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Finding The Best T-Shirts For Printing – 2024 Guide

Find the perfect t-shirts for your printing projects with our ultimate guide. Explore top picks for quality, durability, and print compatibility.

Table of Contents

Graphic design desk with a guidebook on finding the best t-shirts for printing, surrounded by tools, color palettes, and diverse styled t-shirts.

Choosing the right t-shirt for printing can be like finding a needle in a haystack. With countless options on the market, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of fabrics and styles.

Our guide cuts through that confusion. It offers clear tips on picking the best t-shirts for printing!

Dive in, and let’s find your perfect canvas!

Key Takeaways

  • Choose fabric carefully. Ringspun cotton is smooth and strong. It’s good for quality prints. Polyester is great for vibrant sublimation printing. Blends offer comfort.
  • Consider the shirt’s style and cut. Different body types look better in different fits, like classic or fitted tees with crew necks or V-necks.
  • Look at t – shirt weight. Heavyweight shirts are durable for bold prints, while lightweight shirts are softer but may not last as long.
  • Think about who will wear the shirt. Know your target market to pick tees that fit their style needs—kids’ shirts should be tough; adults might want a stylish yet durable option.
  • Understand printing techniques. DTG works well on cotton and soft prints; screen printing offers vibrant colors perfect for high-volume orders.

Key Considerations When Choosing T-Shirts for Printing

When picking the right t-shirt for printing, many factors come into play. They will determine how well your design stands out and lasts. It’s more than just picking a shirt. It’s about understanding the complex dance of fabric choice, weight, and the unique details of style. These ensure both printability and wearability. This balance is vital for standing out in a market flooded with options.

best t-shirts for printing

Target Market

Knowing your audience is key in picking the right t-shirts for printing. Whether it’s for bands, businesses, sports teams, or fashion lines, you want to make sure your tees match their style and needs.

Think about who will wear them: Kids? Business professionals? Athletes? Each group has different expectations for comfort, durability, and design. If you’re aiming at millennials who love streetwear, they’ll likely prefer a soft touch and trendy cuts.

But if it’s for a corporate event, look for something with a more formal feel.

The shirt should be comfortable and stylish yet versatile enough to reflect the personality of whoever wears it. Kids’ shirts need to withstand play. Adults might want a perfect fit and durable fabric that lasts wash after wash.

Make smart choices based on these preferences; happy customers come back! Now let’s talk fabric type..

Fabric Type

Understanding your target market’s preferences shows you the fabric’s importance in t-shirt printing. The right material not only meets the demands of your audience but also affects how well your designs will show up and last.

Consider ringspun cotton, known for its smoothness and strength; it’s a top pick for quality t-shirt printing. Fabric like this ensures that every print comes out sharp and vibrant.

Polyester shirts are great for sublimation printing. They hold color well. This helps intricate designs look vivid with great detail. On the other hand, cotton is perfect for DTG (Direct-to-Garment) printing, offering a soft feel and durability.

Don’t overlook triblend fabrics—they combine comfort with a unique textured appearance that many love for casual wear. And if you want only premium, Airlume cotton is supremely clean and uniform. It lays down a perfect blank canvas for your art.

Shirt Weight

Shirt weight is a big deal when picking the best t-shirts for printing. Heavier tees can handle bold prints and won’t wear out fast. These are often called heavyweight and feel thick on your skin.

Lighter shirts are soft and comfy, but they might not last as long with lots of washes or heavy designs.

Not all lightweight shirts are weak though! Some use high-quality yarn that’s tightly woven to make them strong but still light. Think about who will wear your shirt and what it goes through day-to-day.

This will help you choose the right weight for durability and comfort.

Next up, let’s talk style – ‘Style and Cut‘ matters too!

Style and Cut

Moving beyond weight, let’s talk about style and cut — they matter a lot. Your t-shirt can be classic with straight sides or fitted with curves for different body types. Consider the neckline too; crew necks are timeless, while V-necks add a modern twist.

