I was going to write about a different topic entirely, and then I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about t-shirts except the fact that I love to wear them
…and I have a lot of them! I’m sure I’m not the only one in this position. A lot of people, including you reading this article right now didn’t know that t-shirts used to be underwear. Yup! Wearing a t-shirt outdoors was an obscene sight back in the days. Oh! Did you know about this?
Read on for more fun facts about t-shirts you probably didn’t know
T-shirts have become a favorite for so many people, male and female alike. Mostly because they are so easy to style, they go with almost anything, and they make the hot summer days not so bad (Global warming is real guys!)
It is only fair that we know a little more about our favorite clothing than we already know (yeah we’re in this together)
- Cotton: cotton is one of the most, if not the most used material in cloth fabric production. It is the most common t-shirt material and has been grown by humans for over 7000 years. Let’s think about this for a minute. We’re in the year 2019!
That's in the Neolithic times; 5000BC. I had an idea that cotton isn't remotely modern or recent. I knew it was old, like really old but not "older-than-my-calendar" old. The first evidence of cotton used is believed to have been in a city called Mehrgarh, an ancient farming settlement in South Asia. Mehrgarh is currently Balochistan, Pakistan.
Still, on cotton, it is pertinent to mention to you that India and China are currently the two largest producers of cotton in the world. They're both Asian countries; the continent where Mehrgarh used to be. The United States is the largest exporter of raw cotton, with sales of almost $5 billion annually out of a $12 billion worldwide market. Not bad!
- Textile Printing: I love my t-shirts with amazing graphic prints on them like predator t-shirts. They tell everybody what I’m all about without me even saying a word. Just so you know, printing on textile didn't start today. Of course, you know that. It didn’t start 7000 years ago either. I bet you didn’t know that.
The oldest method of textile printing is known as woodblock printing. Woodblock printing dates back to 3rd century China (200 – 300 AD). This process involves carving a relief design onto a block of wood, dipping it in ink and pressing down onto a piece of fabric.
- Material: Throughout history, t-shirts have been made from a variety of materials, some of which are weird. I’m sure the innovation would have made sense at the time. Cotton, polyester and even yarn I can understand. But alligator leather? Human hair? Even Gold?! Imagine walking around with a t-shirt made from gold; you'll get the attention alright.
- An estimated 2 billion t-shirts are sold annually. That’s a lot of t-shirts.
- History has it that t-shirts originated from "union suits"; all-in-one underwear that was prevalent in the 1800s in New York. Many workers cut theirs in half to compensate for the hot weather. The mental picture of that suit alone makes me cringe. I think I'll carry out a little experiment. I'll sew a boxer shorts and a singlet together to know what it felt like back in the days; take a walk in their shoes. Or in this case, their underwear
- Cooper Underwear was the first to market Tees in the year 1904. They called them "bachelor undershirts." They were used as underwear and not a free fashion item that it has become. Thank God for innovation!
- T-shirts also weren't considered particularly fashionable back then – people wore them for utility, such as acting as sweat absorbers for a college football team.
- We all love to wear branded t-shirts to show that we're fans of a cause, band, movie, superhero or just trying to flow with the trend. I am a fan of all Predator movies, so I rock Predator t-shirts every chance I get. The first t-shirt produced for promotional purposes was in 1939, and it was for the Wizard of Oz. A company called Tropix Togs was the first company to design t-shirts with images of pop culture icons and famous slogans in the early '50s. Rock and Roll was very popular in these times; they joined this trend and started promoting their music through branded t-shirts.
- The 70s marked a turn-around for New York City. A city ridden by high crime rates, decadence, and filth, was turned around by the willingness and dedication of the people and the government. One of the saving efforts was the "I love new york" campaign. It was a t-shirt branding campaign initiated by the commerce department to show the tourism potentials of NYC. This campaign was a massive success as you can tell; the I Love New York design has become one of the most mimicked designs inwast t-shirt history. Never underestimate the power of custom t-shirts, never!
- T-shirts used to be a male thing; they were designed solely for men. The fit was made tight, and the neck was made wide to show off the male figure. Nowadays we have crew necks, O-necks, and t-shirts that can be worn by both sexes. I’m glad we got that out the way, now lets all rocks skirts! Oh, it’s a norm in Scotland already?…it’s settled then
- T-shirts weren’t always called t-shirts. Before the 1930s, they were called "Skivvies" and "Jimshirts." Author F. Scott Fitzgerald was the first to use the word t-shirt in his novel "This Side of Paradise" released in 1920. The word didn't become widespread until the 1930s. So next time you put on a Jimshirt, say a little thank you to Mr. Scott
- Save planet earth. Every year, over 5 billion tons of textile waste escapes the landfills as a result of t-shirt recycling. I'm all about the planet; it’s our home. Recycle not just your t-shirts but everything recyclable. Opt for recyclables every time.
- How do 200 pounds of extra body weight sound? Well, a certain Sanath Bandara in Sri Lanka holds the Guinness World Record for the most t-shirts worn at any given time. He wore a total of 257 t-shirts, and together they weighed over 200 pounds.
- What can you do with $400,000? That amount can get you a lovely house in the suburbs. You could also rent a condo in the city and even buy a Bentley and still have change. You might be wondering why $400,000. Well, that's because the world’s most expensive t-shirt costs a whopping $400,000. It is made of inorganic cotton and has a set of 16 diamonds sewn into the fabric — all that for a t-shirt. I assure you, none of our predator t-shirts costs nearly as much.
- Still, on expensive t-shirts, a man named Datta Phuge owns a t-shirt that’s worth $250,000. Yup you heard that right. The shirt is made up of 3 kilograms of solid gold. Phuge also possesses several cars and numerous pieces of expensive gold jewelry. He is nicknamed "The Gold Man," I think we all know why. He has a security guard who ensures that both Phuge and the gold shirt are safe. Where would you wear a golden t-shirt?
- Imagine what a 306 feet long and 206 feet wide piece of land would accommodate. Now imagine there’s a t-shirt with those dimensions. That is the size of the most massive t-shirt in the world. It was unveiled in Santa Catarina, Brazil back in 2014. There is nobody alive who can fit into that shirt.
- We all know that the world is big, vast. With 56 medium-sized t-shirts, you can make a full circle that goes around the world. About 62% of Americans claim to own ten or more t-shirts, now that’s enough t-shirts to circle the globe 34 times over if lined up next to each other.
- Two thousand seven hundred liters of water is needed to make a single t-shirt. That’s enough water for one person to drink for 900 days (over two years).
- I have a favorite t-shirt in my wardrobe and its one of the predator t-shirts available in this very store. Studies show that 91% of Americans have a favorite t-shirt in their wardrobe as well.
- Everybody is going to read this article from a device which as an operating system of course. Be it Android, IOS, MAC-OS, Windows, and Linux. We might have a TShirtOS sometime in the future. The world’s first programmable t-shirt will feature an LCD screen woven into the front that will be able to display graphics, photos, status, and social media updates. However, TShirtOS is still in the prototype stage. Hopefully, it'll turn out well.
- June 21 is international t-shirt day.
- People have become wealthy from doing bizarre and obscure things. A man named Jason Sadler has become a millionaire by…wait for it..wearing t-shirts. Yes, he wears t-shirts for a living. He wears a different shirt every other day. Business has been so good for him that he has now employed more employees to wear t-shirts with him.
T-shirts have come a long way since the Jimshirt days. Now they have become part of our lives. They do go with anything and make you look cool too. Graphic tees show your fandom. For all your Alien VS Predator t-shirts and more, we’ve got you covered.