Cotton and T-Shirts

Here is a brief breakdown of the various types of cotton we most commonly see in North America:

  • Pima Cotton has extra-long fibers which make it soft and very strong. It is the best cotton grown.
  • Upland Cotton is the most common cotton and comprises 95% of what is grown in the U.S. A variety called Acala cotton is grown in California and is the highest grade of upland cotton.
  • Then of course there is Egyptian Cotton, which also has extra-long fibers making it soft and strong. It is of course grown in the Nile River Valley.

Cotton is grown around the world and some of the largest producers are China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Brazil.

There are numerous cotton finishes that are common in T-Shirts. Here is an explanation to help when choosing a T-Shirt for your custom order:

  • Combed Cotton – is softer than regular cotton and is made by treating the fibers before they are spun. It requires more work resulting in a higher quality, tougher fabric and is usually more expensive than regular cotton.
  • Ring Spun Cotton – Spinning is the added process used to produce ring spun. It twists and thins the cotton fiber strands producing a fine, rope-like thread. The more twists to the inch, the stronger and softer the yarn.
  • Jersey Knit – Popular for T-Shirts, it is the knit that makes it unique not the fiber content. It can be made from 100% cotton or a poly-cotton blend.

If all this seems confusing, please reach out to us. We are here to help guide you in choosing the best fabric and quality of T-Shirt to match the needs of those wearing them and your budget.