Look for details like side seams which give shape and structure. They help custom tees look sharp and stay in place after many washes.

Bella+Canvas 3413 is all about that stylish fit making it a high-quality canvas for printing. The right cut ensures your designs shine on both men and women, enhancing the overall appearance of printed t-shirts.

Don’t forget: sleeves can vary from snug to loose, influencing how laid-back or formal your shirt feels! A great style complements the print, so pick wisely to make people love wearing your brand’s quality t-shirts day in and out.

Transparency Level

Choosing the right t-shirt for printing means paying attention to how see-through it is. This is about being honest with what you get and knowing all about your shirt, from fabric to fit.

A clear view of these details helps make sure your printed design stands out just right.

The weight, weave, and type of material can affect if a shirt looks too thin or just perfect. For example, lighter shirts might be more transparent than heavier ones like polyester tees.

Look at the specifics: Is it combed and ringspun cotton or a blend? High singles count often means smoother and finer fabric, which can change how much the print pops on your tee.

Top 5 T-Shirts for Printing

Looking for the best t-shirts to print your designs on? You need shirts that are a blend of quality, durability, and comfort. Here are the top 5 picks:

  • Gildan 5000 Heavyweight Unisex Crewneck T-Shirt: This is a classic choice for screen printing. Made from 100% cotton, it’s thick and durable. It comes pre-shrunk to minimize shrinkage after washing. Great for those who prefer a traditional fit.
  • Bella+Canvas 3001 Premium Unisex Crewneck T-Shirt: Known for being incredibly soft and lightweight. It’s made with ring-spun cotton and has a modern, relaxed fit. This tee is perfect if you’re looking for a high-quality blank canvas for printing.
  • Next Level – CVC T-Shirt – 6210: Combines cotton and polyester for comfort and longevity. The fabric is soft with a slight heather look. Its fitted style makes it popular among those who want a more tailored shirt.
  • American Apparel 2001: This t-shirt offers a balance between casual and formal look with its fine weave. It’s known for its softness and slightly longer length, appealing to individuals seeking more coverage.
  • Hanes Beefy T-Shirt Sleeve 5180: Features thick, ring-spun cotton that feels sturdy yet comfortable. The shirt also keeps its shape well due to its ribbed cuffs on the sleeves and reinforced stitching along seams.

Gildan 5000 Heavyweight Unisex Crewneck T-Shirt

The Gildan 5000 is a strong contender for custom t-shirt printing. It offers durability with its heavy cotton fabric. This fabric gracefully bridges the gap between affordability and reliability.

This classic unisex tee is built to endure many printing methods. But, it doesn’t sacrifice comfort. That’s why it’s a go-to option for those who want a tough canvas for their designs.

Gildan Heavy Cotton™ T-Shirt


Gildan Heavy Cotton T-Shirt 5000 combines classic style with rugged durability, ideal for personalized designs and everyday use.

SKU: 5000
Category: ,

Features & Description (Gildan 5000)

Gildan 5000 tees come in a rainbow of colors. Choose from white, black, navy and more to match your design dreams. Need a small or need something bigger? Sizes range from S all the way up to 3XL.

If softness is what you’re after, this shirt’s got you covered—made with 100% cotton or a cozy blend depending on the shade you pick.

Check out its smooth design; no lumps or bumps with this tubular single-cloth make! It also has a classic fit that suits everyone. It has strong double-needle stitching at the collar and bottom hems. This stitching makes the shirt last a long time.

Got an urgent order? Don’t sweat it—with standard shipping, your custom t-shirt prints arrive in less than ten days. Perfect for those last-minute events where looking good is non-negotiable!

Pros & Cons (Gildan 5000)

The Gildan 5000 Heavyweight Unisex Crewneck T-Shirt has specific attributes. It’s clear that this shirt is meant for many printing needs. Now, let’s weigh the pros and cons to see if it aligns with what you’re searching for in a printing t-shirt.

