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T-shirt printing has been around since the 1960’s in the United States but dates back to 960Ad. China had a form of screen printing called stenciling during the Song Dynasty. Today that technology has jumped significantly forward. Almost anything you can image can be applied to clothing with Custom Screen Printing techniques. Here is a little background information and apparel trends you can take advantage of.

Custom Screen Printing


Over the past 50 years, the apparel industry has grown to be a 2 billion dollar industry in the United States. Now you have multiple colors and designs to choose from when starting a Custom Screen Printing or Custom Embroidery project. Fashion and clothing trends are changing each year and sometimes overnight.


Casual Friday

15 years ago the term “Casual Friday” was a popular term used in the business world. Now the casual Friday has grown into a much larger trend. Now casual Friday is considered casual work weekend. The casual wear trend has changed the type of clothing many employers offered to their employees. Now they are offering loose fitting comfortable clothing and alternative designs.



It is summer time even though there is a chill in the New England air. With summer, there is color everywhere. There is a newer trend called “color blocking” that has become quite popular. “Color Blocking” is where you put different color together that complement each other in your outfit.

This year, light colors like greens, blues, peach, coral and yellows are trending. Color blocking allows you to be fashionable by combining something old & something new. The goal is to stay current and use colors that compliment each other. Colors that are dark tend to create a heavy look and feel and weight you down. Light and bright colors bring you up and are vibrant and lively.



At some point, you are going to look at the tags on your favorite shirts to see what they are made of. What you may find is your favorite shirt is not 100% cotton. It is more than likely a blend of some type 50% cotton / 50% polyester. This blending of materials tends to make it soft to the touch. Customers want a thick quality shirt for Custom Screen Printing. They also want the shirt to last more than one season. Another factor is the shirt must be comfortable to the end user.

After working in the Custom Screen Printing and Custom Embroidery businesses for many years, I find myself looking at the tags. I am touching the clothing to see how it feels and what type of materials it is made of.

It is important to know what kind of fabric you are going to print on because this can affect the final result. Tri-blends are becoming more prevalent in the market this year.

There are cotton/poly blends like 60% cotton and 40% polyester. Then there are tri-blends like cotton, polyester and rayon shirts. Here are some of the most popular brands that make great shirts for Custom Screen Printing.

  • Badger Sport
  • Champion
  • Gildan
  • Haynes
  • New Balance
  • Russel Athletics

Some of the most popular material blends are:

  • 100% cotton
  • 50% cotton / 50% polyester
  • 100% cotton
  • Earth Friendly – Tri-blend (recycled materials)
  • 50/50 Ring Spun Combed Cotton / Poly Blend


Performance Shirts

A growing trend in the apparel industry is performance shirts. Today’s athletes demand clothing that is a perfect fit. Gone are the days of baggy over-sized sports apparel. Here are some of the options that are available for performance apparel.


Compression Garments

There are tight fitting clothing that conforms to your body shape. This is a concept that has derived from the medical community. Compression clothing increases the blood circulation by 30%. The most popular and well-known brand is Under Armor.


 Moisture Wicking Clothing

These are fabrics that simply move the moisture away from your body. These materials are made in a mesh format that allows moisture under the shirt to evaporate. Rusell Athletics is one of the brands that we carry that utilizes moisture wicking technology.


Antimicrobial Clothing

Yes, this is a newer trend in the clothing industry, but just as it sounds it prevents the growth of bacteria. Where does the bacteria show up? Have you every smelled a pair of sweaty socks or gym clothes that sat around for a couple days?


These are just some of the trends that are happening in the Custom Screen Printing and Custom Embroidery world. Stop by our shop and take a look at the clothing on display to feel how each one might work for your project.