How to choose the best fabrics for printing

It has a great design and you're about to press the button to start producing that print. But wait a minute because the best T-shirt printing projects take into account much more than just the artwork. One of them is the garment that will carry your logo or graphic.

With that in mind, we've put together some information on printing fabrics with a special look at T-shirt fabric. The truth is that the material makes a big difference when it comes to top quality screen printed T-shirts. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the favorite fabrics for custom printing.

The best fabrics for printing on T-shirts.

There are several considerations to be made when it comes to wholesale customized T-shirts. And the material to be printed is fundamental. Therefore, the t-shirt chosen by customers for personalization will always determine what we can do - the best fabric for your printed t-shirts depends on how they will be worn. We can tell you which one we think prints better and lasts longer. But your market and purpose, business plan and budget should ultimately inform your decision about ordering customized goods. Right, let's look at the fabrics.

Printing on cotton fabrics.

T-shirts made of cotton are by far the most popular for printing. Not surprisingly, it is a fabric that has existed since time immemorial and is still the most commonly produced. And it has a variety of attractive properties. No less important are those listed here:

  • Soft on the skin.
  • Ecologically friendly, as it is biodegradable.
  • Breathable.
  • Absorbent for ink.
  • Long-lasting, especially with top quality cotton.

A great advantage of cotton is that it is a natural fabric. That said, there are also several other types of natural fibers that can be printed. For example, linen and silk. However, there are few blanks available in these materials. Needless to say, cotton is the basis for many other customizable garments, such as sweatshirts, long-sleeved T-shirts, polos, sweatpants and much more.

Organic Cotton.

Something we need to mention is organic cotton. After all, decorating clothes made from this material is one of our specialties. And we like it for several reasons. Of course, the most important thing in our minds is the fact that it is the most environmentally sustainable form of material. But organic cultivation also results in a fabric that is more pleasant to wear and is good when you put it through screen printing. In short, if you can't beat cotton for printing fabrics, then organic is the best form of it.

Polyester fabrics for printing.

Now, polyester has been around since the middle of the last century. And it became another popular T-shirt fabric in the subsequent period. Especially with clothes made for sports and activities. Purely as a textile, polyester clearly has some positive characteristics:

  • Moisture absorption (performance polyester).
  • Light.
  • Durable.
  • Easy to wash and use.
  • Dent resistant.


It's not surprising to find a mix, given that these are two of the most commonly used T-shirt fabrics for printing. Obviously, the proportions of the mixture will vary from one manufacturer to another. The properties of polyester-cotton mean that it is more like pure cotton to wear. And it's generally cheaper to produce. From the point of view of screen printing, it still has problems with colors and types of ink.

Recycled Polyester.

Today, there is a trend towards recycling polyester and using it in clothing. It's another innovation in ecological fabric that should be welcomed. Certainly, making clothes from plastic bottles is preferable to the alternatives.

Other Blended T-shirt Fabrics, Fibers and Finishes.

It's fair to say that cotton dominates what's available on the customizable T-shirt market, with polyester following close behind. However, there are other materials out there. They often appear in blended fabrics. For example, Viscose, Tencel, Ecovero and Modal, which are of botanical origin, derived from wood pulp. In addition, there are different finishes and forms of textile weaving. For example, blends of three fibers. As the name suggests, they are made of three different fibers. As another example, blended fabrics are created by mixing yarns of different colors in the weaving. And irregular weaves, sometimes confused with blends, have a textured and slightly irregular appearance.

In fact, there are countless variations. And how they can be customized will vary from one piece to the next. This is one of the reasons why print tests are essential in some cases. Because we may not know how a certain material behaves until we try it.


After reading the above, you may be in a better position when choosing fabric for printing. As mentioned, this depends mainly on your purpose. There is no doubt that technological advances mean that a greater variety of textiles can now be personalized. And there will certainly be more innovation. However, high-quality cotton is still the most reliable T-shirt fabric when it comes to screen printing. It offers more predictable results and maximum flexibility with colors, inks and printing techniques. But whatever you think, talk to your printers. They will be able to provide expert advice, whether you favor the tried and tested or something more unusual.

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