Which Fabrics Work Best For Screen Printing Custom T-Shirts?

We love t-shirts here at STL Shirt Co. We want you to love your screen printed custom t-shirts as much as we love making them. If you are looking for the best fabrics to use for your custom t-shirts, we can help.

Get started on your order right now by calling us today at 636-926-2777 or connecting with us online. We provide the highest quality and quickest custom t-shirts in the St. Louis area, offering rush screen printing.

Which Fabrics Work Best For Screen Printing Custom T-Shirts?

Have a design that you want to show off on a high-quality custom t-shirt? Or, maybe you need a bunch of moisture-wicking shirts for a big company golf tourney booked for the sweltering swamp of mid-July? STL Shirt Co. uses only the best fabrics for your custom t-shirts, which can essentially be broken down into the following four main categories:

Combed Cotton

This is the least expensive option, and has been the standard 100 percent cotton t-shirt since the 1980s. Combed cotton has a more dense feel to it and, although these types of shirts are typically pre-shrunk, you may see some slight shrinkage. These shirts come in just about every color imaginable and our customers order them often for family reunions, bachelorette parties, and large groups or events on a tight budget.

Ringspun Cotton

Ringspun cotton is still 100% cotton, but is a much softer fabric than combed cotton. The yarn that is created for ringspun cotton is spun in a way that produces stronger, longer strands that are soft, extremely durable, and free from the rough texture of standard cotton. The process of continuously spinning, twisting, and thinning the cotton strands is what yields long, soft strands. Although slightly more expensive than combed cotton, many prefer the look and feel of this material. T-shirts made from ringspun cotton tend to be more form-fitting, modern, and fashion-forward. We have filled a lot of orders using ringspun cotton for team or staff custom t-shirts and other apparel.

Not sure which fabric works best for your custom t-shirt? No problem. Call the STL Shirt Co. team at 636-926-2777 or contact us online. We would be happy to help, and we’re always happy to meet with you in person at our conveniently located shop in St. Peters, if you’d like to get your hands on these types of fabrics.

Soft Cotton/Polyester Blend

Cotton/poly blends are softer and lighter than ringspun cotton. They are also frequently referred to as 50/50, 60/40, or chief value cotton (CVC). Cotton/poly blends are one of our most popular options for the majority of our custom t-shirt orders, as they provide a great balance between affordability and ‘retail-ready’ feel. Color options in blended t-shirts are usually heathered, meaning they have a slight speckled look due to inter-knitted yarns of slightly different colors. These blended fabrics rarely shrink, and tend to be the most versatile, so our customers really enjoy them.


This fabric is a blend of 50% polyester, 25% ringspun cotton, and 25% rayon, and is quickly becoming the go-to for our customers’ t-shirt orders. Although more expensive than the other fabrics with a limited selection of colors, the pros outweigh the cons, as the blend of these materials yields a t-shirt that is very soft, flowy, and breathable. It fits well to form, but does not shrink, and works well as custom t-shirts for nearly any function, team, staff, or group.

So, Which Fabric Should I Choose For Screen Printing My Custom T-Shirts?

Choosing the right fabric can seem like a tedious task, but it really makes all the difference in a custom t-shirt purchase:

  • If you’re looking for a no-gimmicks, classic t-shirt and want to spend as little money as possible, go with a combed cotton t-shirt. You probably already have a handful of these from that last softball team you played for, school event you participated in, or that barbershop quartet you sang in.
  • If you’re looking for something soft, affordable, and fashion forward, go with a ringspun cotton custom t-shirt.
  • If you want something a little more high-end and super soft, you can’t go wrong with a cotton/poly blend shirt.
  • Finally, if you want the softest shirt available at STL Shirt Co., and you have a larger budget to work with, go with the triblend.

Which Fabrics Work Best For Screen Printing Custom T-Shirts? | STL Shirt Co.

Custom t-shirts are great for any event or group. Creating your own custom design for your business, event, group of friends, or team is an exciting opportunity. Have fun with it and be creative. If you have the idea but don’t feel comfortable creating it, no need to worry. We have a team of talented designers that can help.

To begin your custom t-shirt order with the fabric of your choice or to learn more about our services, request a quote online, give us a call at 636-926-2777 or connect with us online.