The Most Common Fabrics for T-shirts

The Most Common Fabrics for T-shirts

If you’re planning to open a custom T-shirt franchise, one of the most basic things you need to be familiar with is the materials of your products. As essential attires, T-shirts have a variety of purposes, with specific applications frequently requiring the use of particular materials. Because of this, customers tend to be very conscious about the fabric used for the shirts they buy. T-shirts can be made from different fabrics, but these are the most common:


This is perhaps one of the most commonly used materials for T-shirts because of how soft and comfortable it is. It readily absorbs moisture but dries quickly because of how breathable it is. This fabric is also relatively cheap, so shirts made from it also tend to be low-cost.

The problem with cotton is that it tends to shrink after being washed the first time. Cotton shirts also tend to wrinkle so they might need ironing before they can be used. If your custom shirts have printed designs, you might need to remind your customers not to iron the print itself as doing so will damage the design.


Like cotton, linen is made from plant fibers, specifically, flax. Although rougher than cotton, it is very lightweight and tends to dry easily, making it ideal for summertime apparel. Its simplicity is preferred by those who like their T-shirts uncomplicated and classic. On the downside, it wrinkles easily and is not as stretchy as cotton, so it might be less comfortable at times, too.


Blue T-shirt male front and back

This synthetic fabric is a combination of cotton, trees, and materials from woody plants. Shiny and smooth, it was originally intended to be a cheaper alternative for much more expensive silk. If your customers are looking for athletic wear, you can refer them to this material because of its minimal weight and tendency to absorb moisture with ease. On the downside, rayon doesn’t age well as repeated use may leave it wrinkly.


This synthetic fiber is the most popular choice for sports apparel because it is lightweight and quick-drying. Polyester also tends to keep its shape even after repeated use and does not require a lot of ironing. Unlike cotton, however, sweating will leave your skin wet because polyester tends not to soak up water. It’s also not as comfortable as either linen or cotton.

Poly/Cotton Blend

This is a hybrid made of cotton and polyester. Because it has the softness of cotton and the ability of polyester to keep its shape, this fabric has become very popular in recent years. The mix is usually a 50:50 ratio, but some combinations can go as far 65:35.


This material is a hybrid combination of three fabrics. These are usually cotton, rayon, and polyester. What makes it great is that it has all the good traits of its components: such as the softness of cotton, the lightness of rayon, and the resistance of polyester to wrinkling.

Each fabric has its own strength and weakness that you need to be familiar with so that you can offer the best advice should your customers ask for your opinion.

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