How to know what fabric to choose when ordering custom-printed t-shirts

Has this ever happened to you?

You signed your kid up for an outdoor summer sports camp. Part of the fee goes toward a t-shirt they’re expected to wear all five days. And then, when you show up on the first day of camp, you realize: Oh my lord, they want your kiddo to spend five days in the hot sun wearing a thick, 100% cotton, navy blue t-shirt.

Yes, I’m speaking from experience here, and yes, I worried my child was going to collapse from heatstroke at soccer camp under the South Carolina summer sun. 

If I had one thing to teach those camp directors after a year of working here at Turn90, it would be this:

When ordering t-shirts, the fabric is everything.

Here’s a basic rundown of what fabrics work for what purpose, and why 100% cotton isn’t *always* the fabric of our lives.

Let’s start with 100% cotton.

This is generally considered a lower-end option to keep t-shirt costs down. Thicker and tightly woven, it’s warmer and good for winter or indoor events. Please do not order 100% cotton for your summer soccer camps. Have mercy on your little campers.

What about polyester or heathered/combed cotton?

Polyester or heathered/combed cotton are cooler fabrics for the summer months. Softer and lighter weight than regular cotton, these are far more comfortable for outdoor living in the warmer months. Polyester especially is great for athletes. It’s moisture-wicking and fast drying. Mid-level pricing allows even the budget-conscious to get a higher-quality t-shirt for a good price.

Talk to me about tri-blends!

Premium fabrics are generally what we call “tri-blends” and are a blend of cotton, polyester, and rayon that are extremely soft, lightweight, and comfortable. Tri-blend t-shirts make great gifts to staff or clients or are incredible rewards at the end of a long race. 

And look, this is just a primer.

There’s a lot more to think about when ordering shirts for your next event. Let our expert customer service team be your guide throughout the entire process. They’ll help you assess your needs and make recommendations about products that they think will best suit you. You can also get a head start picking colors and fits you like by looking through our online catalog and comparing costs via our pricing guide.

Get a quote today and let us help you on your journey to getting branded apparel you’ll love!