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Discussion Starter #1
I looked high....I looked far....but I couldn't find any blank maternity T-shirts for sale. So I decided to import them and go wholesale. I have already contacted a half dozen distributors in China when it occured to me I don't have a clue how to do this. If any of you people could help me out here I would appreciate it.

I'm assuming 100% cotton is the way to go. Are there different grades of cotton? What's the best? What weight should I order? Any help would be appreciated. I'm looking to buy the best t-shirts for printing & comfort.
 

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may be try to get samples and compare them.
try to deal with companies that have a local rep near you when importing from farway places.
 

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maae10 said:
Are there different grades of cotton?
Yes, there are different grades of cotton. The quality of the raw cotton varies, the way it is processed (i.e. spun, carded, etc.) varies, and then when it's made into fabric the weave varies. There are a lot of variables.
 

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Try a local cut and sew place that work with knits and NOT wovens.... small/medium size operation.
Most will have patters for a lot of styles (if they dont, go out and buy the patterns from Frabic Land and adjust it to your liking).
They can also use their in house pattern maker to custom make your style.
t-shirt patterns are very simple, even for maternity t-shirts.
They also have all types of fabric samples and scraps from other jobs and know who you can buy the fabric from.

Most will do small runs/samples etc.

 

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t-shirts are mostly made of knit fabrics like Jersey, Rib, waffle etc...
one is not better than the other, it depends on what you are making.

Cutter/Sewers that work with knits, patterns, needles etc. are different then working with Woven Knits. Some do work and are set up for both.

With wovens (example) it's like 100% polyester pattern fabrics with no stretch at all. Comparing Jersey KNIT fabrics, it has some stretch.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I see, so it's preference rather then quality.

What about for printing, do some cottons print better then others?

What is the ideal weight for a T-Shirt?

ETA: It just dawned on me that these are maternity shirts and should be as stretchy as possible. What type of cotton am I looking for when I want a stretchy shirt?
 

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maae10 said:
I see, so it's preference rather then quality.
A lot of it is preference, yes, which is why it's important to know the what's and why's. Unfortunately it's not possible to just get a list of the three best features and go from there. Sampling would go a long way if you don't have the academic knowledge to know what's best straight off the bat.

maae10 said:
What about for printing, do some cottons print better then others?
Yes.

maae10 said:
What is the ideal weight for a T-Shirt?
That's very subjective, and may vary for maternity shirts vs. everyday wear. What an individual considers ideal may also be seasonal.

maae10 said:
It just dawned on me that these are maternity shirts and should be as stretchy as possible. What type of cotton am I looking for when I want a stretchy shirt?
Cotton isn't particularly stretchy: if you want real stretch you'll want a cotton spandex blend (or similar).
 

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maae10 said:
ETA: It just dawned on me that these are maternity shirts and should be as stretchy as possible. What type of cotton am I looking for when I want a stretchy shirt?
...oh, and if you want stretchy you want a rib knit. They're harder to print on (not impossible, just harder), but they're a lot stretchier.

Actually 100% cotton may have enough stretch if you use a 2x2 rib. Try and get a sample of some fabric and see what you think. It depends how much stretch you want... if you just want a little give then even a smaller rib would be fine... 2x2 should actually give you quite a lot of stretch.
 

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maae10 said:
Thanks for the Info! How do I get a pattern or sample for a simple maternity T-Shirt.
You might try google searches for "pattern makers". I think that's what they are called. Also fashion colleges may have students who can make patterns for you.
 

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I was hoping I could just buy a ready made pattern, it is just a simple t-shirt after all.
I'm not sure of a source that would sell a ready made maternity blank t-shirt pattern (since there aren't many wholesalers selling them, I'm guessing it's not an in demand item).
 

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Woo hoo, hooray for Google. Nice find Lucy.

but like i said before, most cut/sew places have pattern makers on hand.
Another good point. If you are getting something cut and sewn, it might be good to check with them to see if they have any ideas or patterns you can use/modify.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
T-BOT said:
here is one thanks to the googlers: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/patterns/sewingpatterns.pl?patternid=8883

Im sure there are more. With these, they give you a pattern you can start with and make your own changes to them if you want.

but like i said before, most cut/sew places have pattern makers on hand. :D
I can not thank you enough....I LOVE THIS FORUM. I just bought it, hopefully I can manufacture some long sleeve T's in time for the winter.

I just got a quote and they want $4.50 not including the fabric :( I'll call a few more places but I may have to go to China in the end. It's a shame I would love to keep my business in the USA but on a low ticket item like this I may have no choice. I want to keep the wholesale price under $8
 
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