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3 Steps to buying the perfect blank T-shirt

The blank black t-shirt is the de rigeur uniform of California. A trip down the streets and beaches of LA, San Diego or San Francisco will confirm any doubts you may have about this fact. Black is the perfect shade for any gritty, smoggy city but also for the abundant creative classes in the big towns making, breaking and bringing…

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Exhibition: T-shirt History

More than 100 years after its emergence as a humble item of underclothing, the t-shirt is getting its own fashion retrospective at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, England. Tshirt history it seems, is rich, layered and very much alive after a century of evolution and concomitant refinement of the world’s favorite garment. Not only is the t-shirt the…

The Political T-shirt Meets its Match in Big Fashion

The political t-shirt is back and badder than ever and we’ve seen more than a few political t-shirts sporting powerful slogans lately. From humorous attempts to poke fun at politicians to more serious and radical slogans the protest t-shirt is clearly back in fashion “bigly.” The roots of the protest shirt aren’t hard to trace, and the modern protest shirt…

Where’s Your KISS T-shirt?

Just how relevant is your t-shirt? Shock rockers KISS think a t-shirt is pretty darned relevant after it was reported that a 2012 interview, showing them asking a journalist to remove his Iron Maiden t-shirt, went viral. The famous 70s band first insisted that he turn the Iron Maiden t-shirt inside out, and then simply got him a freshly minted…

The Feminist T-shirt of 2017

We already know how political the t-shirt can be. It transforms its wearer into a rolling billboard of political opinion, humor, rants, graphics and just about anything else we can cram into the space on the front of a blank tee. After a year of giddy of politics like 2017, the politics of t-shirts have by no means subsided, they…

Beyoncé’s Balenciaga T-Shirt

When you think air travel you probably think, scruffy t-shirt, sweats and comfy shoes. Anything really, which will you cozy as you squish into your seat in and pretend you are not trapped inside a steel tube next to hundreds of complete strangers hurtling through the stratosphere on your way to… wherever. The t-shirt is the staple in this air-ordeal…

Fashion Profile: Mexicool & Robby Vient Alcaraz

“It doesn’t have to be profound,” quips Robby Vient Alcaraz, the design powerhouse behind the Mexi/Cali lifestyle brand Mexicool, “But it’s got to be clever.” And clever it is with Robby’s often biting humor shining through a truly original and handsomely crafted range of sassy apparel and accessories, teasing us from the cultural intersection where tongue-in-cheek Mexican humor slams headfirst…

Grab Winter by the… Long Sleeve T-shirt

Are you looking for Fall and Winter options for your layered look? Sleeve it to SpectraUSA. The most under-rated garment in your closet is, without question, the long sleeve t-shirt. Given any summer day it’s probably not going to get a second look but come fall and winter this little wonder becomes the centerpiece for the perfect layered look and…

The Legend of Baron Raglan

Have you thanked your lucky starts for Field Marshal FitzRoy James Henry Somerset, the First Baron Raglan today? If you haven’t you probably should. Just stop whatever you are doing and take a moment, possibly even a knee if you feel it necessary. The debt of gratitude you owe him is enormous, the moment you take should be solemn yet…

Head-to-Head at the 2017 SGIA Expo: Anajet & Bi-Blend

The 2017 SIGA Expo is being held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention center in beautiful New Orleans, Louisiana. The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association or SIGA, is a global non-profit organization with the primary goal of assisting imaging professionals with the know-how and tools to succeed in their craft. Always a feature at these exhibitions, the knowledgeable team from Anajet…

3100 Cotton Perfection Profile

The SpectraTees 3100 Cotton Perfection is the ultimate in cotton t-shirt design, period. There is no room for improvement in any aspect of the garment and any claim to the contrary is an excursion into over-design, whimsy and Lilly-gilding. But there are a million different kinds of t-shirts out there, appealing to ever shape, size, taste and distraction one can…

A Journey into SpectraUSA’s Premium Private Label

Custom made. Private label. Bespoke. Made to order. Tailor-made. The apparel industry hails its abundance of customization services and fulfillment practices by many different names, unsurprisingly, they don’t always mean the same thing. By and large, private label manufacturing involves the creation of a singular range of specialty garments, made to order for a particular brand or label and, crucially,…

Factoring a Factoring Company into Your Business

A common practice for many apparel and printing concerns, factoring is the process of selling-on receivable invoices to a third party — usually a factoring company. The factoring company then collects the monies owed from the apparel company’s customers.   Why Would you use a Factoring Company? There are two advantages to this kind of financing. Firstly, customers can be…

