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does the oz.'s or weight of a tshirt determine its quality and durability? ex. a 4.1 oz and a 5.1 oz 100% cotton shirt, can the 4.1 oz cotton shirt beat the 5.1 in terms of quality and durability? or does the amount of cotton used really make a difference?
 

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The weight is just the weight and does not imply quality, well to some people it might but basically its just the weight. I would expect a heavier weight shirt to wear longer and most work shirts sold are 6.1 oz.
 

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As Rick said, the weight is the weight. A good quality thin cotton will hold up longer than a poor quality thick cotton. Other than endurance there's things like fabric softness, etc. - all subjective measures. Fabric weight is a useful measurement, but you shouldn't read more into it than it is.
 

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What really determines quality is how well a shirt holds up under repeated washings. I have used Hanes Beefy tees, only to have my customer call & say the shirts shrank up about 2" only after 2 washings. It's really where the cotton is grown; it comes from all over the world, and get lot of shirts dye & wash differently, based on where the cotton comes from. I used a lot of Gildan 6.1 ounce, but could swear that they mix in the 5.6 ounce into the lots, as I can just feel the difference in the shirts as I handle them. I have also seen a lot of the dark colors fade quite a bit after just a few washings. In my opinion there is no real consistency in quality of t/shirts any longer.
 

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Don't forget Ring Spun Cotton. It usually will bump up the price but it definately something your customer will notice the first time they wear it. Other qualities to look for is the stitching. Two needle cover stitch-in hems, Double or triple stitch, reinforced neck, collar width etc. If you really get into some of the more expensive designer tees you would be amazed at how different they are when you look real closely at every part of the shirt. They have a very small market for me but whenever I do order some I always order a couple extra blanks to give away for presents. The saying you get what you pay for is true. Some of those expensive tees wear like you are wearing silk.
 

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What really determines quality is how well a shirt holds up under repeated washings. I have used Hanes Beefy tees, only to have my customer call & say the shirts shrank up about 2" only after 2 washings.
Usually the shirts are cut generously to allow for some shrinkage after washing. For example, Anvils shrink much more than Gildans, but the Anvils are also larger pre-wash to allow for the shrinkage.
 

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I used to think the heavier the better-but now i think what ever feels the best is the best for me and my customers. I have my own private brand so I'm looking at it from that perspective. The bigger companies {Lucky Abercrombie AE Target ect} drive the styles and a lighter weight t-shirt are the norm, not like a few years ago when Beefy Tees were more the standard. In fact my high school nephew is the one who told me that the beefy tees I was using were to heavy and on a hotter day he would not wear them.
 
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