The new football shirt has come a long way from its humble beginning during the Victorian era. During this era, there were no clothing regulations for the football team kits and the two teams distinguished each other from the color of the cap or scarves. There were no football shirts or jerseys. The first jersey was manufactured in 1879 and in 1883. It was truly called a shirt. Initially the thick cotton fiber was used in manufacture, to prevent tear from tugging during the match. But it created discomfort for the players as it was heavy and trapped body heat and sweat of the players. As time passed, with better technical expertise and new materials, lighter and colorful shirts were manufactured.
The new football shirt is made from synthetic fibers like the polyester and nylon, which are lighter in weight. They also provide the added advantage of flexibility which provides comfort to the player in the physically demanding game of football. The polyester meshes have special quality and do not allow the shirt to trap the body heat and sweat. This feature is missing in cotton shirts.
The multicolored sea of spectators in the stadium wearing replica shirts of national or club team point towards the love and the support, the fans have for their respective teams. The color of flag is usually the color of shirt of team of national squad. This huge fan following at the national or club level has resulted in development of multi-billion pound manufacturing industry catering to football shirts and other kits.
The new football shirt has become display media for brands of famous corporations, who are official sponsors of the football teams. The result is the advertisement of the brand on a global scale, because of the huge worldwide audience that football draws. This has caused jump in profits of the corporations through increased sale. The famous English league, the Premier league requires the players to wear the logo of the competition on the sleeves of the shirt.
The numbers on the new football shirt are printed on the back of the shirt as per squad numbering system introduced by FIFA. The numbers, on the players, remain the same throughout the tournament. Many players have developed the habit of sticking to a particular number, which they think is lucky for them. The color of the team shirts is same as that of the national flag. In case of the club team the colors are strongly individual and point out to particular team.
The attractive designs of the shirts are driven by the fact, that the fan should look good when they wear them. The complex designs and the attractive color schemes have made the new football shirt, a symbol of fashion. The ever increasing popularity of football has led to dramatic change in the design and style of the shirt. The increase in fan following and resultant increase in revenues from the sale of the replica shirts has filled the coffers of the clubs.