Really Old Tees 35 Comments


One of the things we fight about here in bernos is how to wear the bernos tees or even any tee. Dawit likes to keep his shirts so clean looking that he washes the tees inside out.

He says it keeps it from fading and it keeps the colors of the tee not wear out. He even dries it on low heat.

One thing we agree on is American Apparel. They make the best t-shirts in the world and we like how the tees feel when we wear them. In fact our customers even compliment us on the quality of our tees.

K’naan apparently while hanging out with Beshou and Dawit said that he likes our tees because they get a lot of compliments.

Old tees

I have tweeted about how my tees never get old, because I have too many of them. Not only do I have multiple copies of each of the bernos tees, but also lots of other tees I have accumulated over the years.

I have thrown away most of the crappy free t-shirts I got from different events when bernos started. I do have a few that I have spent money on as there are companies similar to bernos I support because I love their tees. Of course the first thing I check before buying a tee is if it’s made on American Apparel, nothing compares to it.

Now after much research, I have figured out a way to make t-shirt be old overnight. So I will be picking three bernos tees; the d’afrique, Argyle Rasta, and the Made in Africa tee… & antiquing them.

Of course the risk involved in this process is not as large as you would expect because I own multiple copies of the tees.

The Process

Once you know which tee you are going to antiquate. Decide how antique you want it to look. I am going for the ‘vintage look’…extreme. But for you it might just be the natural worn in look. Preppy people like Dawit and Beshou do not like that appearance so they can go with the clean cut new tee look.

One way to fade the color of the shirt is to make it wet and then dry it in the sun for two days.

For the extreme vintage look I am going to buy ‘sodium carbonate washing soda’ & salt.

The salt is abrasive making the shirts look older. And the alkaline in the washing soda breaks down the coating that is built in the cotton threads; which is what keeps the shirts stiff and crisp.

Then you start your washing machine on hot water. The heat will help weaken the cotton fibers. Once the water level is full, dump the Soda/Salt mixture and detergent.

Then dry it. If the design is still too crisp, use sand paper to fade it out and repeat the wash. Then you have your own bernos vintage tee. You will be more stylish than I am.

35 Responses to “Really Old Tees”

  1. 1 Tobian

    Aging t-shirts? Oh, I mean, ‘antiquing’.

    What’s next … smoked tees? maybe the habesha version would be beberbere’na CHew tashto yedereqe.

    Ante sira-fet …

  2. 2 Mekdaddy

    i actually like the opposite effect. i wash my shirts in cold water, inside out, and dry them inside out perm press, so the cotton does not get worn out, including the design. but to each his own.

  3. 3 tpeace

    hehe k had to edit this :)

  4. 4 mitmita

    Tobian wrote:

    maybe the habesha version would be beberbere’na CHew tashto yedereqe.

    Betam betam funny.

  5. 5 Doro Mata

    A.A. is actually not the best in the world. It’s average. Well, slightly above average.

  6. 6 Dawitk

    I guess you can label me as a t-shirt addict considering that I have a closet full of great tees from all over the world and sometimes it’s hard to see the distance Nolawi is willing to go in order to destroy a t-shirt (antiquing as he calls it).

    I’ve literally seen Nolawi physically abuse t-shirts just so they can look shabby. Not to long ago, he begged me for weeks to give him the LAST ET Alien t-shirt we had in stock…But the thought of the suffering the tee would endure, made me say NO :-) .

    Anyway, beside what was stated in the article, another reason we like AA is unlike other companies the tees are fitted around the arms and neck rather than Loose no matter how many times you wash or dry it.

  7. 7 tsedey

    i like the antiquing idea..however i doubt if u get the vintage look out of AA shirts as they are thick… we would have to see :)

    but then i don’t know how strong the chemicals are to yield that look.

  8. 8 Weregna lij

    What’s next Nolawi… Quanta tees?

  9. 9 tpeace

    i wud love an antiquated addis ababa tee!!!

