Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A T-shirt (or tee shirt) is a shirt with short or long sleeves, a round neck, put on over the head, usually without pockets (though the term sleeveless T-shirt which is sometimes used suggests that T-shirt by itself has a more general meaning.)
The length varies, but it typically reaches the waist. One fashion is an "oversized" T-shirt, a more recent trend are tight and short T-shirts for women that frequently show part of the lower abdomen with the belly button. T-shirt fashions include styles for men and women and styles for all age groups, including baby, youth and adult sizes. T-shirts are often decorated with text and/or pictures.
T-shirts are manufactured by the textile industry. The surface feel of most t-shirts is due to the jersey stitch knitting method used to commercially produce the fabric, typically using either cotton, polyester, or a mix of the two fibers.
The idea of the T-shirt came to the USA during WWI when US soldiers noticed the light cotton undershirts European soldiers were using while the US soldiers sweated in their wool uniforms. Since they were so much more comfortable they quickly became popular among the Americans, and because of their design they got the name T-shirt. During WWII the T-shirt had become standard issue underwear in both the US army and navy.
After WWII the T-shirt started appearing without a shirt covering it. John Wayne, Marlon Brando and James Dean all wore them on national TV. At first the public was shocked but by 1955 it had become acceptable. The T-shirt became cool when James Dean wore it in the film Rebel Without A Cause.
Since then T-shirts have become an accepted medium for self-expression and advertising, with any imaginable combination of words, art and even photographs on display.
Other methods of decoration used on t-shirts have included airbrush, applique, embroidery, and the ironing on of either flock lettering, heat transfers, or Dye sublimation transfers. Laser printers are capable of printing on plain paper using a special Transfer Toner containing sublimation dyes which can then be permanently heat transfered to T-shirts.
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