The Age Of The T-Shirt

Let’s take a look back over the course of history and how fashion has evolved.

There’s an old saying that what comes around goes around and apparel is no exception to that rule. We have learned that fashion trends often repeat themselves in 20 to 30 year cycles on average. I opened up my high school yearbook the other day and it brought back a lot of memories. As I looked at my classmates, I noticed that most of us were all dressed similar. I can remember being a teenager back in the mid-to-late 70s as I was sporting a Levi’s denim jean jacket a pair of overalls both white and blue jean material, as well as a cheesy porn stash. I went to Sam’s the other day with my wife to go grocery shopping and as I was walking down the aisle, I noticed a denim blue jean jackets on sale. I mentioned to her that I used to have one of those.

What seemed to be in style one day is laughable the next. Take the 80s for example, was that not a bad decade for hair or what? One thing that seems to remain a constant is the custom T-shirt. It never seems to go out of style. It first came on the scene approximately 92 years ago. It was introduced by the U.S. Navy for sailors appointed to submarine duty. Before then, the men used to go topless because of the excessive heat that would build up when the submarine was submerged. Because of the excessive temperatures given off by the motors, there was really no way for the heat to escape the inside of the vessel and temperatures would often exceed 125°F. Soon after the war, it was accepted into our civilian culture and soon became a vehicle for self-expression as well as marketing. The invention of the custom screen printing, along with the digital printing lends itself to mass production. This allowed T-shirts to be produced at a very fast speed with just about any message that someone could think of to put on them ranging from political candidates who are running for office to the smiley face that probably earned somebody well over $1 million. Eventually as technology influenced every sector of our economy, it lends itself to the ability to provide digital T-shirt printing. This changed the silk screening industry forever. It did away with conventional color separation methods. It used to be that the more colors that an image was composed of, the more complicated the job was. Digital T-shirt printing did away with all that . You used to have the exact same set up and clean up time, whether you were dealing with one piece or 500 units. Now it doesn’t matter how large or how small the run is. It’s kind of similar to a copy machine. Only instead of feeding it paper you are running apparel through it.

If you happen to be living in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and you are shopping for custom embroidery, custom screen printing, or digital printing, do yourself a favor and give us a call.

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