Staff Picks: Our Favorite T-shirts for Screen Printing
Looking for custom t-shirts for your brand… Here’s a quick summary of our favorite shirts that we use for screen printing…
Preshrunk or “Open Cotton” shirts are the least expensive option you can choose. Typical weights for a t-shirt in this category are 5.0 – 6.5 ounces and would be considered “Heavyweight”. Because this type of cotton is just one step above raw cotton, it cannot be woven as fine or as soft. When budget is an issue, we normally use Gildan 5000 or 2000 shirts, 5000 is a bit lighter weight and less expensive. Fruit of the Loom, Hanes and Jerzees also make comprable shirts and one can easily be substituted if it means getting a better price. All shirts also come in ladies (5000L & 2000L) and youth sizes (5000B & 2000B) as well.
Ringspun Cotton shirts are lighter weight and have stronger fibers because they are made with a higher grade of cotton. Sometimes called combed ringspun cotton, this way of making a shirt creates a tighter weave and softer feel.
The brands we like use for men/unisex styles include Tultex 202 for the entry level option, Next Level 3600 & Bella-Canvas 3001 for great middle-of-the-road options and American Apparel 2001 and Alternative Apparel 1070 for high-end options. If you’re into v-necks, ask us about these options as well.
These shirts come in ladies options as well (check out Tultex 213, Next Level 3900 or Bella 6004). In our experience, however, v-necks are a lot more popular with this finicky demographic. Some of our favorites include: Next Level 3540 or Bella 6005.
When considering the tee that’s best for you, one great shirt option combines a high quality ringspun cotton with polyester. Many common blend ratios are 50/50, 60/40 and 65/35. Blending the two fabrics increases strength, decreases weight, and adds to softness. Although not a moisture wicking shirt, these blends do reduce sweating and show fewer stains. Common brands we print in this category would be the American Apparel BB401 (50/50), the Next Level Cotton/Poly 6200 (65/35) or CVC 6210 (60/40), Canvas 3650 (52/4) and Tultex 241 (in order, highest to lowest price). Each brand also offers their versions in a v-neck style. For ladies both crew-neck and v-neck are also available.
If you’re looking for that shirt that’s so soft you could wear it to bed, you’ll love tri-blend – shirts. They combine ringspun cotton, polyester and rayon. American Apparel’s version is the TR401, which they call the Track Tee. The Canvas 3413 and Next Level 6010 are also great options for Tri-blend shirts.
For ladies tri-blend shirts some of our favorites include three great options from Next Level, the 6740 deep-V, 6730 scoop-neck and the 6760 doleman, Bella also makes a great shirt and we think it fits a bit better for more mature women (like how we said that) but still definitely has that fashion fit. Their styles include: a deep v-neck 8435, the more relaxed v-neck 6405, a racer-back tank 8430 and lastly, their 8838, slouchy tank.
We know there are a lot of options to choose from but we hope this narrows down your choices a bit. Keep in mind that pricing increases as you move from top to bottom of our blog. We know all our clients have champagne tastes but we also understand that you may be on a beer budget. Whatever the case, SOBO can take any of these blanks and convert them into works of art… or at least a strong brand statement. Our design services are free of charge with any order over 50 shirts.
If you’re still confused, no sweat… call us at 888.752.0432 or email us at info@SOBOconcepts.com and one of our SWAG specialists will be happy to help.