A Walk Through the History of Textile and Cloth Printing from Ancient times to Now

Shahzad Masood

Textile and Cloth Printing

When you think of custom shirt printing, you may think you only have to look back as far as the 1960s, but you would be wrong.

The history of Singapore shirt printing goes back further than that.

Sure, the 60s was when it really took off as we know it, but custom printing is actually an ancient art form.

Read on to learn the history of custom printing and how the custom tshirts we know and love came to be.

A trip in ancient times

The first known printing method was used in ancient China during the Song Dynasty between 960 and 1279 AD.

It began as screen printing using a piece of silk glued between two pieces of paper that they then pushed paint through.

They also used woodblocks that had carved designs and symbols to implant designs on fabric.

At this time, tshirts were not a thing.

You also wouldn’t find a person who wasn’t a noble or in the higher social standings wearing printed clothing with a bunch of colors at this time, since they were powerful commodities.

As time went on printing spread throughout Asia and into India.

By the Middle Ages printing had reached all throughout Asia and began to become more advanced.

Even though it was more advanced it was commonly used on textiles that didn’t get washed often since the ink would liquefy once put in water.

At this time printed textiles and clothing was still mostly limited to religious artifacts or higher social classes and tshirts were still nowhere in site.

It wasn’t until the 1900s that printing spread through Europe.

The invention of modern custom tshirts

As the 1950s and 60s rolled around, tshirts were invented.

By this time custom shirt printing had hit America and was used as marketing for bands and other businesses.

By the 1960s, the printed tshirt was a fashion staple.

Many vibrant colors, tie-dye, and far out graphics were seen everywhere.

As time went on and technology increased it became so much easier to print custom shirts.

Nowadays, we see many printing methods being used with the help of computers.

We still print shirts by hand using silk screen or woodblock printing though this too can be done via technology.

There are now many different types of ink as well — such as plastisol ink.

Finding the perfect custom tshirt today

Whether you are looking for a hand printed shirt or custom shirt printing using digital printing methods, do your research to find the best company for the job.

Ask friends, family, and neighbors who they use for their Singapore shirt printing.

Compare prices and quality by looking at a few different companies.

Check out the pictures of their finished shirts and reviews from previous customers.

Ask what printing methods they use and if they can do the design you want.

If you are ordering more than a few shirts for a group outing, event or your business, ask if they have discounts for bulk orders. No matter where you have your custom shirt printed and designed you are sure to have a unique piece of art to wear for many years to come.

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