T-Shirt Fabrics That Last the Longest


Comfort and style are obviously important when it comes to clothing, but durability is every bit as crucial.  There’s not much point in buying something that looks and feels great if just a couple of weeks later it’s ready for the trash can.

Plus, you have to take into account what you’ll be doing with the clothing – maybe you’re looking to have something printed on it – and the situations you’ll be in while wearing it.  T-shirts, for example, can be tricky to get right, so we’ll walk you through what fabrics you can look for and their differences, thus helping you find something you can look great in for a long time.

Your T-shirt’s Purpose:

When buying t-shirts, it’s important to keep in mind the sort of things you’ll be putting them through.  Picking a fabric that’s going to hold up for quite some time has a lot to do with the situations you’re going to expose it to.

Certain fabrics that would be fine if you’re just wearing a shirt for casual situations might not be so durable if you’re really into activities like outdoor sports or painting.  If you’re looking for t-shirts that you can wear for work, and know that you’re going to be kind of rough on them, then you definitely want to have this in mind when looking for the best fabrics.

Cotton Fabrics:

Cotton is an extremely popular choice of fabric for most people, due to its level of comfort.  While it is comfortable, cotton can also be very durable and resilient.  Cheaper cotton fabrics are less likely to be particularly durable, but as you work your way up the cost ladder, cotton fabrics become not only more durable but also softer – a double bonus!


Combed cotton and pima cotton are both great options for a combined durability/softness quality.  Combed cotton is cotton that has been combed before it’s been made into yarn.  This process removes the short strands and takes out any kinks, thus making the material more durable.  Pima cotton is produced from very long cotton fibers that, like combed cotton, make them soft and durable.  This cotton is also more resilient in terms of retaining color and shape – so no stretching.


This synthetic fabric – made from plastics – is extremely strong and long-lasting.  Polyester resists tearing and wrinkling, and isn’t likely to get a mildew smell as it’s a fast-drying material.  T-shirts that shrink in the wash or which get stretched out are big annoyances – especially if you’ve spent a good bit of money on them.

Polyester is a worry-free fabric, in this regard, as it keeps its shape after multiple washes and uses.  Whereas cotton has a tendency to fade over time, polyester retains its color much longer.


Rayon is another man-made fiber, but whereas polyester is made from plastics, rayon is made from a combination of plant-based materials.  It keeps its shape well and is similar in durability to polyester.  However, it has a leg up on polyester because it breathes, whereas polyester is known to be thick, making it uncomfortable to wear in the summer.

Cotton/Synthetic Blends:

If you like the feel and breezy nature of cotton, but want something a bit more durable, then a blend might be the right option for you.  Cotton/polyester blends are perhaps the most common type out there, but you’ll also often find a combination of cotton/polyester/rayon, with ratios in that order as well.

If you want something that feels more comfortable, then you definitely want a blend that has a higher cotton content, whereas if durability is really what you’re needing, then look for a blend that has a synthetic as the leading fiber.

Printing Options:

If you’re looking for blank t-shirts that you can print logos or designs on, then of course fabric type is going to be important to you.  While you do want to consider comfort and overall durability, you also want to take into consideration print durability.  100% cotton tends to be the type that most printers suggest using, as it tends to absorb the ink well without the same tendency to bleed together or run that blended shirts can have.  Keep in mind, though, that print companies may buy from various manufacturers that produce a variety of shirt types.  To figure out what your best option may be when taking into consideration their buying and printing methods, contact the printer and see what they would recommend for your printing project.

Updated: September 6th, 2016 by Resources-Blogger