Best Fabric For T-Shirt Printing – Tips From Pros

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( — May 20, 2019) — When it comes to T-shirt printing, there are plenty of factors to consider. Choosing the best fabric for T-shirt printing can be just as critical as creating a design. Choosing the wrong material can ruin the paint because not all fabrics are created equal. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the types of fabric.

Best Fabric For T Shirt Printing

Fabrics fall into three main types: natural, synthetic and a blend of the two. Each category of fabrics has different characteristics. Nonetheless, here are some of the most common fabrics used in t-shirts.


Cotton is a soft natural fiber. It is the most common fabric used to make t-shirts. It’s soft, affordable and breathable, which makes it suitable for everyday wear. Cotton comes in different types but one of the biggest drawbacks is that is shrinks after the first warm wash.


Linen is made from a flax plant and its textured weave makes it slightly rougher than cotton. It has a lightweight feel, it’s breathable and works well for summer because of its moisture-wicking properties and ability to dry quickly. The downside to linen T-shirts is they are easy to crease and often require careful ironing.


Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is used in a wide range of T-shirt fabrics. It’s breathable, making it a great choice for a lot of performance wear. The material doesn’t wrinkle easily, it’s quick drying, breathable, holds its shape well when washed and it’s durable. Polyester is a good choice for sportswear, but it’s not as comfortable as cotton or linen fabrics. 


This is a versatile fiber that has a very smooth feel to it. Its lightweight feel also makes it ideal for outdoor and athletic wear. One of its major downsides, however, is that it can wrinkle after repeated wears and doesn’t tend to last well over time.

Poly/Cotton Blends

This material usually comprises of a 50/50 mix of cotton and polyester, but ratios can still vary. The blend combines the best qualities of cotton and polyester into a soft and breathable material. It’s popular because it’s cheaper than 100% cotton. Poly/cotton blends also have a reputation for holding their shape and washing well.


Tri blends combine three fabrics, most typically cotton, rayon and polyester. The main advantage of this hybrid is that it can adopt some of the best qualities of other fabrics such as the lightweight feel of polyester and rayon and still retain the softness of cotton. Tri-blends offer a great balance between comfort, style and durability in T-shirts.

When choosing the best fabric for T-shirt printing, choose a material that best suits the person who will be wearing it. Some fabrics such as cotton will absorb inks well but that will also depend on factors such as the consistency of the fabric. The type of printing will also matter as some forms of printing will work well with different types of fabric. Ultimately, go with the best fabric for your T-shirt.