White House Will Not Scrap NAFTA

What began as a scare for NAFTA adherents earlier this year when the Trump administration threatened to scrap the entire agreement seems to have abated recently. As some in the textile industry are breathing a sigh of relief, the current message from the White House seems to indicate that it will not scrap NAFTA, with the administration’s new direction offering…

Profile: The Bi-blend t-shirt

The much vaunted Bi-blend t-shirt or, for those in the know–the SpectraUSA 3050 Bi-blend–is a benchmark t-shirt design from Spectra’s range of apparel and easily a “favorite t-shirt,” from the novice to the connoisseur t-shirt collector. But why the “no-brainer,” “go-to” quality of this garment? What makes it so special? In a word, it’s the hardest working t-shirt in fashion,…

Profile: The Roughneck 2001

The Roughneck is singular in the Spectra Apparel lineup, they do not make another t-shirt quite like it. In fact, I’d take a guess that nobody does. This is a t-shirt which hearkens back through the murky history of t-shirt design’s roots; when a fledgling print and promotions industry was first finding its feet in America and the only thing…

The History of T-shirts 3: The T-Shirt Revolution

From the earliest time, the T-shirt has been the world’s favorite and most practical intimate garment. We’ve watched as our favorite item of underclothing has grown up, shed both buttons and Victorian sensibilities, gone swimming, joined the army, headed off to work and helped to open a few cold ones on the weekend. It has clothed kings, criminals, astronauts, presidents…

What’s Your T-Shirt’s Carbon-Karma?

For all of the amazing utility of the cotton t-shirt, it is still a knitted cotton garment subject to the forces which define the modern global economy. Importantly, there are real sustainability concerns with cotton production and farming, with the bulk of the world’s cotton coming from China and, although the crop doesn’t fly first class, it does still need…

The Nerd Pocket T-shirt: Homage and Design

What’s a Nerd Pocket T-Shirt? What is a Nerd Pocket T-shirt and why should you have one? To start with, when you wear a nerd pocket t-shirt you are not just putting on a t-shirt, you are taking on an ethos and making a political statement. Too heavy for fashion you say? Too much of a commitment? Read on dear…

The Zuckerberg Charcoal Uniform

The originator of mega-mega social media platform Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is a firm believer in the virtues of a personal uniform. Others may enjoy a little more variety in their work-week wardrobe but for Mark Zuckerberg it’s one color and one color alone thank you: Charcoal grey. That’s charcoal t-shirts, charcoal hoodies and charcoal long-sleeve tees and sweaters which dominate…

Trending: The Pocket T-Shirt

The Pocket T-shirt The latest fashion-forward trend radiating from both street fashion and the shiny showrooms of the high-fashion world has the classic crew neck t-shirt wearing a pocket. “T-shirts with pockets?” you say. Indeed, the pocket T-shirt is back from a long hiatus in the bottom drawer of the design studio. And, don’t think for a minute that this…

T-Shirt History: Part 2 – The T-Shirt Goes to War

A T-Shirt History Recap. So far our t-shirt history series has shown how fading Victorian attitudes coupled with the rise of specialized garments for sports, along with the industrialization of cotton knitting production around the same time, were the catalyst for the genesis of the t-shirt. By the 1920s the world was beginning to feel the benefit of the incredible…

The Power of Bi-blend

Bi-blend is a term gathering speed and its fair share of “buzz” in the textile industry of late, but what exactly is a “bi-blend” and what does it do for our clothing? How does a bi-blended fabric lend itself to our active lifestyles? The modern world places a premium on durability, adaptability and longevity. We need our garments to take…

T-Shirt History: Part 1

PART 1: Early T-Shirt History A first glimpse into T-shirt history reveals that, the T-shirt is not, as one might mistakenly think, a staple wardrobe item of knitted cotton, known and worn in every possible condition, fashion, shape and cultural form the world over. Trust me on this. You see, the T-shirt is a great deal more: It is a political…

Los Angeles Apparel

Dov Charney is the mythical phoenix of American retailers, literally rising from the ashes of American Apparel to reboot a whole new “Made-in-America” apparel line, Los Angeles Apparel. Charney, once unceremoniously removed from command of American Apparel in 2014, is even more determined to prove that quality clothing can, and should be manufactured in Los Angeles, to the tune of…

Amazon to Buy American Apparel?

It has been reported that online retail behemoth Amazon is considering its own apparel manufacturing and design venture through the creation of an activewear and t-shirt range. A Reuter’s report suggests a great many established clothing brands are currently in a fierce bidding war to acquire the recently bankrupt American Apparel, after its second bankruptcy filing in November of 2017.