Mar 6, 2021
The quintessential canvas for branded messages and graphics, T-shirts are a promo must. Who doesn’t have a closet full of slogans and logos? But just because they’re ubiquitous doesn’t mean all tees are the same.
Build a Better T-Shirt
Here’s a round-up of popular shirt constructions and a few decoration tips:
Garment-dyed: Garment dying is achieved by adding dye to clothing after it’s cut and sewn, creating a soft and comfortable feel. This type of tee often has a vintage, weathered look. Try a distressed screen print to play up the vintage look of the garment dye.
Tri-blend: Made of three different types of fabric – typically cotton, polyester and rayon – these tees are super-soft and are less likely to shrink in the wash. But they can’t be decorated exactly like a regular cotton tee. Due to the synthetic fabric content, be wary of dye migration during decoration. Also, consider using a water-based ink rather than traditional plastisol to retain the soft hand feel.
Combed, ringspun cotton: This refers to when the cotton fibers are spun, then combed to remove impurities and enhance the feel of a fabric. Screen printing is typically the first choice for this type of tee, but if your looking for lots of colors and low quantities, direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a strong choice for imprints on ringspun tees.
Performance: These shirts are typically made with polyester and have moisture-wicking, SPF and other technical features. Dye sublimation works well for synthetic materials, but no matter what decoration technique is used, be sure to test these heat-sensitive fabrics to avoid no-no’s like dye migration and scorching.