T-Shirt Manufacturing Process
Do you know that t-shirts first emerged as undergarments for military men? But now t-shirts are a regular staple of consumer wardrobes. T-shirts are known as versatile and durable garments that are worn each day. T-shirts are loved because they come in a plethora of sizes, patterns, styles, and colors. T-shirts can reflect a person’s taste, interest, and image based on their customized design that they print on their t-shirt.
Annual revenue in the t-shirt industry is 2 billion per year! Besides individual style, businesses are making use of t-shirts to advertise their logos and brands. But how exactly are t-shirts made?
The Process of Making a T-Shirt
The process is pretty much automated. There are machines specifically made for cutting, assembling, and stitching a garment.
Here are the basic guidelines used to manufacturer a t-shirt:
- Identifying the Style
The first step is identifying the t-shirt style. Once the style design is made, the dimensions are transferred to patterns. Adjustments will then be made to the patterns to account for various sizes (XXL, XL, L, M, S, XS, etc…) and styles (e.g. v-neck, body width, etc…).
- Pattern Cuts
Sections of the shirt are then cut to fit the pattern dimensions. Cuts include the width of the body, sleeves, front and back sections, pockets, neck line pattern, etc.…
- Assembling the Front and Back Sections
After each piece is cut, the front and back sections are stitched together, creating seam lines. The cost of the t-shirt can be manipulated based on the seam structure. Cheaper t-shirts often have wide stitching…less material, cheaper price. Stitching is a critical process as the fabric can be cut if there is a breakdown with the machine. Operators must thoroughly watch the stitching process.
- Fitting the Sleeves
Sleeve hems are commonly finished before they are attached to the front and back sections. The conveyor will move the sleeves to the sewing head using an automated system. If the t-shirt has a tubular body, the material of the sleeve is first sewn together, and then it is set into the garment.
If it is a “cut and sewn” process, then the un-seamed sleeve is put into place. In the final stage of the sewing process, the side seams and sleeves are sewn in one go.
- Stitching the Hem
The garment hem is typically sewn using an over-edge stitch, which results in a flexible hem. The stitch tension must be loose enough to allow the garment to stretch without damaging the fabric.
- Sewing the Pockets
Pockets are a fashionable addition to t-shirt designs. For high quality t-shirts, an interlining is often used to keep the shape of the pocket. This is done by inserting the interlining into the pocket as it is being sewn onto the front of the t-shirt.
- Stitching the Seams
The shoulder seams generally need a simple superimposed seam. High-quality t-shirts may strengthen seams with elastic or tape.
- Attaching the Neckband
If a crew neck shirt is being sewn, the circumference of the neck edge should be a little shorter than the outer edge. This will allow the neckband to stretch, which will avoid bulging.
- Setting the Label
Labels are typically placed at the back of the neckline. Labels provide certain information such as the t-shirt size, name of the manufacturer, washing instructions, and fabric content. This is the last step before you design your custom t-shirt.
- Designing the T-Shirt
A custom t-shirt design is an incredible way to boost sales. Wearing custom graphic tees is way for consumers to boost their personality and individual style.
Consumers buy what is appealing to them and what they think will look good on them. While quality is still the top priority, the design plays a key role in a person’s purchasing decision. This is why it is important to be creative when designing a custom t-shirt for your consumers.
Screen print, direct-to-garment and embroidery are all ways to create the perfect custom t-shirt design. All these methods can help express individual style and boost revenue.
There are numerous steps in the creation of a t-shirt. Automation, quality and construction drive the cost of the t-shirt. But the best part of the creation of a t-shirt is designing your own custom design that reflects image and personality. Have fun designing your custom t-shirt.