There is a wide variety of fabric that you can use to print custom clothing at home. A little online research will reveal some of the most popular materials for printing, including cotton, polyester, rayon, linen, and any synthetic blend of these fabrics. While every custom clothing designer has their personal favorite, the public has reached a consensus and deemed cotton the fan-favorite among silk screeners, regardless of skill level.
If you’ve only recently started printing custom clothing at home, you may not be well-versed in the benefits of cotton over other fabrics. Before choosing the backdrop for your company logo or family crest, you’ll want to research the best material for DIY screen printing.
Why does cotton prevail?
Cotton remains the favorite among experts and beginners alike, as this material feels soft-to-the-touch and retains its strength. It’s also well-known that cotton or cotton-based clothes are very affordable, saving DIY screen printers money while ensuring an aesthetically-pleasing final product.
The variety of cotton is yet another distinguishing factor that sets it apart from its competitors. Regardless of the nature of your project, a cotton shirt, blouse, or sweatshirt is sure to please any family reunion or work conference attendee.
Companies such as ShirtSpace are known to offer quality cotton shirts at a steep discount. If you’re interested in printing custom clothing at home, you can score better deals from these vendors. Avoid making the rookie mistake of purchasing shirts individually. Buy in bulk when adhering to a strict budget.
Understanding the different subcategories of cotton will also help streamline your decision. Accordingly, here are four types of cotton fabric you’ll find on the market:
Generic cotton cloth
Generic cotton cloth is the most well-known type of cotton. Making generic cotton cloth involves two stages. The first stage consists of extracting the fibers to make a yarn. In the next stage, manufacturers weave the yarn to provide a finished product that’s ready-to-wear. This type of cotton is often mass-produced since it costs much less than the other types discussed below.
As the name suggests, manufacturers comb this type of cotton cloth to make the fibers stronger. While combed cotton undergoes a similar production cycle, it features an extra step of removing short fibers from the cotton.
The result is a cotton fabric that only contains long fibers. These long fibers allow the cotton cloth to retain its physical properties for a more extended period. In short, the combed cotton lasts much longer, but it’s significantly more costly and may not be suitable for mass production when printing custom clothes at home.
Ringspun cotton is the highest quality of cotton, which also sells at a premium rate. Ringspun cotton receives special treatment, given that the cloth is spun, twisted, and thinned before completion.
The weaving process results in a more delicate and softer version of the cotton. Printing on ringspun cotton requires a thoughtful attention-to-detail and often a commercial-grade printer, which can delicately print on the fabric without damaging the strands.
Organic cotton goes through a similar process as generic cotton fabric. However, the producer doesn’t use harmful pesticides or fertilizers during the harvesting process, meaning that the cotton is the result of a natural harvesting process.
Without applying harsh pesticides or fertilizers, it may require additional time to harvest the crop, but the final product is well worth the wait. In the end, you’ll be able to enjoy a pure cotton product made using traditional methods.
Unfortunately, organic cotton is often much more expensive than the mass-produced cotton fabric, so you’ll need to account for this additional cost before ordering these organic cotton shirts in bulk. If you have ample room in your budget, consider investing in these ultra-soft, eco-friendly cotton shirts.
Irrespective of the production methods, all of these subcategories of cotton are perfectly suited for printing custom clothes at home. With the right cotton shirt at your disposal, you can impress onlookers with crisp and cleanly-printed graphic t-shirts that don’t break the bank.