We all love t-shirts, and why not? They are classic, practical, durable, and can be on virtually anything and for different occasions. As common as these clothing materials are, many are ignorant of how they are made. But just like every other manufactured item in this world, t-shirts are produced through a systematic process – and an interesting one at that!
T-shirts are usually made of cotton materials but you can also find them in form of polyester or a blend of both (cotton and polyester). Your choice of material depends on personal preference and more importantly, your budget.
Let’s take a look at how these versatile materials are made. Perhaps, it will help you appreciate these seemingly simple outfits.
Processes of Making a T-Shirt
Harvesting from the farm
Cotton balls are harvested from the farm and placed in a gin. Here, the machine separates the useful part from the chaff. This process used to be stressful and took a lot of time, but modern gins have been programmed to use saws and high-grade cleaning cylinders to guarantee that more cotton balls are processed with little to no stress.
Processed cotton balls are transferred to a spinner and loom
After the useful part of the cotton has been separated from the chaff, the cotton is separated into loose strands. Then with a spinner, they are combed, carded, and blended. This spun cotton is now placed on a loom where they are woven and processed into grey-like fabrics.
At this point, the grey-like fabrics are treated with chemicals and heat, which causes the treated fabrics to take on a new look and feel. The processes involved in this stage include dyeing, bleaching and printing.
Cutting and Sewing
Once the fabrics have taken on their final look, they are sent over to the factory where they are cut and sewn. Here, about 15% of the material will be cut off and rendered useless as the sewers work to create wearable garments.
Designing and Screen Printing
After they’ve been sewn, a screen-printing facility is contacted, and this is where designs, colors, size, etc. will be decided. The color(s) needed in this section are placed onto a clear film aka a film positive. This is where the t shirt maker machine comes in.
With these films, you can place the images on a mesh screens with photo sensitive mixture. Experts will rinse the screens with water so that the photos can be seen clearly (this is so that they can be checked for accuracy).
Once the pictures are confirmed, they are placed on a screen press where they are printed on t-shirts.
Done and Dusted
After the screen printing has been completed, the t-shirts are packaged and stored into inventory. Now, customers can order for them, where they’ll be shipped to the designated location.
As you can see, the process of producing t-shirts is interesting, although it takes a lot of process. So the next time you’re putting on one of these beauties, remember that the production all started from the farm where cottons are harvested, down to the screen printers.