T-Shirt Fabric Guide: What Is the Best Fabric for T-Shirts?

Who doesn’t love to wear t-shirts? T-shirts are the most comfortable piece of clothing that can be styled in various ways. Whether you buy plain or printed tees fabric is the most important component of any tee. Of course, selecting the right fabric may become challenging at times. While buying tees there are lots of factors that you may consider like style fit, price, colour, etc. Among all other factors, the fabric is the most important one. Moreover, the fabric of the t-shirt directly impacts the price too. This is a T-shirt Fabric guide that will take you on a tour of different types of fabric and the ways you can select the best one. Continue reading to know more. 

Types of Fabrics for T-shirts

It’s likely that you have heard that the most common fabric material used in a t-shirt is cotton. Whereas polyester, rayon, and some other materials also take up the race. The majority of t-shirts available are made using these common fabric materials. However, each one of them is different from the other and have some special characteristics that make them unique and special. Let’s check out each one of the fabric types in detail: 


One of the popular and widely used fabric materials is cotton. It’s breathable, absorbent, and most importantly cheaper than others. Although it is one of the well-known materials, it is quite complex to understand cotton material in terms of quality. You may face difficulty in understanding the quality especially when it is about t-shirts. The type of quality you want completely depends on your personal preference. Check out the varieties of cotton:

  • 100% cotton: Carded open-end cotton means 100% cotton which is usually abbreviated as COE. Only if COE is mentioned in the tag of the t-shirt that would imply 100% pure cotton. In case only cotton is mentioned then that could mean any type of cotton. The best thing is that it is hypoallergenic, which means it won’t irritate even sensitive skin. So, if you want the best quality then this t-shirt fabric material is what you should opt for.  
  • Ring-spun cotton: The cotton that is obtained by using traditional methods by drawing out cotton bundles and then twisting them around a spindle is known as ring-spun cotton. Due to this spinning, the alignment and binding of the fibres are done in the proper way that results in noticeably softer and smoother t-shirt fabrics than 100% COE. If you are looking for a super soft t-shirt that feels like a feather against your skiing then choose this variant of cotton.  
  • Combed and ring-spun cotton: We’ve already discussed ring-spun cotton. When the ring-spun cotton is further brushed and combed then it aligns and straightens the cotton fibres. If this technique is not followed then the short fibres tend to stick out of the yarn. Hence, it can be easily concluded that this fabric is softer and smoother and will make feel comfortable when used in t-shirts.


Another popular fabric material for t-shirts is polyester. This is completely opposite to the cotton fabric. The fabric material that is spun from plastic fibres and then further treated to create a durable and soft yarn is known as polyester. For manufacturing, this fabric’s molten plastic is extruded through a showerhead-like plate. In this process, long, extremely fine fibres are created which are further spun together before they are heated and stretched. This ultimately creates soft and flexible fibres just like natural ones. The biggest advantage of using this material in t-shirt is that they are durable, abrasion resistant, and less prone to wrinkling. 

Recycled Polyester

The best thing about polyester fabric is that it can be recycled. At times polyester is obtained from commonly available plastic known as polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. These types of plastics are used in common plastic goods like plastic bottles, containers, and lots of other day-to-day things. By processing plastic bottles and turning them into small chips the recycled fabric is manufactured. In recent times, it is gaining popularity as an environmentally friendly option. So, you can opt for recycled polyester t-shirts as they are not only super soft and comfortable but environment friendly too. 


Although cotton is the natural fibre and favourite fabric material for t-shirts, polyester t shirts are also becoming popular among the younger generation. The third most popular fabric material that is acquiring a place in the list is Rayon. It has a special set of characteristics that makes it different from other materials. As it is made from the cellulose obtained from wood or bamboo pulp so this fabric material is soft, shiny, and breathable. Commonly it is also known as viscose.

What are other types of t-shirt fabric material?

