One of the most important things to know when running a t-shirt printing business is your fabric. How else will you be able to tell if your suppliers are providing you with blanks that are according to what you specified, or that you are confident you are supplying your customers with exactly what they think they are buying?
Here are a set of tests, that will not only allow you to be a master of your trade, but also to make sure that you don’t make a mistake when you source your next set of blanks:
The Touch Test
This is not only the most simple and obvious one, but it is also very useful. A good quality 100% cotton ringspun t-shirt will always feel soft and firm to the skin. You can tell right away that a t-shirt is of bad quality if it feels too stiff, brittle, flimsy, coarse or even plasticky!
A good way to check whether a t-shirt is of good quality is by pulling on the fabric. This can be done mainly in two ways.
You can check the rib quality, by gently pulling at the neck of the T-Shirt. If the rib is good, it should not look deformed after the pull test.
You can check the quality of the fabric as well when you do the pull test, by stretching the t-shirt and checking to see if the shape of the material alters. A good quality t-shirt should also not become deformed after being stretched.
Grab a bit of the fabric and give it a good scrunch. Did it result in wrinkling? If your t-shirt cannot withstand one scrunch without wrinkling, how long do you think it’ll survive? A good quality t-shirt will never wrinkle easy.
The weave is one of the more important tests. This allows you to really understand whether or not the fabric is good and well made. For example, if you were to buy 100% cotton T-shirts, you should know there are two main types: ringspun and carded. Ringspun is the softer, and of better quality whereas carded is a little rougher and of lower quality. If you look closely at both weaves, you’ll notice that ringspun is a much tighter weave with less fuzz and a smoother surface.
The stitch test can tell you how much care was put into the making of the T-Shirt. A good quality T-Shirt should have even stitching. If you check the insides, all stitches should be of the same colour and style, unless it’s in the design. If you pull at the seams, the stitches should be tight enough that no gaps can be seen.