I want all my customers to be educated consumers so I don’t want you to simply click and buy a shirt. When it comes to t-shirts, there are 5 distinguishable tiers when it comes to quality. Those tiers are based on the type of material used and how the shirts print and last over time.
I want you to go with the best quality shirt that you budget affords as I can promise you, you will prefer to wear a shirt that fits well, feels soft and will last a very long time. And who wouldn’t want me to be with them forever?
The first most affordable option in t-shirts are “Preshrunk” or “Open Cotton” shirts. The type of cotton used in these shirts is just one step above raw cotton, so it cannot be woven as fine or as soft as most people prefer. These are what are called “Heavyweight” t’s and the typical weights for a t-shirt in this category are 5.0 – 6.5 ounces each. Common brands/models you would see for this type of shirt would be Gildan 2000 and 5000, Hanes Tagless and Beefy T and Jerzees 29.
The second tier is a much better quality shirt and is made from what is called “Ringspun Cotton.” These shirts are lighter weight, have stronger fibers and less impurities because they are made with a higher grade of cotton. Also referred to as combed ringspun cotton, this material creates a tighter weave and softer feel for a shirt. Common brands we regularly use in this category include Next Level 3600, Bella+Canvas 3001 and American Apparel 2001’s which are American Made, Go USA. These brands are considered fashion forward in cut and feel. You can’t go wrong with a Ringspun Cotton shirt.
A third, lateral kind of tier based on what you personally prefer is a shirt made of synthetic substances such as 100% Polyester or a blend of Polyester and other synthetics. These shirts are great at keeping you cool and are often sold as being able to wick moisture away or even as “High Performance Shirts.
Perhaps a better related option for people is the fourth tier which combines a high quality ringspun cotton with polyester. Some common blend ratios are 50/50, 60/40 and 65/35. Blending the two fabrics has the advantage of increasing the strength, decreasing weight, and adding considerable softness. Although not a moisture wicking shirt, these blends do reduce sweating and show fewer stains. Common brands I print in this tier would be the American Apparel BB401 (50/50), the Next Level Cotton/Poly 6200 (65/35) and the Bella+Canvas 3650 (52/48).
The final tier is a universally loved Tri-blend shirt which combines ringspun cotton, polyester and rayon. This is my personal favorite shirt since it is made of a quality blend of fabrics that looks fantastic forever. Great shirt options I use for printing in this category are American Apparel’s TR401, which they call the Track Tee, Bella+Canvas 3413 and Next Level 6010.
All my shirts are printed by the Brother Gt-782 which is the latest, greatest in professional direct to garment printers. This printer prints a white “under-base” for the ink to sit on, which allows for bright vibrant color displays even on dark shirts.
If you need advice on what shirt would be best for you, I am always happy to help you find the perfect match. http://www.badassfashionpartners.com