What Is the Best Quality Cotton for T-Shirts?

What Is the Best Quality Cotton for T-Shirts

When it comes to choosing the best quality cotton for t-shirts, there are a few factors to consider, like the fabric type, the printing method, and, of course, your personal preference. Different cotton types offer different benefits, including comfort, durability, and moisture-wicking characteristics. So, what is the best quality cotton for t-shirts?

In this article, we will explore some of the best options when it comes to choosing cotton for t-shirts, focusing on screen printing.

What Is the Best Quality Cotton for T-Shirts?

Cotton t-shirts can be made from different cotton types, including ringspun, combed organic, slub, pique, and Pima cotton. What is the best quality cotton for t-shirts?

The cotton with the highest quality among all these is Pima cotton. Pima is considered to be the finest cotton variety on the planet. This type of cotton is prized for its great features. Pima is mostly grown in Australia, the U.S., Peru, and Israel. This cotton type has long fibers, making it super smooth, soft, and strong. 

So, Pima cotton has a remarkable softness. Its fibers are finer than those of the standard cotton. Thus, Pima cotton gives a luxurious feeling and is also comfortable to wear.

T-shirts made from Pima cotton are durable and resistant to fading, wrinkling, pilling, and tearing. So, Pima cotton t-shirts will likely last longer than regular cotton ones.

What Is the Best Quality Cotton for T-Shirts
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Studio Light and Shade

Types of Cotton Fabric for T-Shirt and Its Characteristics

Knowing the characteristics of the most suitable fabrics for printing is important because, at the end of the day, we all look for a long-lasting and comfortable t-shirt. Besides feeling comfortable on the consumer’s skin, you want to have the best material for bulk screen printing t-shirts.

Ringspun cotton

Ringspun cotton is a popular choice for t-shirts. This cotton type is made by twisting and thinning the cotton strands until they become very fine and strong. This method produces softer, more durable, and more expensive fabric than regular cotton.

Ringspun cotton gives a smooth surface and a great screen printing base. Because of the fabric’s tight weave, the ink is distributed evenly and produces vibrant designs.

Combed cotton

Combed cotton has passed an extra refining process to remove any impurities of short fibers. This extra step leads to a smoother and stronger fabric. Combed cotton t-shirts are considered premium-grade and are known for their durability, softness, and resistance to pilling.

The refining process also makes combed cotton excellent for screen printing because the material provides a smooth surface for the ink.

Organic cotton

Organic cotton is an excellent choice for those who prefer sustainability and environmentally friendly fabrics. This is a natural cotton that’s not only gentle on the skin, but it is a cotton type grown without harmful chemicals, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds. Although organic cotton is more expensive than regular cotton, it’s better in terms of softness and durability. Moreover, its hypoallergenic properties prevent irritation of the skin.

T-shirts made from organic cotton are also suitable for screen printing, as they have a soft and breathable surface.

Organic cotton
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: B.Forenius

Slub cotton

Wearing slub cotton is a fashion trend. Slub cotton is formed with knots and twists. These irregularities or bumps are made intentionally. This makes the fabric look and feel uneven. Slub cotton has an attractive appearance and texture that makes t-shirts breathable. This cotton type is also slightly more expensive than regular cotton.

Slub cotton is suitable for creating printed vintage-inspired t-shirts.

Pique cotton

Pique or polo cotton has a waffle-like texture. It is woven with a special knitting technique that creates raised parallel cords or ridges on the fabric. Pique is a durable cotton covered with a tiny, textured pattern. While pique cotton is mostly used for polo shirts, you can find pique cotton t-shirts manufactured with pique cotton, as well.

Pique cotton gives a more formal look. That is why we recommend it for professional occasions. Moreover, it’s a great choice for warm climates because of the material’s breathability and softness. 

Cotton blends

This category includes a combination of cotton and another fiber, like polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is also durable and wrinkle-resistant. But, when combined with cotton, polyester gets stronger and even more lasting.

The good news is that polyester also improves the fabric’s colorfastness, which means there will be less bleeding and fading.

Cotton blends
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Natalia Lisovskaya


We have explained the characteristics of the most popular and quality cotton types. What is the best quality cotton for t-shirts? Best cotton t-shirts for printing include ringspun, combed organic, slub, and pique, but Pima cotton is the finest of them all.

Its characteristics define Pima as the most durable, softest, strongest, and resistant to tearing, fading, and wrinkling.