When it comes to t shirts, they should be the most common kind of clothing. It is said that the annual global sale of T-shirts is two billion pieces. What a huge number!
Since t-shirts could be essential goods for everyone, what kind of fabrics are made for T-shirts we usually wear? And which fabrics are more comfortable to wear? You might have many questions before you start buying.
As a designer or a fashion lover, matching the right fabric with your tees is vital.It’s important to consider all aspects of it. As a purchaser of your clothing brand, you need to know what will work best for you and your business. You should consider the type of material, how it feels against the skin, how it looks like, how it absorbs moisture, and how it will perform during a day or a season.
The most popular fabrics are cotton, polyester, cotton blend, rayon, modal, line.
There is a total of 16 different fabrics listed in this article. I explained some advantages, disadvantages of per fabric for t shirts from several aspects.
In the end, I also answer some related FAQs. For example, what is super durable shirt fabric? Best fabric GSM for t shirts?
Before I start to talk about the suitable fabrics one by one and their pros and cons. I’d like to start off with a little history lesson.
In the early days of t shirt manufacturing, cotton was king when its fiber is traditionally produced by hand. The history of cotton can date back to the beginning of civilization when warriors started to wear thick cotton to protect themselves without restricting their mobility.
As time passes by, cotton becomes a long-lasting material for t shirts. On one hand, it has the capacity to withstand years of washing and wear. On the other hand, it has strong softness. With the advancement of industry and technology, many other popular materials have emerged with their own characteristics.
Cotton is a natural material. It has soft natural fibers that growin a boll around the seeds of the cotton plants. The fiber is almost pure cellulose and can contain minor percentages of waxes, fats, pectins, and water. It is the most breathable fabric for summer clothing like t shirt.
Pros of cotton t shirt
Cotton t shirts have characteristics like keeping warm, good absorbing moisture, heat resistance, alkali resistance, hygiene. Besides, cotton t shirts have advantages like close-fitting, and air permeability.
Cons of cotton t shirt
However, there are some disadvantages such as smelling bad when you sweat or if the shirt gets wet for a long time.
And cotton shirts can be divided into four common categories.
Combed cotton is one of the most common types of fabric in the textile industry. It’s easy to manufacture and has a very long staple that can be spun into finer threads than other varieties of cotton.
Combed cotton is made when the mature bolls are pulled out by hand, combed to remove the short fibers, and then carded. It is better woven and processed, and it is pure cotton, which can prevent pilling to the greatest extent.
Organic cotton is made from the long-staple fiber of the cotton plant and certified as meeting USDA organic requirements.
Organic cotton t shirts may be labeled as organic only if they contain at least 95% organic cotton.
All fabric manufacturing companies must meet this ratio to stay in compliance with standards.
The production of organic cotton begins with soil that is free from any chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms.
Supima cotton is high-quality, long-staple cotton that has very few impurities and strong resistance to pilling. It is also known as Pima cotton.
It is a perfect shirt fabric because of its strength, durability, and low maintenance.
It is a form of cotton that has thick and thin fibers. It has a “skeletal”, or “quilted” look to it, which makes it especially popular in denim manufacturing.
But once processed, it can be turned into shirt fabric. It can also be woven with other specialty fabrics like linen or satin. The advantages are that it’s durable and comfortable to wear. The disadvantages are that it can shrink when washed and is more expensive than other types of cotton fabrics.
Compared to natural fabrics, polyester is a synthetic fiber made from long-chain polymers. It has high strength and it’s commonly used as a durable fiber fort shirt. It also has a natural resistance to moisture, which makes it useful for manufacturing t shirts.
Pros of polyester t shirt
It is highly resistant to stretching and can keep its shape even after repeated washing. The advantages also include the fact that it doesn’t shrink, fade or pill like other fabrics.
Cons of polyester t shirt
It is not breathable and like most synthetic materials, it can be very slippery and dry.
Recycled polyester is a synthetic fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. It has high strength and it’s commonly used as a durable fiber for t shirt. It also has a natural resistance to moisture, which makes it useful for manufacturing t shirts.
Pros and Cons
The advantages of using recycled polyester are that it’s durable, doesn’t shrink when washed, and is more environmentally friendly.
The disadvantages are the fabric is not breathable which can cause overheating, it can be slippery because it collects dust particles.
Cotton Polyester Blend
The cotton polyester or poly cotton blend is created by combining cotton yarns with polyester fibers. Cotton’s properties are superior to polyester when it comes to breathability. The combination of the two fabrics creates a perfect balance because cotton will be able to resist pilling, while polyester will maintain its shape and appearance over time.
The cotton blends are both natural and synthetic which can be very cost-effective, and versatile fabric.
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. It goes through a number of processes before it becomes usable for the construction of t shirt. These processes include dew getting (the process of rotting whole flax plants in water), removal of wooden parts, scutching (removing the coarse outer skin), breaking, heckling (combing out short fibers), and washing.
