How to Choose the Best T-shirts for Printing


Ready to unleash your creativity and make a statement with your own custom-designed t-shirts? Whether you’re set on launching a clothing line or creating branded promotional apparel, choosing the right blank t-shirts for printing is crucial to ensure your designs come out looking crisp, vibrant, and long-lasting.

After all, as simple as it may seem, printing t-shirts is an art and a science of its own. In this guide, we’ll unlock the secrets behind selecting the best t-shirts for printing, so you can confidently create high-quality, personalized apparel bound to turn heads, spark conversations, and make even Picasso envious wherever you, your employees, or your customers go.

Get ready to dive into the pillars of t-shirt printing mastery!

The Importance of Selecting Quality T-shirts for Printing

When it comes to garment printing, the quality of the print-on-demand t-shirts you choose plays a key role in the overall outcome of your designs. Investing in the best t-shirts for printing ensures your designs look professional and last through multiple wears and washes. 

Here’s why quality matters and should be non-negotiable:

  1. Durability: Nobody wants a tee that will fade out after a couple of washes. High-quality t-shirts made from premium materials can withstand the test of time. They retain their shape, color, and print integrity even after repeated washes, ensuring your designs remain vibrant and eye-catching wash after wash.
  2. Comfort: Nobody wants to wear an itchy, uncomfortable t-shirt. Quality, lightweight shirts are made from soft fabrics and comfortable materials that feel great against the skin, providing a pleasant wearing experience.
  3. Print Clarity: The fabric composition of a t-shirt can greatly affect the clarity and vibrancy of your printed designs. Choosing the best t-shirts for printing made from the perfect blend of quality fabrics ensures your artwork appears sharp, detailed, and true to your original vision.

Now that we understand the vital importance of choosing the best quality t-shirts, as they have the power to make or break your plans, let’s dive into the essential factors to consider when selecting the perfect canvas for your designs.

man in pink t-shirt sitting a man in a pink t-shirt sits on a small wall in the street

Mastering the Print: Key Factors to Consider

Ready to master the art of printing t-shirts? When it comes to creating jaw-dropping custom apparel, choosing the best t-shirts for printing is your secret weapon. Luckily, we’re here to spill the ink on the key factors you need to consider to unleash your printing prowess.

From popular fabrics that will perfectly harmonize with your designs to the best t-shirts for printing that will leave everyone in awe, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to level up your printing game and create custom tees that are a cut above the rest.

Fabric Composition

Fabric composition is the first consideration when choosing the best t-shirts for printing. Different fabrics offer varying levels of durability, comfort, and printability. Here are the most common options:

a) Cotton Shirts

Cotton t-shirts are a classic choice for custom t-shirt printing. They are comfortable, breathable, and absorbent, making them suitable for everyday wear. Within the cotton fabric category, there are two primary kinds of cotton to consider:

  • 100% Cotton: Quality cotton t-shirts offer a natural feel and are well-suited for screen printing. They absorb ink effectively, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting prints. However, they may shrink slightly after washing. So, is 100% cotton good for printing? Yes, it is generally considered good for printing due to its ability to absorb ink effectively, resulting in vibrant and durable prints.
  • Ringspun Cotton: Ring-spun cotton is smoother, softer, and stronger compared to regular cotton. It provides an excellent surface for printing and produces high-quality, detailed results.

So, what’s the final verdict? What is the best cotton for t-shirt printing? Ringspun cotton is often considered a top choice due to its properties, but it all comes down to your personal preferences.

b) Polyester T-shirts

Polyester t-shirts are made from synthetic fabrics that offer distinct advantages for printing purposes. While they may not provide the same level of breathability as organic or ringspun cotton, polyester offers benefits like:

  • Durability: Polyester is highly resistant to stretching, shrinking, and wrinkles. This makes it a great option if you’re looking for t-shirts that will maintain their shape and appearance over time.
  • Vibrant Prints: Polyester is known for its ability to hold vibrant, solid colors, making it ideal for designs with bold, vivid hues. The synthetic fibers prevent bleeding and fading, resulting in long-lasting, eye-catching prints.
  • Moisture Wicking: Polyester has moisture wicking properties, which means it can quickly pull sweat away from the body. If you’re creating t-shirts for active wear or sports teams, polyester can help keep your customers cool and dry.

Is polyester better than cotton for t-shirt printing? 

The choice between polyester and cotton for t-shirt printing depends on your specific needs and preferences. Polyester offers advantages such as durability, vibrant color retention, and moisture-wicking properties. On the other hand, cotton is known for its comfort, breathability, and natural feel. Both fabrics have their merits, so it ultimately comes down to the desired qualities and aesthetics for your printed t-shirts.

c) Blend of Fabrics

In addition to cotton and polyester t-shirts, another popular option to consider is t-shirts made from a blend of fabrics. Here’s a breakdown of some common fabric blends used in t-shirt manufacturing:

  • Tri-blend T-shirts: Tri-blend t-shirts combine three different materials, typically cotton, polyester, and rayon. This blend creates a unique fabric that offers the best qualities of each component. Tri-blend shirts are known for their incredibly soft feel, lightweight construction, and excellent drape. They provide a vintage, worn-in look that adds character to your designs.
  • Cotton-Polyester Blends: Blending cotton and polyester combines the natural comfort of cotton with polyester’s durability and wrinkle resistance. These blends are often chosen for their easy-care properties and ability to withstand frequent washing without losing shape or color vibrancy. They offer a balance of breathability, moisture-wicking, and longevity.
  • Cotton-Modal Blends: Modal is a type of rayon fabric made from beech tree pulp. When blended with cotton, it creates an incredibly soft, smooth fabric and drapes well. Cotton-modal blends offer enhanced breathability and moisture absorption, making them ideal for creating comfortable t-shirts that drape beautifully on the body.
man in green t-shirt standing next to the wall on the street

Premium Fabrics, Premium T-Shirt Printing Results

So, what is the best t-shirt material for printing? Each fabric blend has its unique characteristics and advantages, so consider the desired properties, such as softness, drape, and performance, when selecting the best t-shirts for your printing needs. At Apliiq, we understand the importance of fabric composition, and that’s why we offer a wide range of t-shirts for printing made from various premium fabrics and materials to choose from.

