Today, the modern T-shirt has given birth to a huge textile and fashion industry worth over $ 2 billion in retail in the world. The unlikely birth of a T-shirt was a rather unusual event, however, that modest piece of clothing is meant to change the styles and fashions of cultures for generations to come. Finally, the shirt will be used as a political tool for protest, at certain times and places in history, a symbol of revolution and change.
The shirt was, at the very beginning, little more than a piece of underwear, in that sense of utterly utilitarian character. At the end of the 19th century, the union suit (also known colloquially as long johns), was in its prime time, worn in America and the northern parts of Europe. Popular throughout class and generation, this modest knit piece has covered the entire body, from neck to wrist and ankle. The pièce de résistance design had a back cover on the back for ease of use in the old building. As cotton became more widely available, lingerie manufacturers used the moment to create alternatives to this foundation and a rather cumbersome design. Knit fabric is difficult to cut and sew, so cotton could start a radical shift towards mass fashion.
In Europe, times changed, as Americans continued to sweat and itch, a simple T-shaped template was cut twice from a piece of cotton cloth, and two pieces were turned and stitched together in a poorly European workhouse. It was half a couple of long joys, but it soon took on a life. As the Industrial Revolution reached an inevitable conclusion, Henry T. Ford created the world's first product line, ideas of functionality, efficiency and utilitarian style entered the mainstream of societies around the world, especially Europe. Many began questioning the puritanism of the past, Victorian modest ideas of modesty began to give way to skimmers and scanners, skirts and T-shirts. As the First World War was on the horizon, the shirt was about to enlist in the military.
Historic researchers have defined that the first recorded incident of the introduction of a T-shirt in the United States occurred during World War I, when U.S. soldiers noticed the light cotton lingerie of European soldiers issued as standard uniform. The US soldiers were rotting, their government was still issuing wool uniforms, it was not fashion, it was practically a military flaw. How could a sniper calmly and aim a rifle with beads of sweat pouring into his eyes and an itch that just wouldn't go away? The US military may not have responded as quickly as their troupe would, but a very practical and lightweight T-shirt would soon return to the main US consumer.
Due to its distinctive shape and desire for a better name, the word "T-shirt" was coined, and as the word found its place in the cultural lexicon, people around the world began to adopt a new and more enjoyable alternative to union T-shirt. Several U.S. experts claim the name was coined in 1932, when Howard Jones commissioned "Jockey" to design a new sweat-absorbing shirt for the USC Trojans football team. However, the US military disputes the origin of the word coming from military training shirts, and it was military only long before practicality provided the abbreviation. There is one alternative theory, little known and quite graphic in its interpretation. Basically the idea that shortened arms are described as a trunk with an amputated body is a common sight in the bloodiest battles of the past, although these speculations cannot be verified, the idea has a bitter ring of truth to it. During World War II, the shirt was finally released as standard underwear for all ranks both in the U.S. military and in the Navy. Although the t-shirt was designed as underwear, soldiers performing strenuous combat games or construction work, especially those based in warmer weather, would often wear a revealing t-shirt. On July 13, 1942, the cover story of Life magazine features a photograph of a soldier wearing a T-shirt with the text "Air Weapon School."
In the first few years after World War II, the European fashion of wearing T-shirts as an outfit, inspired mainly by new American military uniforms, extended to the civilian population of America. 1948 The New York Times reported on a new and unique marketing tool for the year for New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. It was the first recorded "T-shirt with a slogan," the message read "Dew it for Dewey," closely repeated by the more famous "I Like Ike" T-shirt in Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidential campaign.
In the early 1950s, enterprising companies based in Miami, Florida began decorating T-shirts with Florida resorts and even cartoon characters. The first recorded graphic catalog of T-shirts was created by Tropix Togs, its creator and founder, Miami entrepreneur Sam Kantor. They were Walt Disney's original licensed characters that included Mickey Mouse and Davy Crockett. Later, other companies expanded into the T-shirt printing business, which also included the Sherry Manufacturing Company based in Miami.
Sherry started the business in 1948, owner and founder, Quinton Sandler, quickly embarked on a new T-shirt trend and quickly expanded the screen printing scarf business into the largest screen printing apparel manufacturer in the United States. Soon, more and more celebrities were seen on national television dressing up with these new at-risk outfits, including John Wayne and Marlon Brand. 1955 James Dean gave T-Shirt credibility in the classic movie "Rebel Without a Cause." The shirt quickly evolved into a modern symbol of rebellious youth. The initial momentum and public echo soon subsided, and in time even the American Bible Belt could see its practicality in design.
In the 60's, people started tying colors and printing basic cotton T-shirts, making it an even more commercial success. Advances in printing and dying have provided more variety, with Tank Top, Muscle Shirt, Scoop Neck, V-neck and many other variations of the T-Shirt coming into fashion. During this period of cultural experimentation and upheaval, many independent T-shirt printers made copies of "Guerrillero Heroico, or Heroic Guerilla," a famous portrait of Ernest "Che" Guevara taken by Alberto "Korda" Diaz. It is said to be the most widely reproduced image in the history of photography, largely due to the rise of the shirt.
