A T-shirt is a style of fabric shirt named after the T shape of its body and sleeves. Traditionally it has short sleeves and a round neckline, known as a crew neck, which lacks a collar. T-shirts are generally made of a stretchy, light and inexpensive fabric and are easy to clean.
Typically made of cotton textile in a stockinette or jersey knit, it has a distinctively pliable texture compared to shirts made of woven cloth. Some modern versions have a body made from a continuously knitted tube, produced on a knitting machine, such that the torso has no side seams. The manufacture of T-shirts has become highly automated and may include cutting fabric with a Laser cutting or a water jet.
A V-neck T-shirt has a V-shaped neckline, as opposed to the round neckline of the more common crew neck shirt (also called a U-neck). V-necks were introduced so that the neckline of the shirt does not show when worn beneath an outer shirt, as would that of a crew neck shirt.
As slip-on garments without buttons, the earliest T-shirt dates back to sometime between the 1898 Spanish–American War and 1913, when the U.S. Navy began issuing them as undergarments. These were a crew-necked, short-sleeved, white cotton undershirt to be worn under a uniform. It became common for sailors and Marines in work parties, the early submarines, and tropical climates to remove their uniform jacket, wearing (and soiling) only the undershirt.Harris, Alice. The White T. HarperCollins, 1996. They soon became popular as a bottom layer of clothing for workers in various industries, including agriculture. The T-shirt was easily fitted, easily cleaned, and inexpensive, and for those reasons, it became the shirt of choice for young boys. Boys' shirts were made in various colors and patterns. The word T-shirt became part of American English by the 1920s, and appeared in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
By the Great Depression, the T-shirt was often the default garment to be worn when doing farm or ranch chores, as well as other times when modesty called for a torso covering but conditions called for lightweight fabrics. Following World War II, it was worn by Navy men as undergarments and slowly became common to see veterans wearing their uniform trousers with their T-shirts as casual clothing.  The shirts became even more popular in the 1950s after Marlon Brando wore one in A Streetcar Named Desire, finally achieving status as fashionable, stand-alone, outerwear garments. Often boys wore them while doing chores and playing outside, eventually opening up the idea of wearing them as general-purpose casual clothing.
Printed T-shirts were in limited use by 1942 when an Air Corps Gunnery School T-shirt appeared on the cover of Life magazine. In the 1960s, printed T-shirts gained popularity for self-expression as well for advertisements, protests, and souvenirs.
Current versions are available in many different designs and fabrics, and styles include crew-neck and V-neck shirts. T-shirts are among the most worn garments of clothing used today. T-shirts are especially popular with branding for companies or merchandise, as they are inexpensive to make and purchase.
A T-shirt typically extends to the waist. Variants of the T-shirt, such as the V-neck, have been developed. Hip hop fashion calls for tall-T shirts which may extend down to the knees. A similar item is the T-shirt dress or T-dress, a dress T-shirt that can be worn without pants.
The rise of online shopping in the early to 2000s caused a proliferation of new T-shirt ideas and trends. While several brick-and-mortar chains included these items in their inventories, many of these shirts were pioneered by online start-ups. Innovations included the flip-up T-shirt, which the wearer can lift and stretch over their head to display an interior print, and all-over print clothing.
With the rise of social media and video sharing sites also came numerous tutorials on DIY T-shirt projects. These videos typically provided instructions on how to modify an old shirt into a new, more fashionable form.
Designer Katharine Hamnett, in the early 1980s, pioneered outsize T-shirts with large-print slogans. The early first decade of the 21st century saw the renewed popularity of T-shirts with slogans and designs with a strong inclination to the humorous and/or //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/54/Ironymens_01.jpg. The trend has only increased later in this decade, embraced by celebrities, such as Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, and reflected back on them, too ('Team Aniston'). The political and social statements that T-shirts often display have become, since the first decade of the 21st century, one of the reasons that they have so deeply permeated different levels of culture and society. The statements also may be found to be offensive, shocking, or pornographic to some. Examples of T-Shirt stores and designers known for using offensive and shocking messages include T-Shirt Hell and Apollo Braun. Many different organizations have caught on to the statement-making trend, including chain and independent stores, websites, and schools.
A popular phrase on the front of demonstrating the popularity of T-shirts among tourists is the humorous phrase "I went to _____ and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." Examples include "My parents went to Las Vegas and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." T-shirt exchange is an activity where people trade the T-shirts that they are wearing.