Pros of Linen t shirt
Linen fabrics are strong and resilient with qualities to suit many occasions.
Cons of linen t shirt
Linen’s disadvantages include the fact that it is not resistant to perspiration and therefore, it’ll hold on to odor. It can also become transparent after a few washes.
Rayon is a manufactured fiber made of regenerated cellulose fibers. The fibers are created by using wood pulp.
Pros and Cons of rayon t shirt
It’s soft, silky, lightweight, and absorbent with an elegant look to it. It is more expensive than cotton or polyester but it has the characteristics of both. Rayon can also be blended with synthetic fabrics like modal in order to give the fabric more stretchability and elasticity.
Lycra is a type of elastic fiber that’s often used in spandex. Lycra goes through a number of processes before it becomes usable for t shirt fabric. These processes include drawing out filaments, extruding into solution, wet-spinning into fine fibers, calendaring, and drying.
Pros of lycra t shirt
One advantage is that lycra does not lose its stretchiness when washed. It’s also good against UV rays which makes it an ideal choice for beachwear.
Cons of lycra t shirt
Another downside is that it can be very uncomfortable since Lycra has a tendency to retain heat and moisture.
Viscose is a rayon-like fabric made from cellulose fibers and has excellent draping qualities. It is made of regenerated cellulose fibers. And it is a category of fabrics that can be of various weights, colors and textures.
It has similar pros and cons to rayon. And it can be blended with polyester to become poly-viscose, which has some characteristics of polyester.
Bamboo fabric is a fiber that is often made in the same process as cotton. The difference is that bamboo fabric uses bamboo instead of cotton production.
Pros of bamboo t shirt
The advantages of using bamboo fabric to make your t-shirt include that it is only produced with renewable sources and thus more environmentally friendly than many others. It’s also antimicrobial which means the garment will not collect odors. This makes it perfect for people who sweat a lot and find themselves without time to wash their clothes between wears.
Cons of bamboo t shirt
Unlike cotton, bamboo fabric is more expensive than polyester which can be more affordable for beginners. It’s also more difficult to dye than other fabrics.
Hemp is a type of fiber that’s obtained from the hemp plant. It has more CBD than cannabidiol and THC, making it an ideal fabric for summer wear for temperature regulation. Hemp also has the advantages of being renewable and providing more environmental benefits compared to many otherS. Hemp is expensive in comparison to polyester, however, hemp maintains its quality over time while polyester will gradually lose its shape and appearance.
Modal refers to a type of fiber that is often used in underwear because it absorbs moisture well and dries quickly. Nowadays, modal t shirts are popular, too. Modal is often blended with cotton or other wools to improve the quality of the fabric. Modal can be natural or synthetic, known as semi-synthetic. and it has a soft texture and offers excellent drape while still being durable.
Pros of modal t shirt
The pros of modal fabric include that it’s resistant to shrinkage and wrinkles. It also falls softly without creating lint balls, so it can be softer than other materials like cotton. It doesn’t need to be ironed often because of its wrinkle resistance. And it offers excellent drape while still being durable.
Cons of modal t shirt
The cons of this material are that it shrinks when washed. It also doesn’t hold color well.
Jersey is a fabric with a distinct ribbed pattern. It’s often made of cotton or wool or any other type of fiber that can be spun into yarns. Some fabrics that are considered to be jersey include teddy wool, terry cloth, and polar fleece, which are all made from synthetic materials.
Pros and Cons of jersey
The advantage of jersey is that it’s stretchy and breathable. This makes it a good option for athletic wear. It’s also wrinkle-resistant and the ribbed pattern helps items stay in place.
The disadvantage of jersey is that it can be itchy, especially for people with sensitive skin. And if the fabric becomes too stretched out, it will lose its stretchiness.
Up to now, there are a few different types of t shirt fabrics listed before. You know what, there are still many others such as ice cotton, washed cotton, mercerized cotton, and so on. All these are common materials for t shirts. Their pros and cons can be referenced for your custom t shirt project. Here comes several FAQs below.
what is super durable shirt fabric?
jersey, polyester spandex, cotton, nylon, and many others.
What is the best fabric for shirts?
It depends on which shortcomings would you like to avoid, the best t shirt can be made of different materials.
Best fabric GSM for t shirts?
GSM stands for grams per square meter and is a standard measurement for fabric weight. Different fabrics have different GSM, for example, a cotton t shirt can have a GSM of between 160-180.
What is the best fabric for athletic wear?
Jersey or spandex would be excellent choices as they stretch and breathe well and hold up well to constant movement.
What is the most comfortable material for shirts?
I think the most comfortable material for shirts is cotton. Cotton feels light and airy, plus it’s easy to clean. That might sound obvious, but there are other materials that are amazing too! There are polyester spandex t-shirts that are also lightweight and stretchy. Plus, they don’t require much care since they’re machine washable.
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