Just wanted to let you all know that it's been a great year here at Sharp Shirter, and we'll be spending the Christmas vacations in South Africa. I'll be checking my emails regularly and will be back on January 5th to start it all up again.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Okay, so I’ve been making t-shirts for the last 4 years, but today of all days it dawned on me, I know nothing about the history of the t-shirt. I’ve been using terms like American Apparel, tri-blend, 100% cotton and other industry jargon without ever stepping back and asking myself “What does it mean?” (Double Rainbow?)
Granted it might not be the most interesting topic, but if you’ve been doing something for a really long time and never wondered how it started, I suggest you take a moment to ponder.
I just finished doing some digging around and here are the cliff notes:
The t-shirt made its debut as an undergarment during the 1800s. During this period, minors cut what was originally a one-piece union suit into a 2-piece item. The top part (what we now call the tee), was tucked into the waist and could be conveniently removed in hot environments.
Some years later, the tee became popular as a slip on garment when the U.S. Navy issued their creation during the Spanish American War. These original tees were worn by Marines in tropical climates or down in submarines. Some have speculated that the Navy got this slip on tshirt idea from the dock crews and helping hands.
The name “T-shirt” came about due to the actual shape of the item. It’s popularity grew thanks to its easy fit, low maintenance cleaning and cheap cost. It became quite common to see young boys wearing them since they tended to get dirty on a regular basis. By the time of the Great Depression, the tee had become a regular trend and was regularly worn by ranchers and other blue collar workers.
It was only by the 1960s that the t-shirt became a medium for displaying artwork. One pioneer in this field was a psychedelic art poster designer named Warren Dayton. He became famous from his political protests shirts featuring Cesar Chavez and other iconic figures.
Today, the t-shirt is now worn as the only layer on the top half of the body. The tee is used as a medium to express oneself, advertise, or to just keep a low profile.