What are the best t-shirt fabrics for printing? - DFW Impression

What are the best t-shirt fabrics for printing?

The Best T-shirt fabrics for printing

The modest tee is the standout front-runner among all of these growing apparel products, with the global market for customized T-shirts printing. However, to achieve the greatest print finish and long-lasting quality, you must consider the cloth you'll be printing on and the question that lingers is what are the best t-shirt fabrics for printing?

In this time and age, the fashion and apparel market is booming. To set oneself apart, the most crucial factor is the design. The design of the clothes we wear makes us stand apart. When it comes to a t-shirt, print on demand offers a variety of options. It's difficult to decide which things to buy. Keeping that very thing in mind, this post is prepared for you as the guide to decide which is the best t-shirt material option to print on.

Before you get right into the topic, let us walk you briefly through the introduction to the types of fabric.


Polyester sublimation

Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate) is made by combining petroleum, air, and water in a chemical reaction. Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and monotheluene glycol are used to make this synthetic fiber (MEG).

Polyester is thermoplastic, meaning it can be melted and reformed. Polyester is made by melting polyester pellets and pushing them through small pores by chemists (spinnerets). On the spinnerets' exit side, the continuous filaments of polyester fibers harden. The size and shape of the hole determine the fibers' shape and diameter. Because the fibers are comprised of solid polymer, there are no empty spaces within.

To manufacture staple fibers for use in textiles and Nonwovens, these continuous filaments, known as "tow," can be cut to any length (no length distribution, all fibers are produced to be perfectly homogeneous), or they can be left as a continuous monofilament, akin to fishing line.

It's long-lasting, quick-drying, and extremely robust while remaining lightweight. In fast fashion, it has become a popular fabric. It is currently considered to be the best tshirt fabric for printing.

Sublimation printing, as opposed to direct to garment (DTG) printing, is excellent for polyester t-shirts. For most t-shirts, we prefer DTG since it provides the most exact print for your design. However, if you want an overall print, sublimation printing is the way to go.

If you're looking for a t-shirt with a custom printed design, we have a wide range of selections available at DFW Impressions. Lets now read on to next fabric for printing.


Cotton is made from soft vegetable fibers spun into yarn and stitched into the fabric for t-shirt components. The more cotton used in DTG printing, the more vivid the print will be. Natural fiber fabrics, like this one, are great for printing and will last longer in the wash than synthetics.

Cotton, on the other hand, is not uniform around the world. Regular cotton is the industry standard, but it can also be ring-spun and combed for a softer, more durable product.

Types of Cotton

Cotton fabric for tshirts

  • Combed cotton is made by removing short strands and then straightening the fibers with tiny brushes. The cloth becomes softer, smoother, and stronger as a result. It makes for superior printing material.
  • Organic cotton is a popular choice since it is softer, more comfortable, and more environmentally friendly. It costs more than ordinary cotton, as it is cultivated without the use of numerous fertilizers or pesticides.
  • Pima cotton is recognized for being the best quality cotton money can buy, with exceptionally long strands that assure the t-shirt fabric's softness. Pima cotton is a long-lasting fabric that doesn't pill, fade, or stretch. Supima cotton is similar to Pima cotton, except it is cultivated only in the United States.
  • Slub cotton is a kind of cotton that has little lumps in it. This is created before the cotton is weaved by twisting the cotton into random twists. Slub cotton is a one-of-a-kind fabric that is light and airy and does not adhere to the body. It's also naturally textured, so there's no need to iron it.
  • Ring-spun Cotton is a higher-quality fabric that is excellent for producing high-end print-on-demand t-shirts. When cotton is ringspun, the fibers are twisted more tightly and thinned during the spinning process. As a result, the yarn is more durable and comfortable to wear. It also creates a smooth surface that enhances print quality.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="331"]100% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, 32 single 4.2 oz. Sideseamed. Retail fit. Unisex sizing. Shoulder taping by himalayantshirts.com[/caption]
  • Airlume Cotton: You might see the term 'airlume' cotton in the Bella+Canvas descriptions and ask what it means. According to the manufacturer, it's "the highest grade combed and ring-spun cotton." It's clean cotton that removes 2.5x more impurities than regular ringspun cotton thanks to an intense combing process.

Triblends, best fabrics for printing on t-shirts

A triblend fabric is, as the name implies, a combination of three different fabric kinds. Triblends are generally made up of 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon. They're incredibly soft, a little more stretchy, and frequently have a vintage appearance. Although cotton is preferred for direct-to-garment t-shirt printing, a good-quality triblend t-shirt can also be used, particularly when a more cost-effective printing foundation is desired.

Tri-blends, in general, lend themselves well to faded, vintage-style prints.

When using water-based or discharge ink, the ink literally replaces the color of the cotton in the cloth with the color of the ink. However, because the ink's discharge agent only takes the color from the cotton, you'll be able to see some natural heathering in tri-blend shirts. Triblends are ultimately considered the best t-shirt fabrics for printing.

How printing looks in different fabric materials

  1. 100% supersoft Cotton
  2. supersoft polyester+ cotton blend
  3. dark triblend
  4. light triblend

How to print effectively on different fabrics?

Tips to print effectively onto different fabrics.

