Which T-Shirt Fabric Should You Choose for Your Design?

Updated: Nov 3

Your choices are many, from cotton or polyester to various blends - what you need to know to make the best choice for your t-shirts.

You’ve worked hard to design your custom t-shirts, and now that you’ve finalized them all you’re faced with having to choose which fabric to use. This may seem overwhelming since you don’t even know what a tri-blend is. But this guide will explain the differences in detail, so that you can quickly determine which one would be the best.

Keep reading if you want to learn the basics before selecting the fabric you’ll use for your custom t-shirts. It’s important that you know how the various blends will affect the look and feel when the t-shirt is actually being worn.

Let’s get started!

100% Cotton

100% cotton can be a great choice for t-shirts. Aside from cotton being a very affordable option, colors come out very vivid when printed on cotton. There is no other t-shirt fabric that will show off colors as well as 100% cotton.


However, if you are looking for supreme softness, you won’t find that with 100% cotton. Even so, 100% cotton t-shirts do not have to be uncomfortable. But there is a difference in feel between a 100% cotton t-shirt and one made of a tri-blend.


It goes without saying that not all cotton t-shirts look or feel the same. You can notice the difference between t-shirt companies. For example, this one from Next Level can’t be beat, and if you are seeking a cost-effective option this one is very affordable and is one of the softest.


All cotton t-shirts have existed forever, so you are very likely familiar with how they look and feel. In fact, you probably have some you’ve been wearing for years. So, we may as well start discussing cotton/polyester blends.

See our T-Shirt Navigator

Cotton/Polyester T-shirt Blends

If you’re looking for a slightly softer t-shirt than one made of 100% cotton, then you may want to consider a cotton/polyester blend. Polyester is a synthetic fiber, which means that it’s made from a chemical process. Most polyester fabrics are more heat- and water-resistant than 100% cotton, as well as being more tear- and wrinkle-resistant. Also, polyester makes a t-shirt slightly stretchy, which makes it feel, and even fit a little better than an all-cotton t-shirt.


Polyesters are widely used to manufacture a lot of items we use in our daily lives, like containers, tarps, and toys. They’re also found in wood finishes, like the ones used on boats, pianos, and violins. Even tho