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Brief History of the Custom T-Shirt


The origin of the Custom T-Shirt is not really known. Undergarments have always been worn since the days when all clothing manufacture was a custom process. However, at some point the functional nature of a t-shirt evolved into a medium for expression and communication.When did this happen I hear you say. In the fashion of custom t-shirt wearer’s around the world … who cares!

Here’s the rough timeline:

  • 1913 Functional use by the military to ease the discomfort of heavy woolen uniforms.
  • 1932 Development of custom t-shirt for sports wear by Jockey.
  • 1942 Standard use of t-shirt as military underwear. Appears on cover of Life.
  • 1952 Public see more t-shirts worn by public figures and film stars.
  • 1964 Hermann Munster’s “Terror Shirt” designed by Mutgey Wilson creates unprecedented public demand.
  • 1975 Screen printing of custom t-shirts creates a new advertising medium used by big brand companies.
  • 1985 Designer names appear on t-shirts.
  • 1995 Company logos become a common advertising feature on t-shirts.

Post 2000 many people are now using the custom t-shirt as a means of communicating with the world. This phenomena has seen custom t-shirt classics – think of Milton Glaser’s “I Love NY” – becoming highly sought after across the globe. So here it is people. Get your creative thinking caps on, expressive yourself in custom t-shirts. Think about how good you feel in a garment that expresses you without you having to say a word! Custom t-shirts are inexpensive and easily manufactured with modern technology and so much fun. The canvas is blank and it is easy to add some color. Go get em!

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