The T-Shirt Paradox

The t-shirt is a paradox: it is one of the simplest garments yet invented but can also express the wearer’s personality in infinitely diverse ways. It can be rendered in any colour and be printed with any image or words imaginable, making it the most diverse garment in anybody’s wardrobe. In celebration of this unique piece of clothing, this week’s Inkthreadable news article presents a selection of indispensable facts about the humble, glorious t-shirt.

The biggest t-shirt in the world is unfortunately unwearable, unless you happen to live at the top of Jack’s beanstalk. It was created by the Qatar Petroleum Company and is a massive 72.2m in length, 48.7m wide and covers an incredible 3.516 square metres. We’re not sure how they found a scale big enough to weigh it but the official weight of this insane garment is 6 tons.

One t-shirt at a time is the usual way to dress but, as with everything else, there are people who like to go to the extreme. The most extreme yet is Sanath Bandara, a resident of Sri Lanka who somehow donned 257 t-shirts simultaneously, securing an as-yet-unbeaten place in the Guinness Book of World Records in the process.

Despite having been around for a lot longer, the word ‘t-shirt’ did not appear in the Merriam-Webster dictionary until just a century ago.

As t-shirts present their motif in an unmissable place, they are often used for informal uniform items and as promotional material. The first promotional t-shirt ever made was printed to advertise the film ‘The Wizard of Oz’ back in 1939.

The price of t-shirts reflects the garment’s diversity and versatility; they can cost anything from a couple of pounds to an eye-watering $91,500. This was the value placed on the world’s most expensive t-shirt, which was made entirely from crocodile leather.

Most t-shirts are made from cotton, which is an incredibly strong material. It can absorb up to 20 times its own weight in water and becomes stronger the wetter it gets.

The popularity of the t-shirt has grown immensely since the 1950s and it's difficult to believe that they were considered unpopular before that time. This massive growth is linked to the Hollywood movie industry and particularly to film stars James Dean and Marlon Brando, who both wore them in blockbusters like Rebel Without a Cause and A Streetcar Named Desire.

One of many surveys showed that around 62% of people own more than ten t-shirts in their wardrobe. In the USA alone, the adds up to around 1.5 BILLION t-shirts, enough to circle the planet 34 times if lined up end to end.

Inkthreadable specialise in drop shipping high-quality t-shirts printed with your designs on-demand. Find out more about how to start creating on our website and get in touch with our experts for more information.

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