What is the difference between the different compositions of the fabric of the T-shirts?

by in — Updated August 24, 2022

What is the difference between the different compositions of the fabric of the T-shirts? 15

You have decided to make a custom T-shirt, and you have already created the perfect design to put on it. When you visit an on-demand website such as printful.com/ca/custom-shirts, you will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of shirts on which your design will appear.

Some of these websites have so many different choices of shirts that you may be confused about which one you should select. There are a few things you should know about the composition of materials to make an informed decision. The first thing you should look for is the type of shirt material. The three most popular choices are 100% cotton, a combination of cotton and polyester, or all polyester.


A good amount of most people’s wardrobe consists of this comfortable natural fiber. Lightweight and soft to the touch, cotton feels great. However, not all fabrics made from cotton are equal.

The quality of the cotton is often determined by the length and thickness of the fibers. There are a few different types of this popular material.

Organic cotton, like organic food, is grown without pesticides or treated fertilizers. If you want to be politically correct and fashionable, this is the best kind of material to get.

Pima cotton is the priciest, but it is also the longest-lasting. It has long fibers that make it feel soft. Ringspun cotton is of a similar quality, When ringspun cotton is made, the fibers are lengthened by spinning and twisting them. This is considered to be the softest type of cotton.

photo of blue crew-neck tops

Combined cotton is created by getting rid of short strands of the fiber and combing the long strands straight. Its durability makes it the best material to use for a t-shirt.


Rayon is made from plants and cotton. It is often used as an alternative to silk. It has a silky quality, but it is not as expensive or delicate as silk.

In most cases, you will need to hand wash rayon. Some on-demand printing companies use a method of printing called direct to garment. The garment is held onto the printer, and dyes are sprayed right onto the fabric. Rayon absorbs color quite well, and your shirt will look good if you use it. You should know that rayon breaks down faster than cotton, and your shirt may not last as long.

woman wearing gray crew-neck t-shirt with jacket wrap around her waist standing on brown grass field during daytime


Polyester is most often used in athletic wear. When you sweat in a polyester shirt, it draws sweat and heat away from you and absorbs it into the clothes. This makes it a great option for a sports team or gym shirt, but it is not so great for a shirt you plan to wear for anything but athletic activities.

When it absorbs the sweat, it will also absorb the smell. It does not breathe at all, which can make you sweat more. This is great for the gym and not so great in a restaurant. If you are looking for a long-sleeved shirt for winter, polyester will keep you warmer than regular cotton.

black purple and yellow dog print crew neck shirt

Poly-cotton blends are much more breathable than regular polyester. They are softer than ordinary polyester and cost less than pure cotton.

Cotton vs. Synthetic Fibers

Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the cotton plant. Synthetic fibers are man-made fibers that are created from chemicals. There are many different types of synthetic fibers, but some of the most common ones include polyester, nylon, and acrylic.

smiling woman holding pink camera

When choosing between cotton and synthetic fibers, there are a few things to consider. One of the main things to think about is what you will be using the fabric for. If you need a strong and durable fabric, then synthetic fibers would probably be a better choice. However, if you need a soft and comfortable fabric, then cotton might be the better option.

Another thing to consider is how easy the fabric is to care for. Cotton is generally easy to care for, but synthetic fibers can sometimes be more difficult. Synthetic fibers also tend to hold onto stains more than cotton does.

Finally, you should think about the cost of the fabric. Cotton is usually less expensive than synthetic fibers, but it all depends on the type of fabric you are looking for. When it comes to cost, it is important to compare apples to apples. Make sure you are comparing similar types of fabrics before making a decision.

Both cotton and synthetic fibers have their benefits and drawbacks. It is important to choose the right fabric for your project based on your needs.

Weaves of the Fabric

The fabric weave is also important to consider when purchasing a shirt. The most popular weave is the plain weave. It is made by interlacing the warp and weft threads in a simple over-under pattern. The resulting fabric is strong and durable, but it can be stiff.

The twill weave is made by interlacing the warp and weft threads in a diagonal pattern. This creates a softer fabric that is less likely to wrinkle than a plain weave fabric. The basket weave is made by interlacing the warp and weft threads in a complex over-under pattern. This results in a sturdy fabric that has a lot of texture.

The Quality of the Fabric

You should consider the quality of the fabric when purchasing a shirt. The three most popular materials are 100% cotton, a blend of cotton and polyester, or all polyester. Cotton is often considered the best choice because it is soft, breathable, and durable.

man wearing red and black striped ringer shirt

However, it can shrink if it is not laundered properly. Polyester is less likely to shrink than cotton, but it is not as breathable. It is also more likely to pill than cotton. Pilling is when the fabric forms small balls on the surface. A blend of cotton and polyester is often the best choice because it combines the benefits of both fabrics.

Having a t-shirt or two that you design yourself is a great way to express yourself. If you use the right fabric, your shirt will look great and last a long time.


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