Your cart is currently empty.

Return to shop

How do you choose the best t-shirts for printing?

  1. Establish your goals for custom T-shirt printing
  2. Understand the different types of fabrics
  3. Take into account the printing method
  4. Test the quality of the T-shirt and the print

Whether you’re planning to start a business or need printed shirts for uniforms, events, or personal use, you’ll need to consider the shirt that you will be using. To help you, here is a simple guide on how to choose the best T-shirts for printing. Keep on reading!

Establish Your Goals For Custom T-Shirt Printing

The perfect T-shirt will depend on your purpose. For instance, do you need a garment that will be primarily worn outside for an event? Or maybe you require a simple uniform. Something that can withstand daily wear and tear will be useful for various occasions. For some of you, it might also be beneficial to look into fabrics that are easy to take care of.

Here are some of the reasons why you might be looking for a T-shirt for printing:

Event and Promotions

Most promotional T-shirts are designed for short-term use. For this reason, you might need something that is affordable but still passes quality standards.


Workwear shirts are meant to be more durable because these are worn more often in intensive settigs. You will also benefit from something that is easy to care for and can retain its shape, so the wearer can save time on washing and ironing.


When looking for T-shirts for business, you will need something with a competitive price but high-quality. You will also need to look for suppliers that offer T-shirts in a wide variety of sizes and colors, which can also be customized for your business.

Personal Use

T-shirts are also great for personal use. For first-timers, it may be best to go for affordable shirts that have high-quality fabric. Try out various designs, such as oversized, v-neck, and more. The versatility of this type of shirt allows you to print different designs and additions on it.

Understand The Different Types Of Fabrics

Understand The Different Types Of Fabrics

To find the perfect T-shirt for printing, you will need to learn more about the different types of fabrics.


Cotton fabrics are known to be comfortable, breathable, moisture-absorbent, and hypoallergenic. But not all cotton fabrics are made equal. If you’re looking for longer-lasting apparel, you should look for fabrics with longer-length fibers.

This can be achieved through combing, a technique that has been done for centuries. After the cotton is harvested and cleaned, the fibers are combed. This process removes the shorter and breakable fibers and creates a denser and more durable thread pattern.

Polyester and Polyester Cotton Blends

Synthetic fabrics like polyester are known for their wrinkle-resistance, stain resistance, and quick-drying features. The fibers are also durable despite being lightweight.

The main issue with polyester is that it’s less breathable than natural fibers. Fortunately, this is solved by combining it with cotton, a natural and breathable fabric. It gives the fabric more stretch, too.

Take Into Account The Printing Method

Your choice of T-shirt material will depend on the printing method you plan to use. This is because different fabrics all print differently. Here are some options that you can look into:

Screen Printing

In screen printing, you use a mesh that holds a stencil. The ink is then spilled all over the mesh before it’s pressed and distributed to the shirt using a squeegee. This method delivers high-quality results and is suitable if you plan to print large quantities of T-shirts.

Cotton and poly-cotton blends are the best choices for screen printing because these fabrics can absorb the ink more effectively. But this can also be done on polyester with the use of special inks and additives.

Direct-To-Garment Printing

Direct-to-garment printing (DTG) involves spraying the ink into the fabric. It’s similar to printing on paper, but in this case, it’s done on clothing. This option allows you to use many colors and print complex designs in a cost-effective way.

DTG printing best works with natural fabrics like cotton. If you plan to print on polyester, you will need to pretreat the fabric. You can also try poly-cotton blends. The higher the percentage of cotton, the better the print will be.

Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation is the process of using heat to transfer paper printed with special solidified inks. These inks become gas when heated before permeating the fibers of the textile.

Sublimation printing is only used on plastic materials like polyester fabric. Aside from T-shirts, you will see this type of printing method on bathing suits, athletic gear, and more.

Test The Quality Of The T-shirt And The Print

Test The Quality Of The T-shirt And The Print

Before you commit to a specific t-shirt, you’ll need to test its quality along with the print. First, inspect the garment’s tailoring. Aside from the fabric, the stitches should also be high-quality.

Test the print if it will crack or peel. You should have a solid and vibrant image without bleeding. Try washing the custom T-shirt a few times. The print and the fabric shouldn’t lose their colors excessively.

Once you’re satisfied after a few test runs, you can order your T-shirt in bulk.

Key Takeaway

If you want to learn how to choose the best T-shirts for printing, you can contact us here at Lifeline. Our apparel is made of a combination of combed cotton and polyester suitable for customization and reasonably priced. The shirts are dyed to a higher standard and wash tested to ensure that they are resistant to fading and discoloration, perfect for personal or business use. Browse our online T-shirt selections now!

More Blogs

Jet-Set Style: How to Travel Comfortably with Plain T-shirts
Jet-Set Style: How to Travel Comfortably with Plain T-shirts
How to Customize Your Plain T-shirt with Minimalist Designs
How to Customize Your Plain T-shirt with Minimalist Designs
V-Neck vs. Crew Neck: Choosing the Ideal Neckline for Your Plain T-shirt
V-Neck vs. Crew Neck: Choosing the Ideal Neckline for Your Plain T-shirt