What is a Single Stitch Tee?

The single stitch construction shows a single row of stitching securing the hem edges and sleeve cuffs of the garment. On most modern t-shirts the standard double row of stitching is now used. 

Vintage Single Stitch T-Shirts

Key Dates

The single stitch construction was the most common method of t-shirt manufacture during the 1980s and 1990s circa within the USA. If you’re in the market for a pre 1999 vintage piece but you’re unsure about dates, the single stitch construction will generally always have the vintage stamp of approval.  

Look and Feel

The material of a single stitch t-shirt is almost as important, if not equal to the stitch itself. These tee’s have a softness no double stitch t-shirt could replicate. Single stitch garments do not hold creases like a firm cotton shirt; their breathable, paper thin fabric holds value like no other. 


Buying Single Stitch T-Shirts

As touched upon in the above point, when shopping for single stitch t-shirts the look and feel of the garment, from the material to how it hangs is a tell-tale sign that it is a vintage piece. If that isn’t enough to reassure you, the single row stitching construction that stands out amongst common double stitch tee’s will confirm that early 90’s era.

A Ringer T-Shirt has a different coloured neckline and sleeve cuffs to the body of the t-shirt. The single row of stitching might be hard to see with a ringer t-shirt, so consider the material and how it feels. If it’s soft enough to sleep in you’ve got yourself a single stitch tee. 

You may have heard the term 50/50 or Fifty-Fifty when shopping for Vintage t-shirts; this refers to the material composition being 50% cotton and 50% polyester. Yet again this blend provides a soft-to-touch garment that sticks out amongst any standard firm double stitch tee. 

Single Stitch Nowadays 

Brands and designers nowadays use the single stitch construction to replicate the Vintage aesthetic. Their thick lines of stitching secure slightly firmer and rigid fabric highlighting the difference in the original paper thin tee’s. 

To End

Vintage t-shirts are a gateway into vintage fashion; understanding what to look out for will not only simplify your shopping experience, but it will enable you to find unique pieces that will upgrade your wardrobe tenfold. 

January 08, 2021 — Hannah Smith