In the 1960s, a "Ringer T-shirt" was also created, which became a staple for youth and rock and roll. The decade also showed up with tie dyeing and screen printing on a basic T-shirt. In 1959, the "Plastisol" was invented, a more durable and stretchable ink that provided much more variety in the design of T-shirts. As textile technologies improved, new styles of t-shirts were soon introduced, including tennis, a t-shirt (infamously known as the "husband-winner"), a muscle shirt, neck charms and of course V-necks.
More and more iconic T-shirts have been designed and made throughout the Psychedelic era, including more and more domestic experiments. A tidal wave of T-shirt ties began to emerge on the tumultuous scenes of the music festival in Western Europe and America. In the late 60's, it was practically the required dress code among the West Coast hippie culture. Band T-shirts have become another hugely popular form of T-shirt, cheap to print and sell at live gigs and concerts today, the tradition continues to this day, T-shirts are as popular as ever, but their price has increased dramatically.
In 1975, Vivienne Westwood records 430 King & # 39; s in her Sex boutique in London. s Road with its new punk style T-shirts, including its infamous "God Save The Queen" design. Punk unveiled an explosion of independent fashion designers and especially T-shirt designers. To date, many modern designs pay homage to the "grunge-video" of this rebellious and anarchic period of Western culture.
The influx of corporate funds in the 1980s changed the whole face of the T-shirt market. Slogan T-shirts regained popularity, "Select Life" was produced to promote George Micheal's debut album "Wham", while "Frankie Says" helped push a number of highly controversial singles to the top of the UK chart for Liverpool band "Frankie goes to Hollywood. " Bands, football teams, political parties, advertising agencies, business convention organizers, in fact everyone, after cheap promotion, started ordering and selling a huge number of T-shirts. One noble exception to the time was the iconic Feed the World T-shirt, created to raise funds and raise awareness of the original and groundbreaking charity Band Aid.
During the 80's and 90's, the production and printing of T-shirts improved significantly, including early forms of DTG (Direct to Garment Transfer) printing, increasing volume and availability. While in the financial circles of the world stock exchanges have noticed that the American T-shirt is classified as a commodity in clothing.
Corporate brand names soon massively characterized the industry. A brand new generation of design T-shirts flooded the market, promoting Nike-like brand compliance and attachment rather than an expression of individuality. This rather inspirational tradition continues today, for example the now iconic "Vintage 82" T-shirt from the movie "Next." Within a few years of its first printing, this design was able to overwhelm the market, until cheap copies and black market cancellations saturated the world. There are many similar designs that have a similar limited cultural shelf life.
More recently, the inspiring movement toward re-politicizing T-shirts has enabled pressure groups and charities to spread their message to a wider audience. Over a million people marched to London wearing a huge array of anti-war shirts, anti-Bush shirts and anti-Blair rallies against Iraq. Another example, reminiscent of an earlier Band Aid event, showed that the 2005 Make Poverty History campaign received worldwide media coverage. Shortly after Vivienne Westwood reappeared in the world of T-shirts with her new T-shirt with the slogan "I'm not a terrorist, please don't arrest me". Catherine Hamnett, another well-known British fashion designer, is well known for t-shirts with protests, including her work on highlighting third world debt and the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Again, Catherine was recently quoted as saying that political slogan shirts allow the consumer to "feel they have participated in a democratic campaign", and there is really only a bit of clothing shopping. This may be true, but they continue to attract a lot of media attention for any just cause.
Over the years, the styles, images and contributions to free society provided by T-shirts have been taken for granted, the T-shirt is now an essential accompaniment to any fashion wardrobe, regardless of part of the world. However, even greater technical advancements in the industry have allowed more choices of style and cut. Over-sized knee-length shirts are popular in hip hop and ice rink. The seasons are changing, but from time to time the women's market adopts firmer "cropped" T-shirt styles, short enough to reveal the midriff. The rise of "hoodies" or hoodies with long sleeves cannot be ignored, it also becomes an important addition to any collection of street fashionistas.
Recently, there has been a huge increase in consumers in line with the branded compliance of the corporate and licensed T-shirt market. The consumer finally returns a sense of individuality, today people are not satisfied with the concept of "brand loyalty". People want to reflect their own personality, political beliefs, sense of style or humor. Some design their own with the help of a wide variety of online printing services on T-shirts, including Cafe Press and Threadless to name but two. But many have neither the time nor the inclination to design their own artwork, marking the rise of an independent T-shirt designer. Reminiscent of the 1960s, but with worldwide attraction, artists, graphic designers, outlaws of the fashion world are beginning to take notice. The greatest wealth that a modern T-shirt can have is its originality, a quality that will always be sought after, and now and hopefully far into the future.