T shirts are extremely functional pieces of clothing, everyone can wear T shirts. They come in a plethora of colors, patterns, styles and also fabrics. Some fabrics are better suited for casual events or warm weather, where others are ideal for athletic wear. Here at InkHead we pride ourselves on offering a large variety of T shirt brands and styles, in many different types of fabric. It is helpful to know a bit about the materials before buying, continue reading to see which fabric is best suited to your needs.
Cotton is by far the most popular fabric for T Shirts. It is soft, sturdy and breathable. It is also usually very affordable. Cotton is a casual fabric that is ideal for everyday wear. There are several types of cotton fabric that are used in apparel, and each one differs slightly. Most cotton shirts are pre-shrunk, meaning that the fabric has been put through a machine that pushes the fibers tightly together, condensing the fabric by removing the space between the stitches. In essence, replicating the shrinking process. However, pre-shrunk unfortunately does not mean your shirt will not shrink at all. It simply means that most of the shrinkage has been taken out. This can sometimes be misleading. Most fabric will shrink, on average 3 to 7 percent, which is not something that most people would even notice when it comes to fit.
Organic cotton is grown in such a way that it does not impact the environment. The cotton is grown with minimal use of fertilizers and pesticides. However, because of the strict growing practices, organic cotton can be slightly more expensive than regular cotton. An added bonus to organic cotton is that not only will you be part of an eco-movement towards more sustainable practices, you will have a very soft and comfortable shirt that makes a positive statement about your brand.
Combed cotton is a very popular fabric. It is made by specially treating the cotton fibers before spinning them into yarn. Fine brushes are used to get rid of short strands and straighten the fibers. The result is stronger and smother fabric. Combed cotton tends to be slightly more expensive than regular cotton, but the softness of the fabric makes up for the cost.
Pima cotton is considered the highest quality of cotton available. This type of cotton is made from extra-long fibers, which make it extremely soft and durable. Pima resists pilling, fading, and stretching; even after multiple washes. Some would argue that the cotton becomes even softer with each washing.
Ring-spun cotton is created by continuously twisting and thinning the cotton strands, making a very fine rope of cotton fibers. The twisting makes the short hairs of the cotton stand out, resulting in a stronger yarn that is significantly softer. Additionally the number of times you twist the fiber determines how soft the fabric is. In many instances you will see ring-spun described as “30 Singles Ring-Spun”. This term is used to indicate the diameter of the yarn. The higher the number, the thinner the yarn and the softer because it has been twisted more times.
Slub cotton is a cotton fabric that appears to have slight lumps in the fabric. These lumps are due to the process prior to weaving the cotton where the cotton is twisted, creating irregular twists. This results in a unique fabric with a nice texture to it. Slub T Shirts are light and airy, without clinging to the body. As a bonus, it does not ever need to be ironed because it is not designed to look flat.
Polyester is a synthetic material that is used in a variety of our T Shirts. Polyester can be breathable, making it ideal to use in a lot of performance wear. Some polyester shirts will say that they are moisture wicking, meaning that they have been treated to dry quickly and wick (pull) moisture away from the skin. Polyester is an extremely strong fabric with many advantages. It is quick drying, does not mold or mildew, wrinkle resistant and is very easy to machine wash and dry. Polyester can shrink when exposed to extreme heat but, in most cases, will keep its original shape. Another advantage to a polyester shirt is the increased durability, it is an extremely strong fabric that can hold up to a lot of wear and tear.
Often T Shirts are a combination of two or three different materials. Some of the more popular examples of this are a Cotton/Polyester blend or a Cotton/Polyester/Rayon blend (tri-blend). When you combine fabrics you end up with the best qualities from each fabric. A Cotton/Polyester blend results in a fabric that remains cool and light from the cotton fabric, yet also has the strength and wrinkle resistance of the polyester. Cotton/Polyester/Rayon blends have the comfort of cotton, shape retention of the polyester and the addition of rayon allows the fabric to drape against the body for a slimming look.
Another factor to consider when looking for the perfect T Shirt is the weight of the shirt. T Shirt weights range from the very light (3.4 oz) to a more standard (5.5 oz) on up to the heavy (6.1 oz to 7.1 oz) shirts. The weight you choose may depend on a couple of different factors.
We are here to help you make the difficult decision of which fabric to choose for your perfect T Shirt. Some of the most common events that a T Shirt is bought for are a large giveaway, a sporting event, retail or resale, or events geared towards children. Each one of these events would warrant a different shirt fabric.
InkHead is always here to help you make an informed decision before you buy any T Shirts. What are the most important qualities you look for when selecting a T Shirt. Let us know in the comments below.