Our top recommendations of Best T-shirt Fabrics for printing

T-shirt blank Fabric composition Fabric weight Construction Price *
Bella+Canvas 3413 50% poly, 25% airlume combed and ringspun cotton, 25% rayon 40 single 3.8oz Side-seamed  Starting From $10.00(approx £7.80)
Anvil 980 100% ringspun cotton 30 single, 4.5oz Tubular  Starting From $10.05(approx £7.84)
Gildan 64000 100% ringspun cotton 30 single, 4.5oz Tubular Starting From $10.90(approx £8.50)
Next Level 6410 Premium Fitted Sueded Fabric laundered 60/40 combed cotton/poly sueded 4.87oz Side-seamed Starting From $8.90(approx £6.94)
Bella+Canvas 3001 100% airlume combed and ringspun cotton 32 singles, 4.20z Side-seamed Starting From $8.07(approx £6.29)

Bella+ Canvas 3413

Bella+Canvas 3413 is a triblend of 50% poly, 25% rayon, and 25% airlume-combed and ring-spun cotton. This cloth is really comfy and soft. It has a single count of 40, which is rather high. This results in a smooth surface, ideal for direct-to-garment printing.
The fit of this shirt is current and modern. It has a fantastic unisex loose fit and would make a terrific fashion tee. It's inexpensive without sacrificing quality or comfort.

Anvil 980

This shirt is neatly sewn and looks good on an athletic body type. It is made of soft ringspun cotton that is firmly woven together and long-lasting.

This shirt has a nice balance of loose and form-fitting, with a little thicker weave than the American Apparel shirt. Because of its soft-touch texture, Anvil is ideal for screen printing inks.

Gildan 64000

The Gildan 64000 is a silky and lightweight t-shirt at an inexpensive price. It's a little longer in length and has a looser fit. For companies looking to maximize their profit margins, the Gildan provides a superb low-cost t-shirt.

Next Level 6410 Premium 

The Next Level Fitted Sueded is a Fabric Washed 60/40 combed cotton/poly sueded jersey with a very soft touch and a sportier, cooler appearance than normal velvet.

Next Level is recognized for manufacturing high-quality t-shirts in cutting-edge styles for both men and women.

Bella+Canvas 3001

It's one of the most readily available blank canvas tees. It's the ultimate balance of affordability, comfort, quality, and fit. This modern shirt includes a crew neck and side-seam construction for additional durability. It has a very soft feel and a smooth surface, which makes it perfect for direct-to-garment printing. It's constructed of high-quality airlume-combed and ring-spun cotton.

Best T-shirt Fabrics for printing- by sublimation

Some of you may be aware of this, while others may be unaware, so let us put the record straight. SUBLIMATION AND COTTON DO NOT GO TOGETHER!

The availability of certain pre-treatments and transfer sheets for Sublimation on cotton is known to us, and we are aware of This. However, the problem with this is that in addition to the cost of clothes and equipment, these treatments often come with A hefty extra price tag.

So, while you are here, read on. You might as well find more about what t-shirts are best for the Sublimation Printing.

With this knowledge in hand, you can now choose the correct blend of polyester shirts for Sublimation projects that will yield the greatest results.

Quick tip

Despite the fact that sublimation allows for very vivid and strong graphics, achieving a faded or vintage effect may be difficult.

Use a shirt with a lower percentage of polyester in this situation. Since the greatest quantity of ink is absorbed and preserved, you cannot create authentically faded images on a shirt made of 100 percent polyester. Vibrant and strong designs are usually expected.

Here go our 2 cents into the best-suited t-shirts for sublimation printing.

A4 N3402

A43402, A4 sublimation performance Tee is the best and most popular t-shirt for Sublimation. Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and Puma make it their top-selling sublimation t-shirt in the United States.

In addition to providing all of the typical benefits of a 100 percent poly shirt, the A4 Sublimation Performance Tee will also deliver increased breathability, softness, and perspiration protection, all at an unbelievable price.

Team 365 TT11

With the soft cotton feel of cotton, this shirt is made of 100 percent polyester.  It is an economic alternative to many other polyester T-shirts or blends. Additionally, the t-shirt is available in women's and youth-sized (TT11W, TT11Y), as well as long-sleeve (TT11L, TT11WL) sizes.


The N3142 from A4 is perfect for wearers who prefer that silky dry-fit feel on a t-shirt. It has moisture-wicking properties as well as odor and stain resistance so consider it a great t-shirt for a activewear. If you’re looking for a soft cotton feel then this is not the way to go.

Next Level 6200

T-Shirts of this caliber are rare in the t-shirt market. For optimum softness and comfort, the fabric's 40 single count is unheard of in its fineness and delicacy. If you're searching for a high-polyester shirt that has a soft cotton feel, the 6200 will provide.

While its shirt is 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, it has one the colors won't be as vibrant as on a sublimated shirt. You might want to use this for old or purposely faded graphics, for example.

 Wrapping up, 

With this article, we hope we have given you the tips and guidance on what to look for when it comes to custom printing t-shirt blanks. You will be happily making good prints with our guide for the best t-shirt fabrics for printing.

What you want to pay attention to are the fabric material, the fabric composition, and the singles count of the fabric. We've given you a quick overview of some of the top print solutions available today, but our product catalog has a lot more to offer.

Check out more custom-printed t-shirts here.

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