Whether you prefer the classic feel of 100% cotton, the durability of polyester, or the luxurious softness of a blend, we have options to suit your printing requirements. Our extensive selection ensures that you can create custom t-shirts that not only look great but also last long and feel amazing to wear. We also offer sustainable and organic clothing for the eco-conscious, made from fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, and hemp.

Fabric Weight and Comfort

The weight and comfort of the fabric are essential considerations, as they determine how the t-shirt feels against the skin and its suitability for different climates and purposes. Here’s a breakdown of different fabric weights and their characteristics:

  • Lighter Fabrics: Lighter-weight fabrics offer a breezy and airy feel and are perfect for warmer weather and layering. Think of materials like sheer cotton or lightweight linen. They are breathable, comfortable, and ideal for creating t-shirts that are lightweight and easy to move in. However, remember that lighter fabrics may be slightly sheer, so consider this when designing and printing.
  • Medium-weight Fabrics: For a versatile option that strikes a balance between breathability and durability, consider medium-weight fabrics like standard cotton, jersey knit, or a cotton-polyester blend. These are versatile and suitable for year-round wear. T-shirts made from medium-weight fabrics offer a comfortable feel and can withstand regular use without losing shape or color vibrancy.
  • Heavier Fabrics: When you need the best t-shirts for printing with extra warmth and structure, heavier fabrics like thick cotton, fleece, or heavyweight polyester come to the rescue. They are ideal for colder climates, creating cozy winter apparel, or when you want a more substantial, structured t-shirt. However, heavy fabrics may be less breathable in warmer temperatures. 

When choosing the fabric weight, consider the purpose and seasonality of your custom t-shirts to ensure your customers feel comfortable and satisfied.

A Wide Range of T-Shirt Styles & Color Options 

While this guide focuses on helping you choose the best t-shirts for printing, whether screen or digital, it’s important to consider the style and color palette available for the base t-shirt itself. After all, the right cut and color of a tee can complement your design and enhance its visual impact.

Look for a print-on-demand t-shirt supplier offering a wide range of color options, t-shirt styles, and brands, including solid colors and heathered variations. This ensures you have the creative freedom to choose the best backdrop to create modern styles and designs on your blank canvases. At Apliiq, we’ve made sure the options are limitless and the choice – all yours.


The printability of a t-shirt refers to how well it takes and holds ink during the printing process. When selecting t-shirts for printing, consider the following factors:

  • Fiber Content: T-shirts with a higher percentage of natural fiber content, such as cotton or ring-spun cotton, generally offer better printability. They absorb ink effectively and result in sharper, more vibrant prints.
  • Quality of Material: Choose t-shirts made from high-quality materials with smooth surfaces and consistent texture. Avoid t-shirts with rough or uneven surfaces, as they can negatively affect print quality.
  • Testing and Recommendations: Before committing to a large order, it’s a good idea to test a few samples of the t-shirt with your chosen printing method. This allows you to assess the print quality and durability firsthand. Additionally, seek recommendations from experienced t-shirt printers or consult directly with the experts at Apliiq for guidance on the best t-shirts for your specific printing needs.
a man with grey t-shirt is standing on the street

Print with Confidence: Top T-Shirt Brands for Printing 

Premium t-shirts married with cutting-edge printing techniques and your custom designs? It’s a match made in heaven. At Apliiq, embracing diversity is our jam. Still, we also love finding kindred spirits to join forces with to deliver unparalleled service in every nook and cranny, ensuring our customers get the crème de la crème of experiences.

So, we’ve partnered with the leading retailer bands that offer high-quality blank apparel (and yes, that includes the best t-shirts for printing, too), specifically produced for digital and screen printing to bring your vision to life, such as.

  • Bella+Canvas
  • Comfort Colors
  • Cotton Heritage
  • Gildan
  • Econscious
  • Next Level
  • Jerzees
  • Rabbit Skins
  • US blanks and more.

Committed to offering a range of options that cater to different styles, preferences, and budgets, we’ve handpicked these top t-shirt brands to ensure you have access to the best of the best when it comes to blank apparel for printing. Rest assured that when you choose Apliiq, you’re choosing the best t-shirts for printing set up for success.

Ink-Ready Excellence: Make a Splash with the Best T-Shirts for Printing

Choosing the best t-shirts for printing is crucial to ensure the success of your custom apparel venture. By considering the factors above, you can select t-shirts that provide the perfect blank canvas for your unique designs. Remember, investing in high-quality t-shirts pays off in the long run, as they offer durability, comfort, and vibrant prints that withstand the test of time.

At Apliiq, we understand the importance of quality and offer a wide range of premium yet affordable t-shirts for printing, and all your branding and labeling needs. Wondering where is the best place to get custom t-shirts? Our cost-effective, full-scope bulk and print-on-demand solutions, combined with our 24/7 support and fast delivery, make us the top choice for anyone looking to create the best-quality printed t-shirts, whether in bulk or on demand.

With well-known brands providing premium blank canvases for your artwork and the masters of product sourcing who have what it takes to bring your designs to life in your corner, the sky’s the limit. Sign up today for free and start turning your creative visions into reality with printed tees as your walking billboards!