Hands-on review of ‘Tattoo’ by Rakes & Strays

by Andy on September 25, 2009

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It has been a little while since the last review on HYA, and this tee from Rakes & Strays is certainly worthy of bringing back this once-regular feature, especially as I think this might be the first ever tee I’ve received that has been panel printed. If you’re unfamiliar with Rakes & Strays, they’re a new brand from EIO Clothing, so the quality that you expected from EIO, you should expect from Rakes & Strays. You can essentially view them as the same company, they share a website, but I can understand why the two lines have been split as they two collections hold very different styles of tee, even if this particular shirt has the EIO logo on it, and some design elements on it from other EIO tees I’ve been sent in the past. So, in summary, they’re different, but the same, but they’re both good so there’s no point worrying about it.

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Usually when people think of tattoo designs they’ll think of Ed Hardy, which isn’t necessarily a good thing (if you want tattoo style, I’d point you in the direction of Sailor Jerry, and not just because they make good rum), but tattoos are a ripe area for creating great t-shirt designs, and whilst I’m no expert on tattoos, I think that this tee works well. As I mentioned earlier this tee has some elements on it from tees I have been sent from EIO Clothing in the past. As a concept I presumed that wouldn’t like it, but I think that it makes a lot of sense for this design because tattoos are meant to be something meaningful, and this tee represents how EIO (and now R&S) are progressing as a company, but they’re still sticking true to the qualities about them that I liked so much in the past. Perhaps I’m over-analysing the design, maybe I should have just said “hey, that look cool, and there’s guns on it” and moved on.

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In terms of quality, whether you call it EIO or Rakes & Strays this is a damn good shirt, as the closeups in the gallery will attest. The material is quite thin, but it is very soft. I’m not entirely sure what kind of printing method has been used, but I would be tempted to say that it was discharge because you cannot feel the print at all, which is obviously a good thing. If my previous experience with EIO tees is anything t ogo by, you can expect this tee to wear well, by which I mean it will survive being washed an worn pretty frequently, though I imagine that if it were to fade eventually then that would be less of a big deal than with a normal print because tattoo designs usually gain something with a bit of vintage-style fade on them. The hems of the tee d have what they call a ‘raw edge’ to them, which basically means that they have been cut to split the him and distress it a little bit; I’m not a huge fan of this process because I don’t really see what it adds to the t-shirt as it is a subtle change, but as it is a subtle change it doesn’t detract from what is an excellent t-shirt.

Costiness=£29.95 Available from Rakes & Strays (also in black, and with a fitted cut for the ladies)


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