History of the T-shirt.
The dubbed tee surfaced in the United States when they were issued by the U.S. Navy sometime around the Spanish American War. They featured crew-necks and short
sleeves and were meant to be worn as underwear beneath the uniform. Soon it was adopted by the Army as part of the standard issue ensemble given to recruits.
It got it's iconic name from its shape resembling the letter. Dockworkers, farmers, miners, and construction type workers also adopted the T-shirt preferring the
lightweight fabric in hotter weather conditions.
The inexpensive cotton and easy to clean garment became the shirt of choice by mothers for their sons as outerwear for chores and play.
By the 1920s T-shirt became an official American-English word in the Merriam-Websters Dictionary.
The earliest printed shirt was perhaps the Air Corps Gunnery School T-shirt featured on the July 13th, 1942 cover of LIFE magazine. Mickey Mouse would
follow suit a few years later as an exclusively licensed print for Tropix Togs, a company founded by Sam Kantor in Miami, Florida.
Aside from veterans and blue-collar workers, the popularity of the T-shirt skyrocketed to even greater heights when Marlon Brando wore one in
A Streetcar Named Desire. It became fashionably cool to wear as an outer garment.
In the late 1960s, the T-shirt became a means of self expression as wearable art as well as to convey commercial advertising, souvenir messages, and protests.
Psychedelic artist Warren Dayton pioneered several political, and pop-culture art t-shirts, featuring images of Cesar Chavez, political cartoons, and other cultural
icons of that era. The designs produced in the 1970s are just as popular today as they were then, if not perhaps more so. Some of the more notable shirt designs
over the decades include the yellow happy face T-shirts, The Rolling Stones tongue and lips logo, Kiss me I'm Irish' St. Patrick's Day slogan, and the legendary,
I love N Y, or any of the I love ____, variants and spoofs such as, I love baby seals. Other popular shirt designs include, My parents went to ______ (name of place),
and all I got was this lousy T-shirt! Who farted? I'm With stupid, and any standard tie-dye tee.
Sometime between those designs, many colors of fabric as well as many variations of cuts and styles were added as options. Including: crew neck, raglan, ringers, tanks,
baby doll, spaghetti strap, V neck, A-shirts, camisole, polo, and many more.
As for placing designs on clothing this practice goes back even further to heraldic, tribal, political, and religious symbols being used on armor and clothes in various
cultures from as far back as certain as the Ancient Greek and Roman times, perhaps even further like the Sumerian civilization. Probably some crude style paint over
woven fabric or perhaps over fur to mark a hunting party member or perhaps signify rank.
Today many types of design applications are used on apparel. Such methods as: Air brushing, embroidery, direct printing, heat transfer, silk screening, plot, and
needlepoint to name a few.
Thank you to T-shirt Spotlight for the info.
..and then came Photo Shirts, customizing t-shirts for you.
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