? T-Shirts — The largest category, which covers more than two-thirds of all the units decorated in the industry, includes traditional adult and youth sizes in some three dozen colors, which vary somewhat from year to year as manufacturers replace weaker-selling colors with new ones. Long-sleeve and pocket tees capture a small percentage of the total for most companies. White is by far the largest selling color, accounting for some 40%-plus of all T-shirts, followed by black and grey (or variations on the color, such as ash and grey heather). These three colors account for some two-thirds of all units of standard T-shirts manufactured for the North American market.
But the fastest growing segment of T-shirts includes specific styles for women and girls. More fashionable vis-a-vis current trends, cut to better reflect the female anatomy, and the fact that females are demonstrably more concerned (than males in general) about being more fashionable in their apparel tastes, feminine garments feature new styling silhouettes and subtle though noticeable detail changes from year to year.
T-shirts are made from jersey-knit fabric in a variety of weights from 100% cotton, blended cotton-polyester in varying percentages of fiber mix, and 100% polyester. A niche category growing in popularity in recent years is moisture-wicking fabric, an all-polyester knit that “breathes” to allow the more rapid evaporation of sweat. Its application is mainly for use in activewear, worn in warmer climes and for recreation and athletics. This fabric is referred to in the trade also as “moisture management” and “performance” fabric.
Northwest Custom Apparel thanks Mark Venit for his years of consulting. We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Mark.