A t-shirt is a t-shirt, right? Well, yes and no. Years ago that was true. But today there are subtle differences between t-shirts that make them very different. Different in how they feel, how they look, how they hold up to day-to-day wearing and laundering and how well they embroider with your logo.
Here, we will help define popular terms used in t-shirt descriptions and offer explanations to better clarify the murky technical talk.
From the cotton used, the make-up of the yarn and the density of the knit, these construction details give clues to the characteristics of the shirt.
Nearly all t-shirts are constructed of two materials, cotton and polyester. For years, the 100% cotton t-shirt dominated the marketplace for t-shirts. Cotton is a great material for a t-shirt. It is a natural fiber, it’s soft, it drapes well on the body and it is durable.
But there are advantages to polyester t-shirts or even cotton/poly blended shirts. Polyester material is more color-fast so colors won’t fade over time like they will with 100% cotton. In addition, polyester reduces any shrinkage that may occur.
In many descriptions, this is usually the first number you read. It represents the weight of a square yard of the material. Most popular t-shirt material is a 6.1 oz. material. But lighter weight materials are becoming very popular in the marketing today. It is not uncommon to see a 5.5 or even a 5.0 oz. material used to make a t-shirt.
One common mistake customers make is reading too much into this number. We as Americans have been trained to think a heavier material is a better, longer lasting, higher quality material. That is not always true. It represents the weight of the material and little more.
In the case of t-shirts, the measure of ounces can also represent the softness of the material. In general, the lighter the weight, the softer it is likely to be.
The term “singles” is essentially a measure of a yarn’s thickness. In this case, the number works conversely to determine the yarn’s “hand” or feel or softness. In very simple terms, the higher the singles number, the softer the feel of the t-shirt.
Many of the most common t-shirts sold on the market today have 18 singles. But there are some fashion t-shirts that are 30 singles, which means they are very soft.
It is no longer true that “a t-shirt is just a t-shirt”. They have grown beyond the rebel days of the 1950’s into a fashion staple today.
Here are some of our favorites, click on the picture for your information.