Choosing A Cotton Tee


Choosing the right t-shirt can affect the look and feel of your custom order. In this blog, we will be going over the various type of cotton fabrics available for printing.

Not all cotton fabrics are the same.

There are some differences to keep in mind with ordering custom apparel. Simply ordering any standard tee may not meet your expectation when you receive your order. As a screen printer/apparel decorator, it is our job to inform the customer of the best options for their budget.

Cotton fabrics have their advantages when compared to synthetic fabrics and blends. Cotton is a natural fabric known for it’s softness, breathability and comfort. We won’t go into great detail on the manufacturing process but instead give you highlights of each fabric type.

Pre-Shrunk Cotton
A predecessor to the old “standard cotton” tee. During the manufacturing process, extra steps are made to create this type of cotton tee, which typically provides minimal shrinkage from wash/dry cycles. Each brand is different and the amount of shrinkage may vary. This is the new “standard” tee in the industry and is generally on the lower price end when compared to other options.

Combed Cotton
During the manufacturing process, preshrunk cotton undergoes additional steps to brush and comb the cotton fabric while removing any impurities/imperfections in the process. This produces is a softer cotton tee compared to a standard pre-shrunk version.

Ringspun Cotton
The yarn fabrics are twisted tightly making them even stronger while eliminating any imperfections, short fibers or frays during the manufacturing progress. Some ring-spun cotton fabrics are twisted with combed cotton, depending on the brand which creates an ultra soft durable tee.

Pima Cotton
This type of cotton tee is typically priced at the higher end of fabric options. During the manufacturing process, extra steps are taken to crate this luxurious, ultra soft t-shirt.

Jersey Knit
We are placing this at the end as this fabric type is in it’s own class. It offers a comfortable, soft feel with stretchiness in the fabric, available typically in a lighter weight tee. Jersey tees can be made of 100% cotton and/or synthetic fabrics/yarns.

These are generally the types of cotton tees you will see when ordering. If cotton t-shirts are your choice, there are many styles and options available. Keep in mind, cotton fabrics are best washed in cold/warm water and line dry in order to keep fading and shrinkage to a minimum.