Choosing the Right Material for Your Custom Tees

T-shirts come in different materials from linen to cotton and rayon and polyester. While the focus is usually on the type of printing you want to do, it is equally important to take time and check out the materials you prefer for your tees. Whether screen printing, digital printing, or sublimation printing will be good for your tees depend significantly on the material at hand.

As expected, materials differ in longevity, texture, cost, shrinkage, weight, and many more factors. Your selection of tee material will dramatically affect how people view your t-shirt and the likelihood of them wearing it. Below are some of the materials you may want to browse through.


Due to the fact that cotton is breathable, soft, natural, and affordable, it has become a classic choice for many people seeking to print t-shirts. If you have been keen on materials and variations, you will realize that cotton comes in different types including combed cotton, organic cotton, and pima and supima.

Combed cotton has brushed, straightened fibers which makes it softer and smoother. On the other hand, organic cotton is soft and made from cotton grown using less fertilizer. Pima and supima refers to high-quality cottons that have fibers that are extra-long and which resist stretching and pilling. In order to counter the two main flaws of cotton: shrinking and wrinkling, ensure you wash your tees in moderate temperature or alternatively buy pre-shrunk cotton tees.


Many t-shirt printing companies in Birmingham such as use linen because of its slightly rough texture and ability to keep the wearer cool. The reason linen is used in manufacturing t-shirts is because during summer time, it wicks away moisture. Just like cotton, linen loves to wrinkle and thus you need to iron your tee frequently.


This is alternatively known as spandex. Most athletic wear is made of lycra because of the flexibility of the material. It gives room for your body to move with ease during workouts. It is very rare to see t-shirts made of 100% lycra, but mostly you will see a small percentage of this material added so as to give t-shirts and other garments stretchability and flexibility.


In terms of breathability, polyester is nowhere close to cotton. However, its usage in t-shirt printing is mainly because of its ability to maintain shape. With linen and cotton shrinking, polyester doesn’t have that characteristic. It is also strong and dries quickly thus making it an excellent choice if you are looking for athletic wear.


This is a manmade tee material done from trees, cotton, and woody plants. Because of its soft, silky texture, it appeals to anyone seeking a comfortable t-shirt. The only downside to rayon is that it doesn’t possess the strength to counter the abuse of repeated wear. Overtime, it becomes pilly and wrinkled.

T-shirt manufacturers have studied the strengths and weaknesses of each of the materials and instead of siding with one and throwing out the others, they have done blends that combine the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. That said, the combination between cotton and polyester is one of the commonest types in t-shirts.