I’ve had a number of people over the years make customer requests for Hypercolor T shirts. I know you remember those shirts – they changed from purple to pink, green to yellow, or blue to white with heat. People were constantly, awkwardly putting their hands on other people’s chests to see how it worked. There were later ones where a screen printed guy’s clothes changed from the heat, too, and other designs as they tried to cling to popularity.
In over a decade of selling vintage clothing, specializing in T shirts, I have only ever found ONE working Hypercolor shirt. A picture of it was actually used in a book about ’90s clothing. Hypercolor was one of those brands that was a real craze when I was in junior high, along with IOU, BUM Equipment, Z Cavaricci and LA Gear. And while I can still find all those other brands from time to time, there is one reason I just can’t find Hypercolor no matter what.
Everyone’s shirt eventually, accidentally, went into the dryer. And the dryer was like kryptonite to Hypercolor shirts. It rendered them powerless, defeated for all of eternity. And really, were you going to wear your Hypercolor shirt anymore now that your mom ruined it? No way! It went into the trash with thousands of other shirts that would never change colors again.
Now there is a new company bringing back the Heat Reaction T shirt – Liquid Screen Design, based in Minneapolis. LSD sent me a shirt to try out, and it is Dan’s until my baby belly is gone away and I can wear it myself. They are working on several different color combos right now, but we were sent a classic combo I remember from the 90s – blue that changes to white. It works a little differently than the Generra technology of 20+ years ago – putting my hand on it while it was laying on the counter didn’t create as much of a reaction as I remember Hypercolor bringing. But when Dan wore it for just 30 minutes, it worked much better than I remember. It went bright white, and without much heat at all. (It is also a much deeper blue, but for some reason was lighter in the picture that we took than it was for real.)
There are two really big, cool things about LSD’s reinvention of these shirts, though:
1) They have the shirts available with their logo on them…they ALSO will put YOUR artwork on them. That’s right, whatever you want can be screenprinted on their shirts.
2) These shirts CAN go in the dryer (on low heat, but hey, still, less chance of ruining it down the road).
Right now, you can get a T shirt and help support their working on other new color combos by donating to their Kickstarter page which closes on Monday, May 20th. A $30 pledge will get you a T shirt with the Liquid Screen Design logo, and a $75 pledge will get you one with your design (and you can pick from several different color combos). There are some deals too, where the price per shirt comes down.
Disclaimer: Liquid Screen Design sent me a free T shirt to try out, but I was not financially compensated for this post. I wrote it based on our experience with Dan wearing it. Yes, his armpits totally turned white, too.