How to Choose the Best T-Shirt Material

T-shirts in a row


Cotton t-shirts are a classic and have been around as long as t-shirts have been around. They are a great choice because cotton is probably your least expensive fabric option and colors pop really well on a 100% cotton t-shirt. Cotton is also a very strong material while still remaining quite soft and comfortable to wear.

However as versatile as cotton is it has a few drawbacks. One, is cotton wrinkles easily. All of us have pulled a t-shirt from the drawer only to realize that we can’t just throw it on because it’s too wrinkled. Also, since cotton is a plant fiber, it has a tendency to shrink. However, this can be circumvented if you wash in cooler water and lay flat to dry.

Polyester and cotton blends

Starting off, in comparison with 100% cotton, cotton blend and polyester shirts are often more heat-resistant, water-resistant, and wrinkle- and tear-resistant than 100% cotton t-shirts. They also give the t-shirt a little more stretch.

Some people find polyester feels too synthetic and there are occasional issues with absorbing color on purely synthetic fabrics.


Tri-blends are a blend of three materials, cotton, polyester and rayon. They combine the best of all three fabrics, the softness of cotton, durability of polyester and breathability of rayon. Rayon is a manufactured fabric unlike cotton, but it isn’t considered completely synthetic because it is made from wood pulp. Rayon can feel like many different types of fabric and is very versatile. Tri-blend t-shirts are very comfortable.

When choosing a fabric for your custom printed T-shirt, you take into consideration what you will use the shirt for. Certain fabrics can look at feel better for physical activities like sports and exercise. Of course, it really comes down to personal preference and individual needs. There is no one and done option that will provide all the answers for price, comfort and durability.