What kind of shirts wont shrink? What type of material will allow my body to breathe? Which is the softest material?These are all questions that come about when deciding what type of t-shirts to order. There are plenty of different t-shirts out on the market – some made of cotton and others of polyester, but which is the best? This really all depends on the purpose of the shirts.
If the shirts would be used for promotional purposes, chances are you would want to give them the cheapest shirts possible. This way your still able to get your message across with spending the least amount of money as possible. For a promotional job I would suggest using 100% Cotton 5-6 oz t-shirts, something like the Delta 11730 or Gildan 5000. These shirts are affordable in price, come in various sizes and somewhat long lasting. The downside with these shirts is how much they shrink when put through wash cycles. But then again what the heck, these shirts will most probably be worn once and then used as Pajamas.
Another common used t-shirt material would be a 50/50 blend, that is 50% cotton and 50% polyester. These types of shirts are generally ordered by sports organizations and contractors because the fabric allows the body to breathe. The upside of these shirts is that they shrink less than the cotton tees – since they are made of up 50% synthetic material (polyester), they tend to shrink less than the basic t-shirts. Some sports teams and organizations even go for 100% Polyester moisture wicking shirts, which keep the body cool and absorb the persons sweat.
Finally, a little bit more expensive and my personal favorite fabric, is the Triblend material. This is made up of 3 materials – cotton, polyester and rayon, hence the name TRI blend. Most of these feel silk smooth on the body, I suppose this is due to the rayon material and the combed finish. These are a bit trickier to print, since each of the material has a different burning temperature and ink curing temperature. In order to print the printer needs to find a “sweet spot” where the ink cures, but the garments don’t burn. Another thing to mention is the garments most often look heather, this is the old vintage look that you see on shirts.
Deciding on which fabric should be pretty simple, but your local screen printer should always be able to point you in the right direction and make suggestions for you.