The garments are many times decorated via the sublimation process, but you will also find these being decorated with vinyl. While I know I was somewhat knocking vinyl for the volleyball athlete, today's thinner vinyl can be a great addition to a swimsuit. For a suit you will want to use the thinnest vinyl you can cut and also find something that has a very aggressive heat activated adhesive. This vinyl can be the standard color vinyl or many times you will also find swimsuits decorated with solvent imprinted vinyl. Let's not leave out the screen printing process. You can use athletic plastisol ink to decorate most swimsuits, but I do recommend that you check with your ink supplier for their recommendation on the specific blend or material you are decorating.
For years and years the sports jersey and performance fabric industry was dominated by dye houses and vinyl lettering. There was a lot of cotton being used and still today that business is strong. Things have changed though, and the polyester performance jerseys are becoming the normal. No longer do you see the solid color jersey with the one or two color name and number on it. You are now seeing excellent design, multiple colors and more. On top of all that, the garment can enhance the athlete performance by winking away moisture and keeping the athlete cooler. Jerseys today are no longer just to designate a number; they, and the digital transfers they are decorated with, are part of the athlete's performance.
The big player in the volleyball world when it comes to apparel is Mizuno. At most of the national club volleyball events they have a large booth set up to sell and promote their products. I always peak in to see what they have and to add to my collection (yes I'm a bit of a volleyball nut). Right out front of the booth was a large banner that read "ASK US ABOUT SUBLIMATION JERSEYS!" Now you can go to their website and check out their sublimation and cut and sew offering. This was huge in my world because someone was actually talking to the public about sublimation.