How to Create Authentic Vintage Sports T-Shirts for Your Business

vintage sports t-shirts are an advantageous merchandise option for businesses. They evoke positive, nostalgic emotion in fans and customers, and they’re a great way to build brand loyalty. However, when creating vintage-style tees for your business, it’s important to be mindful of the process and the elements contributing to a true vintage look and feel. In this article, we’ll explore what makes a tee vintage and how to achieve that authentic, timeless style for your custom shirts.

What is a vintage t-shirt?

A vintage t-shirt recreates the nostalgia, soft hand feel, and distressed print of decades-old t-shirts. This style is distinct from antique, which refers to items over 100 years old, and retro, which imitates styles that have been popular in the past few decades.

At TshirtTimeMachine, we use a consensus with our vintage sellers to determine whether or not a shirt is authentically vintage. The general rule is that any t-shirt over 20 years old is considered vintage. This is regardless of fabric or style, although tees with more prominent designs from iconic brands or pop culture can have a higher value.

When creating a vintage t-shirt, screen printing techniques can be used to produce the desired look and feel. These include reduced inks, halftones, and distressed textures to mimic the look of a well-worn, faded shirt. Dark-colored tees typically require a white under base to ensure the design prints true to color. However, a light-colored shirt can sometimes get away with not printing an underbase. This produces a more authentic, vintage-style shirt and reduces print costs.