Artists like Bill Beckley, Glen Baldridge and Peter Klashorst use T-shirts in their work. Models such as Victoria Beckham and Gisele Bundchen wore T-shirts through the 2000s. Paris Fashion Week 2014 featured a grunge style T-shirt. Contemporary T-shirt designers like Balmain and Street People Atelier produce new styles of T-shirts.
In the 1960s, the ringer T-shirt appeared and became a staple fashion for youth and rock-n-rollers. The decade also saw the emergence of and screen-printing on the basic T-shirt and the T-shirt became a medium for wearable art, commercial advertising, souvenir messages, and protest art messages. Psychedelic art poster designer Warren Dayton pioneered several political, protest, and pop-culture art printed large and in color on T-shirts featuring images of Cesar Chavez, political cartoons, and other cultural icons in an article in the Los Angeles Times magazine in late 1969 (ironically, the clothing company quickly cancelled the experimental line, fearing there would not be a market). In the late 1960s, Richard Ellman, Robert Tree, Bill Kelly, and Stanley Mouse set up the Monster Company in Mill Valley, California, to produce fine art designs expressly for T-shirts. Monster T-shirts often feature emblems and motifs associated with the Grateful Dead and marijuana culture. Monster T-shirt ART, Monster Corporation catalog #3, Mill Valley 1974 Additionally, one of the most popular symbols to emerge from the political turmoil of the 1960s were T-shirts bearing the face of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. The Most Famous Statement T-shirts by SoJones Asmara, September 10, 2009
Today, many notable and memorable T-shirts produced in the 1970s have become ensconced in pop culture. Examples include the bright yellow Harvey Ball T-shirts, The Rolling Stones tops with their "tongue and lips"File:The Rolling Stones Tongue Logo.png logo, and Milton Glaser's iconic "I ♥ N Y” design. In the mid-1980s, the white T-shirt became fashionable after the actor Don Johnson wore it with an Armani suit in Miami Vice.
In 1959, the invention of plastisol provided an ink more durable and stretchable than water-based ink, allowing much more variety in T-shirt designs. Very few companies continue to use water-based inks on their shirts. The majority of companies that create shirts prefer plastisol due to the ability to print on varying colors without the need for color adjustment at the art level.
Specialty inks trend in and out of fashion and include shimmer, puff, discharge, and chino based inks. A metallic foil can be heat pressed and stamped onto any plastisol ink. When combined with shimmer ink, metallics give a mirror like effect wherever the previously screened plastisol ink was applied. Specialty inks are more expensive to purchase as well as screen and tend to appear on garments in boutiques.
Other methods of decoration used on T-shirts include airbrush, applique, embroidery, impressing or embossing, and the ironing on of either flock lettering, heat transfers, or dye-sublimation transfers. are capable of printing on plain paper using a special toner containing sublimation dyes which can then be permanently heat-transferred to T-shirts.
In the 1980s, thermochromatic dyes were used to produce T-shirts that changed color when subjected to heat. The Hypercolor brand of these was a common sight on the streets of the United Kingdom for a few years, but has since mostly disappeared. These were also very popular in the United States among teenagers in the late 1980s. A downside of color-change garments is that the dyes can easily be damaged, especially by laundry in warm water, or dye other clothes during washing.
There are dozens of different colors available, as well as glitter, reflective, and now even unique patterns (such as mermaid skin) which come in rolls and sheets.
After the design is cut, there is a process called “weeding” whereby the areas of the design that do not represent the design are picked away from the transfer sheet and removed so that the intended design remains. HTV is typically smooth to the touch and does not feel rubbery or stiff.
The edges are typically clean cut and produce high contrast.
Designers can also create multiple color designs, or multi-layered designs using HTV. This process would be done in the design software before the design is sent to the cutter for the different materials A heat press is then used to apply pressure and heat to the vinyl so that the material permanently adheres to the garment. The temperature and pressure vary according the manufacturers specifications.
Dye-sublimation is economically viable for small-quantity printing; the unit cost is similar for short or long production runs. Screen printing has higher setup costs, requiring large numbers to be produced to be cost-effective, and the unit cost is higher.
Solid ink Phase transition without passing through a liquid phase (sublimation), using heat and pressure. The design is first produced in a computer image file format such as jpg, gif, png, or any other. It is printed on a purpose-made computer printer ( most commonly Epson or Ricoh brands) using large heat presses to vaporize the ink directly into the fabric. By mid-2012 this method had become widely used for T-shirts.