and hem of their Reverse Weave sweatshirts are also constructed in this manner, which also aids the freedom of movement.
Today’s Champion In the 1960’s the now famous branding, with the instantly recognisable ‘C’ mark was introduced and been used by the brand ever since. A small embroidered badge of the ‘C’ was sewn to the lower left sleeve of all their long sleeve tops, and this is still a recognisable feature of Champion apparel to this day.