About Us | Our Heritage
Shirtworks is one of the longest established t-shirt printers in the UK. Our humble origins in the early ‘80s began in Oxford selling t-shirts to Oxford University students and the public from a stall in the Jam Factory market in the centre of the city.
Our intrepid marketing plan at the time included selling Oxford University branded t-shirts and sweatshirts to tourists in the height of the summer from an antiquated bike with a wicker basket! Whether we were screen printing, selling printed t-shirts in the market stall or peddling the bike, it was still a very busy and memorable time.
The promotional t-shirt printing business takes off
Over the years our t-shirt printing business grew by demand. We soon outgrew the market and opened a shop. This too was outgrown and we soon realised that we needed dedicated production premises and in 1988 rented warehouse premises to meet the ever increasing demand. This also included the installation of our first automatic screen printing carousel which improved our production capabilities five-fold.
Over the subsequent years we have moved premises twice more and we will soon be looking to do so again. Our four carousels are in constant production and our three embroidery machines are always working hard.
Selling printed t-shirts to the whole of the UK
In the beginning most of our sales of printed t-shirts were to Oxford University and local businesses with very little coming from outside the area. Nowadays our market is UK-wide, selling promotional and branded digitally printed, screenprinted and embroidered t-shirts to businesses of all sizes, from small one-man bands to large multinationals. However, we never forget our origins and we will often be seen at the Freshers’ Fair at the start of the university term and many of the small local businesses that we had as clients back in the ‘80s are still with us now. Hopefully that says something of our service and attention to detail.
It’s been a long journey from our inauspicious start but we have grown purely and simply as a result of increasing demand over the years and the trust and reliance placed on us by our clients and customers. We believe that says a lot about us and the way we work.