Clothing 101- All T-Shirts Are Not Created Equally

Clothing 101- All T-shirts are not created equally


You would think that a purchase as simple as a t-shirt would be easy, but it isn’t. There are dozens and dozens of t-shirt options available at all levels of quality. While you might be tempted to think- a t-shirt is a t-shirt…that just isn’t so! In fact, until you understand all these differences, you won’t understand why there are such price variations.

Fabric Types: There are many different types of fabrics available for t-shirts the most common being 100% cotton, 50/50 cotton polyester, 100% polyester (athletic and moisture wicking styles). But there are also sub-categories of each of these with things like ring spun cotton, organic cottons, 50/50 shirts that have moisture wicking characteristics and now fabrics that are made from recycled materials…so this isn’t simple. Another consideration about fabric types is usage. Light weight fabrics might make perfect sense for a running event, but not be advisable for a work crew that might have a tendency to snag their clothing while working.

Fabric Weight: There are wide variety of fabric weights available, which is one of the main factors in cost of the garments. There are three common fabric weights categories: featherweight (typically 3.2-3.8 ozs) medium weight (4-5.5 ounces) and heavy weight (6 ounces and up). Different brands are going to offer weights than vary slightly, for instance a 6 oz vs. 6.1 oz. but these differences are generally not going to be noticed by a consumer. Another consideration about fabric weight is usage of the shirt. Light weight fabrics might make perfect sense for a running event give-away shirt but not be advisable for a work crew that might have a tendency to snag their clothing while working.

Garment styles: There are many styles of t-shirts offered in various categories such as youth and adult, mens and womens. Long sleeve, short sleeve, with or without pockets, neck style- crew, v-neck, scoop necks, burnout, solid colors, heather colors, stonewash, tri colors, T-back, racerback, slub, crop and more. Within these broader categories you need to take note of the style or cut of the garment to ensure it will be appropriate for your application. For instance in women’s styles there is junior and ladies cuts which are going to fit differently.

T-shirt brands: Buying a brand name item doesn’t necessarily mean it is better than a non-retail brand. But it can convey to the recipient of the garment a level value. There are many people who are brand conscious and want/like to have brand name merchandise. There are others that are just quality oriented and don’t care about a brand name, but more about the quality of the item they are purchasing. Catch Fire Marketing has all the great retail brands including: Nike, Adidas, UnderArmour, New Era, Next Level, Bella+Canvas, District, Adidas, Tultex, AllMade, Volunteer, Holloway, Gildan, Fruit of the Loom, Anvil, Hanes and another dozen or so other brands.

Decorating Implications: What type of garment you purchase can also effect decorating. For instance, polyester t-shirts can have issues with colors sublimating when printing and drying. Also, because of the elasticity of polyester garments, special inks should be used in the screen printing process. While embroidery on t-shirts isn’t super common, there can be issues due to fabric weight that should be considered as well.

We know that this is a lot to think about…but that is why when you need to make a purchase you should do business with a professional that can ask you questions to quickly help you find the right product based on your design and desired imprint method. Experience matters, even when buying something as basic as a t-shirt, which is why you will love working with our team at Catch Fire.

Catch Fire Marketing, located in the South Metro Denver area is just one of a handful of full service marketing companies that maintains a showroom with thousands of products on display and hundreds of clothing items for you to see firsthand. Our showroom is located at 6888 S Clinton Street, Ste 101, Greenwood Village, CO 80112.

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6888 S Clinton St #101
Greenwood Village, CO 80112

Office: 303.789.4663

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