  10. 10 Nolawi

    @ Weregna lij:
    ante weregna lij sharrup! :)

  11. 11 Dawitk

    Doro Mata

    I’m curious to know what tee company you like the best?

  12. 12 Wudnesh

    Hmmm, may be I’ll try it on one of the two “I Dream in Amarigna” T-shirts I have.

  13. 13 Findata

    @ Quntan:
    Simple really… Go somewhere else if you don’t like this forum. Gi’n I’m gonna bet one difo dabo, you will be back to read this blog. Guaranteed!

  14. 14 Doro Mata

    Dawitk wrote:

    Doro Mata
    I’m curious to know what tee company you like the best?

    AS Colour

    I own a few bernos tees and other tees on AA as well… but I have to say nothing fits and feels like AS

    I love my bernos tees for their design, not so much the quality. Compared to AA, AS has much more luxurious feel and fashionable style.

  15. 15 Doro Mata

    tried to like ‘AS Colour’ to their site, it didn’t work.

  16. 16 Nolawi

    AS is a New Zealand brand from the link you sent us… Doro… and its not a mainstream line… and I would have to touch and feel one shirt before I even compare it to AA so I have ordered one… we will see

  17. 17 Mekdaddy

    I was on thrillist, and saw Bernos on there.
    Check it out.

  18. 18 Doro Mata


    I know it’s not as big as American Apparel… I was just comparing the t-shirt quality.

    I’ll send you one of my designs printed on it ;)

  19. 19 Daniel

    I like your style guys, your product looks very trendy and cool. How is sells? Why do you have .org instead of .com. What is it with You have a good brand name. Bernos ! I like the name. Why dilute your brand name with thrillist.

    Send me an email and let’s talk about branding and search engine marketing.
    Daniel Tadesse

    Have a good day

  20. 20 anonx

    Addiction aint cool…its the reason they have 12 steps :)

  21. 21 Mekdaddy

    thrillist finds you, you don’t post on thrillist

  22. 22 Winta

    Ewinetim sira fet.

  23. 23 Jez

    All the shirts are nice… but I would only buy ethiopian alein if the Alien part wasn’t in the name, see I got my green card n stuff..lolol.. just jokin…. anyways I wanted to tell ya’ll…I can’t believe an Ethiopian girl told me to put it in her buuhh…lololol…

  24. 24 Habtom

    Dude,how old is you?
    Sra fet wemene. American Apparel can kiss my Habesha ass. you guys are a bunch of fruity hipsters.
    grow up.(get a life)
    i know you ‘ol are well into your 30′s. my sis went to school with some of you.(Indian National)

  25. 25 Nolawi

    @ Habtom:

    what is a fruity hipster?

  26. 26 MARILY

    You have provided a lot of great points. As I have searched about this topic before, I think many people would understand your blog.

  27. 27 Zefene

    Listen to Ethiopian music and read about Ethiopian who and what on

  28. 28 Alberto Damoth

    Another Fantastic blog post, I will save this post in my StumbleUpon account. Have a good evening.

  29. 29 Mary Donohoo

    I wrote a similar blog regarding this subject but your is better.

  30. 30 Joesph Overholser

    This an Good write up, I will save this post in my Diigo account. Have a good evening.

  31. 31 Daria Bui

    I really the website, preserve it up. I uncover this kind of stuff fascinating. Seems like an sincere mistake on the sales rep’s part, but it really is a thing that shouldn’t happen.

  32. 32 Casie Furney

    How do you do ? It’s certainly off topic but I have bought some t-shirts and I would like

  33. 33 home decor

    I had fun reading this post. I want to see more on this subject.. Thanks for writing this pleasant article.. Anyhow, I’m going to sign to your rss and I wish you write great articles again soon.

  34. 34 Young Lento

    Whats Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & help other users like its aided me. Good job.

  35. 35 traduceri daneza

    It seems that my very own portable provides great improvements over iPad,,, the thing that i can’t stand will be, it certainly can’t assist universal serial bus,,,

Leave a Reply