Customized T-Shirts

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Let’s be honest: the ‘t-shirt’ is arguably one of the best garment inventions in the history of mankind. This seemingly simple article of clothing is so versatile, so comfortable, and so practical, that you’d be hard-pressed to find someone with a wardrobe that didn’t contain at least a couple of t-shirts. T-shirts come in all manner of styles and colors and are one of those things that everyone just happens to love! Customizing t-shirts allows us to take our love affair one step further – total personalization!

T-shirts – The Origins

The modern day t-shirt actually started out as an undergarment. They were made of inexpensive, light fabric, which was easy to clean. T-shirts were very commonly worn by soldiers beneath their uniforms.
Following the end of WWII, many soldiers started wearing their t-shirts casually, a habit they had cultivated during the war. Slowly but surely, the t-shirt momentum was picking up.
It’s surge in popularity came courtesy of Marlon Brando in 1951, whose character in ‘A Street Car Named Desire’ sported a tight fitting, peck-hugging t-shirt. This caused a major spike in t-shirt sales and established the t-shirt’s place in modern wardrobes as a “sexy, stand-alone, outer-wear garment“.

What’s all the hype about?

Just so we don’t get carried away raving about the greatness of t-shirts, we decided to organize our thoughts into straightforward bullet points. That way, you can see how unequivocally great they are:

  • They are incredibly comfortable (no scratchy annoying fabrics for us, thank you)
  • They are versatile – there’s literally a t-shirt for everyone!
  • Not too pricey – that way you save money so you can buy even more t-shirts! Yay!
  • You can make them your own – that’s right: you can customize your very own t-shirts just the way you like!

Customized t-shirts – Your Own Personal Brand

We’ve already established just how awesome and versatile t-shirts are. Sure you can go out to a few shops and find a tremendous variety of ready made t-shirts to choose from. But even all that variety may not cut it for you. You may want to exercise your own creativity and interests and make a customized t-shirt for yourself.
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about making a t-shirt of your own.

Are customized t-shirts for me?

Let’s put it this way: why wouldn’t they be? Customizing your own t-shirts is the ultimate expression of your style because you get to choose exactly what is going to be on your clothing. Need a few more reasons to convince you that customizing your own t-shirts is the best thing since sliced bread? Read on!

Personal Expression, Personified

Aren’t you tired of having someone else’s sayings and ideologies plastered across your shirt? No one’s going to give much thought to something they’ve seen and heard a million and one times before. On the other hand, customizing a t-shirt gives you the chance to add something new, fresh and innovative to the world of t-shirts!

Show Some Solidarity

Whether it’s for a good cause or you and your buddies just want matching t-shirts with an inside joke, customized t-shirts allow you to do your thing (whatever that thing may be).

You Call The Shots

The material, sizing, color; it’s all in your hands! So much power, so many t-shirts to make!

What materials do t-shirts usually come in?

T-shirts are made from several different types of materials. Here are some of the most common materials used:

  • 100% cotton – Cotton is a soft, durable, breathable, and affordable material making it very popular in manufacturing t-shirts.
  • Organic cotton – Organic cotton is grown in a way which minimizes harmful impacts on the environment (for instance, no fertilizers or pesticides are used in its growth). The extra care required to grow this cotton makes it more expensive than other materials. But it’s worth it – the material is incredibly soft!
  • Linen – Linen t-shirts are made from the flax plant. This fabric is characteristically breathable, soft, and lightweight. These are perfect for the hot summer months!
  • Polyester – Polyester is a very strong fabric which retains its shape and resists shrinking or stretching with use or washes. It is very commonly used in the making of athletic apparel.
  • Cotton and polyester blend – A blend such as this one incorporates the best of both materials. The result is a t-shirt which is soft, yet extremely sturdy and one which resists shrinkage and wrinkling.

What printing techniques are used when customizing t shirts

When it comes to customizing your t-shirt, there are a variety of different printing techniques that can be used. Each technique is listed along with a few characteristics which you should keep in mind when deciding what method to go with. Most of these techniques are quite versatile in their application; that is, they work well with most materials.

Screen printing

With this method, ink is applied directly onto the t-shirt. The image is transferred onto a mesh screen and ink is passed over it and onto the shirt. A different screen is needed for each color in the image.

  • Printing is professional and of high quality
  • Multiple screens are required and this type of printing is only meaningful for large orders.

Vinyl cutters

The image is printed out of a machine onto a vinyl sheet. Heat is then used to apply the image to a shirt.

  • Very good quality and perfect for small orders
  • Not good for complex designs
 

Direct to garment

Ink is printed directly onto the t-shirt.

  • Minimal steps; good for lots of different types of customization
  • Only works well on white t-shirts

Heat press/laser transfer

A computer is used to print transparent ink onto a special piece of paper. Using heat, the paper and ink are then applied to a shirt.

  • Very good for complex designs
  • Fades and cracks easily; only effective on white shirts

The ability to customize t-shirts gives you a lot of freedom to express yourself and make something uniquely yours. So what are you waiting for? Think of what you want to say, choose a t shirt, select a printing technique and be the person who doesn’t bow down to mass consumerism. Be original!

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