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Tips on buying tshirt for Printing

If you have ever been tasked to buy t-shirt for yourself or an event organized by your club / society / company, fabric is a puzzle that you are bound to have come across. It is the intent of this post to educate buyers on how to make an informed decision while buying t-shirts In my experience and interactions with over 1000+ buyers across India it is certain that most buyers understand fabric on a binary scale of good or bad. Good seems to represent the highest GSM (grams per square meter) quoted at the lowest price. Comparisons are drawn on GSM where manufacturers / traders have used industry jargons to create an impression of quality linked with GSM. In reality, it’s far from truth.

What is GSM?

GSM is measurement of the density of a fabric. Simply put it represents the thickness of your fabric. Intended use of your t-shirt should drive your choice of GSM. Promotional Ts, fest Ts can be done really well with 160-180 GSM fabric, whereas collard Ts typically fair better at 180-200GSM. By no means, fabric with higher GSM is to be considered better quality. Quality is a function of the cotton used, type of knit, and whether it is 100% cotton or mixed with polyester (aka Polycotton). Quality is also subjective, fabric considered really good for hot and humid climate might not hold same for cooler climates.

There are various traits to look for while selecting good fabric:

    Type of Yarn / Thread – This represents the fineness of the thread used to make your fabric. Typically Ts are made with 20 to 30 count threads. Generally higher the number, higher is the fineness and hence tighter weave, softer and thinner the end product.
  • Combing – Extra lint and fiber is removed via this method. Several techniques are used to get either combed cotton, brushed cotton, etc.
  • Wash – Fabrics are washed and treated prior to use to avoid shrinking and increase comfort / durability. Various washing methods include enzyme wash (most common for Ts), Stone wash, Ice Wash, etc.
  • Spun – This is how the yarn is spun into fabric. Methods include ring spun and open spun. Ring spun develops softer, uniform, and strong fabric.

    • Types of Fabric Below are the types of fabric to consider depending on your event, use and weather conditions:
  • Single Jersey – Most commonly used for round neck t-shirts. It is typically 100% cotton with varying GSM. Collard Ts can also be made in the style of rugby Ts.
  • Pique – Matted fabric typically used for Collard t-shirts (Polos). This gives a formal classy look although some people might not like the feel, which is not as soft n smooth as the single jersey.
  • Lycra – Mixture of little bit polyester with cotton gives a very attractive Lycra product. Its stretch feel wraps the garment around your body for comfort.
  • Performance aka Dry Fit – Polyester fabric picking up a lot of attention among sports team. Best feature is its ability to absorb the sweat off your body to give extra comfort while in action.
  • Hope the insights above will allow you to make a better buying decision.