"Huh?" he asked. He had no idea what she meant, let alone where his seam was.
"Your seam. On your shirt. How come your t-shirt doesn't have a seam?"
Megan walked in behind him, carrying the fruit.
"Look!" my Mom said. "Megan's t-shirt has a seam running down the side. Cleve's doesn't."
We all inspected their t-shirts and threw around our wild theories on the matter.
"Maybe it's just a men's t-shirt thing. Women's have seams 'cause they need more shape, and men's don't 'cause men's torso's are basically rectangles!"
"Maybe it's 'cause the seamed t-shirts are easier to warp in the wash, and women usually know better how to handle laundry."
"Sounds like something for a Friday Fact," said Mom.
I was curious...it seemed to me like t-shirts with no seams would me much harder to make. I mean, HOW would they make them? It must be some magic trick, 'cause where would they attach the sleeves?
So I looked into it.
'turns out that the seamless t-shirt is made from a specific type of fabric that is created in a seamless tube shape to begin with. They call the t-shirts "Tubular T'shirts" - which is like, totally bodacious, man.
(Rolls of tubular fabric)
(Tubular fabric 'slitter' machine)
And contrary to what I supposed, the tubular T is much easier to make than a seamed T; and it's the Tubular T that is notorious for warping in the wash. The Tubular is considered (in professional T-shirt manufacturing circles) to be of lesser quality. Easier to manufacture, usually cheaper material, and - since there's no option for shaping the tube - a less appealing fit.
(basic T-shirt by Hanes; what I refert to as a 'box T')
This may have been the case in the beginning, but the Tubular T has found it's niche.
Turns out the Tubular T is much easier to print on - and you can have alternative placement for the graphic designs on a Tubular T that you can't on a standard T. Seen those cool-guy T-shirts with the crazy design wrapping around the side of the shirt? Nearly impossible to do on a standard T with side seams.
("penguin T" from let'sbuyit.com)
And the fit? Well - they've pretty much figured that one out, too. The Tubular may not be as tailored as the seamed T (and who doesn't love a well-fitting T?), but they've given up their boxy ways and have figured out how to be 'shapeless' while still showing some shape!
(see a better print of it here)
In the end, it's a matter of preference.
So there you have it. Another awesomely trivial fact for your entertaining arsenal.