To date, we’ve discussed the core fabric materials like cotton, polyester, and rayon. If you look at the tags of the t-shirts then you will find that there are many more names written on the tags. That’s because two or more core fabric materials are mixed together to create a blended fabric. Some of the common categories of blends are popularly used to manufacture t-shirts as people are moving towards softer and modern t-shirt styles. Here is the list of fabric blends that are commonly used in t-shirts:

  • Cotton Poly and CVC: The most common blend is the combination of cotton and polyester which is commonly known as cotton poly. In this blend, the qualities of breathability are obtained from cotton softness, and wrinkle resistance and stretch are obtained from polyester. The poly-cotton t-shirts fall in the range of ring-spun cotton in terms of quality and price. These t-shirts are more economically priced. 
  • Linen: The fabric material that is made from the fibres obtained from the flax plant. Before it is used for manufacturing t-shirts it undergoes lots of processes. Linen fabric is strong and resilient so they are considered suitable for many occasions. However, one of the biggest disadvantages is that this t-shirt fabric is not resistant to perspiration and tends to hold onto the odour. Moreover, it becomes transparent in just a few washes. 
  • Rayon: The regenerated cellulose fibres are used for manufacturing Rayon. These fibres are obtained from wood pulp. The best thing about this t-shirt material is that it is soft, silky, absorbent, and lightweight. That’s why it imparts an elegant look when you style these t-shirts. Besides that, it can also be blended with synthetic fabrics like modal that imparts stretchability and elasticity.
  • Lycra: Another blend of fabric that is known for its elasticity. Before using it as a t-shirt, it also undergoes a number of processes. Even after multiple washes, Lycra fabric doesn’t lose its elasticity. Besides that, it offers protection against UV rays so you can use these types of t-shirts for beachwear. However, at times some may feel uncomfortable in Lycra t-shirts as it has a tendency to retain heat and moisture. 
  • Viscose: Just like rayon, viscose is also a fabric material that is obtained from cellulose fibres. It has excellent draping qualities as it is made of regenerated cellulose fibres. The best thing about this material is that it can be of various weights, colours, and textures. Most importantly it can be blended with polyester and it will acquire the characteristics of polyester and will become poly viscose. These types of t-shirt materials are super soft and comfortable to wear in all seasons. 
  • Bamboo: This fabric material is o0 in a similar process to that of cotton. The only difference is that it is obtained from bamboo instead of cotton. As it is produced from renewable sources, it is considered more environmentally friendly. However, be it bamboo or cotton t-shirts it is more expensive than other types of t-shirts.
  • Jersey: Usually jersey is made of cotton or wool or any other type of fibres that is further spun into yarns. The common types of fabrics that are considered jersey are teddy wool, polar fleece, terry cloth, etc, All these types are made from synthetic materials. Jersey cloth t-shirts are stretchy and breathable and hence it is a good option as athletic wear. 

Through this guide, we’ve gone through a number of t-shirt fabric options. Each one has its distinctive characteristics. For a specific point in time, one may be useful while at another time another may be useful. While selecting the fabric for your t-shirt, you must check out your budget and requirements. Apart from that, consider the occasion for which you are buying it. Hence, get hold of the right fabric t-shirt and style it comfortably. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which type of cotton fabric t-shirts are considered the best?

A. Combed and ring-spun cotton fabric t-shirts are considered the best.

2. What is a recycled polyester fabric t-shirt?

A. The t-shirts are made from recycled polyester fabrics; that is the fabric obtained by recycling PET plastics. 

3. Which type of t-shirt fabric is suitable for athletes?

A. Jersey cloth t-shirt is suitable for athletes.

4. For exercising, which t-shirt fabric is perfect?

A. Merino wool t-shirt is perfect for exercising as this fabric material balances the heat and the moisture.

5. What are the characteristics of popcorn fabric t-shirts?

A. Popcorn fabric t-shirts are made from stretch polyesters that are puckered like tiny, squished pyramids. 

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Hiscraves is a fashion brand with exclusive expertise in the world of style and trends. With our deep passion for fashion, we tend to explore and celebrate the ever-evolving industry through our blogs. Our captivating blogs effortlessly merge the realms of art, culture, and fashion inspiring our readers to embrace the sense of style in a unique way.

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