History of T-shirt printing

The Surprising History of T-Shirt Printing

The Surprising History of T-Shirt Printing, ,

T-shirts are staples of many people’s wardrobes. They’re lightweight and comfortable. Plus, they're available in any color and endless design possibilities. Printed T-shirts are one of the most well-known and most-worn clothing items, but they didn’t spring up overnight. 

Origins of Decorated Clothing

Decorated apparel originated in ancient China with woodblock printing. As the oldest form of textile printing, it goes back as far as the 3rd century. Its process involved dipping a carved piece of wood into ink and pressing it onto fabric. Around 960 to 1279 AD, a type of stenciling called screen printing was used to imprint designs onto garments using silk screens.

By the 1700s, the process made its way to Europe just in time for the British textile industry to boom. The popularized “flying shuttle” weaving process gave way to the steam-powered factories in the 1800s, which made the mass production of garments practical and widely available.

Original Purpose of T-Shirts

t-shirtsT-shirts first became famous as a type of undergarment for men in the 1800s. The short-sleeved, crew-necked cotton shirts were worn beneath military uniforms for the Navy and Marines. Later, they were worn by stevedores and miners as a way to keep cool in their hot work environments. Young boys wore them as everyday work shirts during the Great Depression in the 1930s, which was around the same time advanced screen printing methods were developed.

The Rise of Custom Apparel

In the 1950s, companies in Miami, Florida began adding custom designs to shirts that included the names and logos of several tourist attractions and resorts. This action led to both the increased popularity of screen printing and innovations like stretchable ink and plastisol, a type of ink for printing opaque designs on dark textiles. Now, custom T-shirts are made and worn to be stylish and express oneself. It’s also a way for people to share their personal and political beliefs as well as a useful marketing tool for businesses.

As the go-to for quality custom apparel with over 100 years of combined experience, the team at Mustang Graphics provides excellent products at competitive prices to all clients. Whether you’re in need of custom T-shirts or other apparel for a sports team, business, or marketing event, we will help you create the items you need, backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. For more information, call (402) 643-9888 or visit their website today for more information.