Cheap clothes are cheap for a reason.
The way big retailers keep prices down is by cutting corners. May it be by using cheaper materials, hiring cheap labour* and skipping steps of the process. Sometimes brands use one, two or all three of these tactics, resulting in garments that while affordable also end up looking like they’ve been to hell and back after just one wash.
If you want quality then you’re most likely going to have to pay for it. Craftsmanship and high-end fabrics cost money. That being said, just because a custom T-shirt is expensive it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to last longer. Sometimes the most expensive product in a shop is the brand’s name. That being said, there are also brands out there that offer good-quality for a low price.
On this post, we’ll go over simple tips anyone can use to make sure the next T-shirt they buy is good quality.
* Made in China does not necessarily mean low quality. Products made in other countries can compete with the best of the best in the UK.
It’s all in the fabric
It all comes down to the weave. The tighter it is then the longer the garment will last. Unlike what most think, this doesn’t translate to a heavier T-shirt. It is the density of the fabric that changes; not its weight or thickness.
When it comes to printing, the more cotton the better. We usually recommend to our customers’ 100% cotton garment because prints simply look better on them. That being said, synthetic is not inherently bad. Technologies have advanced far enough that they can now produce man-made fabrics that look and feel almost like natural materials.
The problem with blends is that they’re mixing materials that age in different ways. This is why over time these garments tend to look ‘misshapen.’
It is also worth mentioning that just because an item says it’s 100% cotton, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good quality, either. Manufacturers can use pure materials with low-grade fibres which aren’t very resistant.
In order to make sure you’re buying a good quality T-shirt, run the following tests:
The easiest test is to simply touch. A good quality T-shirt will never feel like plasticky or boxy. If the fabric feels soft but firm at the same time, then chances are that it is a good quality material.
Check the label
Most T-shirts don’t have a thread count on their labels, but they do indicate the material it is made of and if it has been mixed with something else.
Make the wrinkling test
Crumple a part of the garment in your hand and then release. If it maintains a lot of wrinkles then it is probably bad quality, if it doesn’t maintain any wrinkles at all then it is probably a synthetic material. Ideally, you’d be looking for something between the two.
Check the transparency
Hold the garment against a light source and see how transparent it becomes. The more transparency, then the less density.
Stitches are the muscles of a garment; they’re what keeps everything together. Because manufacturers will always pay more attention to the outside of a T-shirt, the easiest way to tell if a stitch is done well or not is by turning it around. Is it even? Does it lie flat? Are there any loose threads? These are all signs of poor manufacturing.
Also, check out how many stitches it has. The higher the count then the better because it means that more time was spent putting this tee together. If you’ve never paid attention to this kind of things, then a good place to start would be your wardrobe. Compare between different garments you have and try to relate to the brands.
Like stitches, hems are indicative of how much care was put when making the garment. When it comes to T-shirts, you should be paying particular attention to the collar, the sleeves and the lower hem.
T-shirt Printing for Designers
Thanks to our five years of experience in the apparel-printing industry, we are able to offer a service catered towards the needs of designers and creative directors. Printsome’s apparel-printing services are perfect for streetwear collections, T-shirt lines and merchandise, among many other possibilities.
From the moment you get in touch, one of our ‘printing experts’ will answer all of your questions and find efficient solutions to your needs. It is our mission to help your career flourish. Thanks to high-quality garments and cutting-edge printing techniques, we can produce almost any design. Printing T-shirts has never been this easy.
Why worry about inventory or logistics when we can take care of that? We deal with the boring stuff so you have more time to do what you love. To find out more, simply visit our website.