Do you have a favorite T-shirt? Maybe your favorite shirt is one that hangs just right on you. Or maybe the material is just the right amount of softness. Perhaps it’s the color, design or style of the shirt that gives it an honored place in your wardrobe. No matter the reason, T-shirts are one of the world’s most popular fashion accessories.
Created in 1920, today the T-shirt market is worth over two billion dollars. A large reason for that is because T-shirts are so ubiquitous. You can get a T-shirt with your favorite band or movie character. T-shirts are often given away free to support charities or events. You can work out in a T-shirt, sleep in one, or even wear one out for everyday activities. There are even high-end T-shirts which are worn as a mark of high fashion.
T-Shirts never even truly die. When one becomes too worn to wear, it typically serves a new function in the household as a dust rag.
Let’s Make Some T-Shirts!
All T-shirts are not created equally, and the difference is in the T-shirt production. There are many different ways to make a T-shirt, but no matter which technique is used, it all starts with the raw materials.
T-Shirts are traditionally made with one of the following raw materials:
- 100% cotton
- Cotton/Polyester blend
There are many reasons to choose one type of material over the other. Cost, especially if you’re producing a large amount of T-shirts for sale, is usually a factor of which raw material you use. Another factor is comfort, since polyester usually has a softer feel than cotton. Cotton can be more durable, however. There are pluses and minuses to each raw material.
Beyond the raw material, the next step is deciding what type of T-shirt to make. The standard crew neck is the most common type of shirt found in America’s closets, but the V-neck is also very popular. Tank tops and scoop necks are also considered to be part of the T-shirt family, and certainly have their admirers, too.
Cool Threads, Cool Shirts
Stitching is what holds the shirts together. But more than just being the “glue” of the shirt, they’re also an integral part to the shirt’s style. For instance, some more fashionable t-shirts use coloured stitching to create various cool effects. Other shirts forgo fancy stitching and stick with pure white thread, which can allow the shirt to be sold for relatively little.
There are three primary types of coloured stitching used in T-shirt production:
1. White – This, obviously, will look like white stitching. While white stitching in rather invisible on white T-shirts, it’s much more noticeable on colored shirts. Typically, white stitching is only used on white shirts, colored shirts where the white stitching is a fashion choice, or colored shirts which are very low cost.
2. Coloured – There are endless combinations of thread colours and fabric colours which can be used to make a T-shirt. You can choose stitching which compliments the material or, depending on the shirt, even contrasts with it; for instance, white stitching on black material is a popular look.
3. Colourless – This style of stitching is known as monofilament, or invisible, stitching. While perhaps not as easy to work with as the other types of stitching, there are definite advantages to this type of material. Typically, it’s used in hems, or wherever else you want the stitch to be invisible.
What Types of Tee’s to Buy, and Where to Buy Them
It’s not hard to find T-shirts in general. After all, they’re one of the most popular clothing items in the world. But it can be extremely difficult to find the perfect T-shirt for you. First, you have to decide what you’re going to use the shirts for. If you looking for something to wear when you’re mowing the lawn or working around the house, your best bet it going to be an inexpensive pack of shirts from a department store. Typically, Hanes and Fruit of the Loom make nice, rugged shirts that you won’t be getting torn or dirty.
These shirts aren’t really at the height of fashion, and you can’t just put on a white tee and go out for a night on the town. If you’re looking for a more fashionable T-shirt look, you’ll have to go to higher end department stores, fashion boutiques and online retailers.
Take Your T-Shirts on the Town
When it comes to T-shirt production, most designers have a high-end line of T-shirts, and what you like really depends on your personal style. There’s a wide variety of T-shirts which combine elegance with cool, and are perfect for a night out on the town.
Care for Your T-Shirts
It’s tempting to think that since your T-shirts all look roughly the same, and are made from roughly the same types of materials, they can all be washed the same. As anyone who has ever turned a white T-shirt pink will tell, however, how you wash your T-shirts can have a big impact on their longevity and appearance.
T-shirt production is a major factor in a shirt’s care needs. Wash your whites separately from your colours. Also, separate your cottons from your polyesters. Cotton shirts can shrink in the dryer. While people generally care less about their undershirts than their high fashion shirts, the same rule still applies: Check the tag, and wash your clothing according to the instructions. Your T-shirts will last much longer, and look much better, if you do so.
The Classic T, Now and Forever
Sometimes, they’re worn for simply utilitarian purposes, like when you’re doing chores and just sitting around the house. Other times, they’re worn to look fashionable. Sometimes they’re worn to make a statement. But no matter why they’re worn, one thing is for sure: The T-shirt is here to stay. It’s a simple design, with a simple purpose, but it’s also a timeless classic. Here’s hoping your favorites hang in your closet forever.