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T-Shirt Quality Guide: What to Look for When Shopping

T-Shirt Quality Guide: What to Look for When Shopping

Posted on March 5th, 2024

When it comes to selecting the perfect t-shirt for custom embroidery or printing, quality is key. 

Understanding what makes a t-shirt high-quality can ensure that your custom apparel looks and feels great, providing a lasting impression. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the essential factors to consider when shopping for t-shirts, helping you make informed decisions and achieve the best results for your custom apparel projects.

The Importance of Quality in Custom T-Shirts

When it comes to custom apparel, quality is paramount. Whether you're embroidering your company logo or printing a unique design, the quality of the t-shirt can make or break the final result. Investing in high-quality t-shirts ensures that your custom creations look and feel great, leaving a lasting impression on wearers. 

Here are a few reasons why quality matters:

  • Professional Appearance: High-quality t-shirts provide a polished and professional look, enhancing the overall presentation of your custom designs.
  • Comfort: Premium fabrics and construction offer superior comfort, ensuring that wearers feel comfortable and confident in their custom apparel.
  • Durability: Quality t-shirts are built to last, with sturdy seams and stitching that withstand daily wear and tear without compromising on quality.
  • Longevity: When you invest in quality, your custom t-shirts are more likely to retain their color, shape, and print integrity wash after wash, prolonging their lifespan.
  • Brand Image: Custom apparel serves as a reflection of your brand. Choosing high-quality t-shirts reinforces your brand's commitment to excellence and attention to detail.

Now that we understand the importance of quality in custom t-shirts, let's explore how to determine t-shirt quality.

How to Determine T-Shirt Quality

When shopping for custom t-shirts, it's essential to assess the quality of the fabric, construction, and overall craftsmanship. Here are some key factors to consider:

Fabric Composition

Fabric composition plays a significant role in determining the overall quality and performance of a t-shirt.

When assessing the fabric composition of a t-shirt, consider the following tips:

  • Look for t-shirts made from high-quality materials such as 100% cotton or a cotton-polyester blend.
  • Check the label for fabric content information and opt for natural fibers like cotton for superior comfort and breathability.
  • Avoid t-shirts made from low-quality or synthetic materials, as they may be less comfortable and prone to pilling and shrinkage.
  • Choose a fabric composition that suits your preferences and intended use for the t-shirt, whether it's for everyday wear or athletic activities.

Fabric Weight

Fabric weight refers to the density or thickness of the fabric and is typically measured in grams per square meter (GSM). A higher GSM indicates a thicker, more substantial fabric that is less prone to wear and tear.

To evaluate the fabric weight of a t-shirt, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Check the GSM (grams per square meter) rating of the fabric, which indicates its thickness and density.
  • Lightweight t-shirts (150-200 GSM) are ideal for warm weather and layering, while heavyweight t-shirts (above 300 GSM) offer more durability and warmth.
  • Consider the intended use of the t-shirt and select a fabric weight that matches your needs and preferences.
  • Keep in mind that heavier fabrics may be more substantial and durable but can also be less breathable in hot weather.

Fabric Feel

The feel of the fabric is an essential consideration when assessing t-shirt quality. Quality fabrics should feel soft against the skin and have a smooth texture.

When assessing the fabric feel of a t-shirt, consider these practical tips:

  • Run your fingers over the fabric to gauge its softness, smoothness, and overall comfort.
  • Choose fabrics that feel soft and luxurious against the skin, such as high-quality cotton or cotton-polyester blends.
  • Avoid t-shirts with rough or scratchy textures, as they may cause discomfort when worn for extended periods.
  • Consider the garment's intended use and prioritize comfort when selecting fabrics for your t-shirts.

Stitching Quality

The stitching quality of a t-shirt is a crucial indicator of its durability and longevity. Quality stitching ensures that the t-shirt maintains its shape and structure wash after wash, without fraying or coming apart at the seams. Invest in t-shirts with superior stitching quality for long-lasting wear and durability.

To evaluate the stitching quality of a t-shirt, follow these practical tips:

  • Examine the seams and stitching for consistency, precision, and durability.
  • Look for tight, even stitching with no loose threads or uneven seams.
  • Check the seams along the shoulders, sides, and hems for reinforcement stitching, especially in high-stress areas.
  • Pull gently on the seams to ensure they can withstand stretching and movement without coming apart.

Print Quality

If the t-shirt features a printed design, it's essential to assess the quality of the print. Choose t-shirts with premium print quality to ensure that your designs look great and stand the test of time.

When assessing the print quality of a t-shirt, consider these practical tips:

  • Look for prints that are crisp, vibrant, and durable, with sharp, defined edges and vibrant colors.
  • Inspect the print closely for signs of fading, bleeding, or distortion.
  • Consider the printing method used, such as screen printing or direct-to-garment (DTG) printing, which can affect the quality and durability of the print.

Color Fastness

Color fastness refers to the ability of a fabric to retain its color when exposed to various environmental factors, such as washing, sunlight, and friction. Quality t-shirts should have excellent color fastness, meaning that the colors remain vibrant and true to their original shade, even after repeated washing and wear.

To determine the color fastness of a t-shirt, keep these practical tips in mind:

  • Test the color fastness of the fabric by rubbing a damp cloth over a small area of the t-shirt.
  • If the color transfers onto the cloth, it may indicate poor color fastness and potential color fading with washing.
  • Choose t-shirts with excellent color fastness to ensure that your garments retain their bright, vibrant colors even after repeated washing and wear.
  • Consider washing the t-shirt according to the care instructions provided to maintain its color and quality over time.

Related: The Art of Personalization: How Custom Embroidery Elevates Your Wardrobe


When it comes to finding the perfect t-shirt for your custom embroidery or printing needs, quality is paramount. A high-quality t-shirt not only looks better but also feels more comfortable and lasts longer. By considering factors such as fabric composition, weight, feel, stitching quality, print quality, and color fastness, you can ensure that your custom apparel reflects the professionalism and attention to detail of your brand.

At Memorable Apparel, we understand the importance of quality in custom apparel, which is why we offer top-quality custom embroidery and corporate apparel printing services. Whether you need custom hoodies, t-shirts, caps, or business apparel, we have you covered. Our experienced team uses state-of-the-art techniques and premium materials to create personalized apparel that exceeds your expectations.

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Contact us at (804) 399-2050 or via email at [email protected] to discuss your custom apparel needs and get a quote for our services. Let us help you create memorable and impactful custom apparel that sets your brand apart.

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Whether you have questions about our services, want to discuss a custom project, or simply want to learn more about Memorable Apparel, we're just a message away. Feel free to reach out to us with any inquiries, and our team will be delighted to assist you.