Popularity of T-Shirts in different parts of World


screencollageEuropeans dress better than Americans

Europeans, especially West Europeans, dress better than Americans. The idea of wearing slogans and advertising  — especially on T-shirts– was a hard sell to Europeans, though over time they’ve been catch­ing up to their American cousins. The most pervasive use of deco­rated apparel across the pond is in Germany, where the presence of  the military has been pervasive; our military personnel wear there what they’d wear here. Screen printing was consistently 10 to 15 years behind whatever we were doing on this side of the pond through the late 1990s. Walk into a screen printing or an embroidery shop today in Germany, however, and you’d feel right at home.

In United Kingdom and France

In the United Kingdom, the industry stayed well behind the growth we saw here, though the industry in and around London was evolving quickly and achieved parity with the U.S. in many ways by the 1990s. In France, while producers there do credible work, the culture is still 20 years behind the U.S. in decorated apparel. Its primary uses there are for athletics, schools, and events, but to a considerably lesser degree for business application. Where you’d see more T-shirts — printed and plain — in France is along the Mediterranean coast, where there are sizeable communities of immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East who routinely wear decorated apparel.

tshirtIn Africa and Asia

In Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, T-shirts are everywhere. After all, it’s hot there and T-shirts provide great value–comfortable, launderable, inexpensive, durable, colorful, and, to the joy on the grow­ing cadre of screen printers and micro-retailers there, are printable. The Republic of South Africa has a vibrant industry along with Nigeria and Ghana in the west and Kenya in the east. But T-shirts are evident throughout the continent.

Much the same can be said for our counterparts in the Indian subcontinent and throughout most of Asia. T-shirts are everywhere. Australia and New Zealand also have very strong decorated apparel industries as well.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!