OPTIONS: The Essential Guide to Tshirt Materials
Choosing the right fabric for your custom printed Tshirt can be a difficult choice. There are so many choices out there! 100% cotton, blends, tri-blends, and more! To help you out, here is a handy guide to just some of the most popular choices out there.
Cotton is the most popular and widely used material for Tshirts. It’s also the best for Direct to Garment printing! It’s popularity comes from its durability, breathability, and softness. Two of the most common types of 100% cotton tees are Ultra and Ringspun, with varying degrees of softness and weights.
Ultra Cotton tshirts are considered heavyweight and the least expensive option. They are a good choice if you like a warmer, more structured shirt that will last a long time. The heavier and denser weave makes them a little bit rougher as well. The most common brand printed at Nogginhed in this style is the Gildan 2000.
Ringspun cotton is softer and lighter but also a little more expensive. A higher quality cotton is combed and spun which makes a tighter weave and smoother feel. This also makes the shirts very durable. The most popular ringspun brands we print on are Gildan 64000 and Bella + Canvas 3001.
Blending two or more fabrics together can increase the strength, decrease the weight, and add to softness. Some common types of blended tees are 50/50, Tri-blend, and 60/40 which vary base on the amount of polyester that is blended into the cotton.
Tri-blend shirts are 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% Rayon. These shirts often run smaller, have a little more stretch, and feel softer. The color also has a little bit of dappled look rather than the solid color of 100% cotton. An example of this type is the Bella + Canvas 3413.
50/50 Tshirts are made of 50% cotton and 50% polyester. The combination results in a shirt with the breathability of cotton but the smoothness and durability of polyester. A popular style of 50/50 is the Gildan 8000.
The 60/40 blend may be one of the softest blends but it also may produce the lowest quality print. The texture of the shirt is often velvety and very smooth. The fit is also smaller and more athletic cut. One of the softest and most popular styles is the Next Level 6410.
If you want an all over print with sublimation, polyester would be the choice. It’s also a great choice for active wear because it has moisture wicking properties. Repeated wear and washings do not cause it to shrink, stretch, or lose its shape. The downsides are that it is not as durable, breathable, or a natural product like cotton. One choice of 100% polyester shirt would be the Gildan 42000.
A little note if you are printing at our shop: The best choice for Direct to Garment printing will be a blend that has at least 80% cotton. This will guarantee a quality print. If you want something a little different, please let us know!