Pros: The fabric is durable and can handle many washes. It’s 100% cotton. But, it may shrink if not pre-shrunk. The fit is regular and suits many body types. But, cotton/polyester blends lack breathability. There are many colors and sizes to suit diverse preferences. But, color may fade with frequent washing. The double-needle collar and bottom hems add structure. But, the thick fabric may not suit hot climates. The price is accessible for bulk buying. But, the fabric might feel heavy. Global fulfillment makes it widely available. The texture varies with the fabric blend.

This assessment provides a snapshot of the Gildan 5000’s capabilities and limitations. Keep these factors in mind as you determine the best fit for your printing projects.

Bella+Canvas 3001 Premium Unisex Crewneck T-Shirt

The Bella+Canvas 3001 is a T-shirt. It has the winning combo of versatility and comfort. Known for its premium feel, this unisex crewneck is a go-to canvas for those seeking to create vibrant and lasting prints.

Bella+Canvas Unisex Jersey T-Shirt


Classic and comfortable, the Bella+Canvas Unisex Jersey T-Shirt 3001C is a must-have, made from 100% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton for superior softness.

SKU: 3001C
Category: ,

Features & Description (Bella+Canvas 3001)

The Bella+Canvas 3001 t-shirt is a top pick for anyone looking for comfort and style. It’s made of 100% combed and ring-spun cotton, which feels soft against your skin. The modern fit looks good on both men and women.

This tee is built strong with shoulder-to-shoulder taping, so it holds up better over time.

You have choices with the Bella+Canvas 3001 – pick between a side-seam or tubular construction to get just the right fit. Plus, the makers quarter-turn the fabric when making the shirt.

This means you get a smoother surface that’s perfect for printing your designs front and back. Trust us; this staple cotton tee will make your custom shirt ideas look great!

Pros & Cons (Bella+Canvas 3001)

Understanding the pros and cons of the Bella+Canvas 3001 is crucial. It helps you decide if it’s right for your custom printing needs. Here’s a straightforward look at the pros and cons of this popular t-shirt.

Pros Cons

  • Made from 100% combed and ring-spun cotton, this tee offers a superior soft and lightweight feel that’s ideal for printing.
  • High singles count ensures a smooth surface, enhancing the print quality significantly.
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder taping fortifies stress points, adding to the garment’s durability.
  • Side-seamed construction provides a structured, body-flattering fit.
  • Quarter-turning during manufacturing minimizes creases, boosting the print area’s uniformity.
  • May be priced higher compared to other brands, which could be a concern for budget-conscious customers.
  • The lightweight fabric, while comfortable, might not be the best option for those seeking heavier material.
  • A more structured fit means the sizes may run smaller than expected. So, you need to be careful when ordering.
  • Frequent washing and heavy usage might lead to faster wear and tear compared to heavier tees.

This tee stands out for its comfort, quality, and printability, making it a strong contender for your next custom print project. Keep in mind both sides of the coin to ensure satisfaction for you and your target market.

Next Level – CVC T-Shirt – 6210

For those seeking a soft yet durable canvas for their designs, the Next Level – CVC T-Shirt – 6210 emerges as a standout choice. This mix of cotton and polyester has won over fans. It has superior printability and is comfortable to wear. This makes it an intriguing option for your custom apparel line-up.

Next Level Apparel CVC T-Shirt


Next Level Apparel 6210 Premium CVC Tee combines comfort and durability, ideal for personalized printing designs.

SKU: 6210
Category: ,
Tags: ,

Features & Description (Next Level – CVC T-Shirt – 6210)

The Next Level CVC T-Shirt 6210 is a top choice for those who demand both comfort and durability in their printed apparel. This shirt features shoulder-to-shoulder taping that keeps the fit strong, even after many washes.

The fabric blend combines softness with resilience, giving you a t-shirt that feels great and lasts long. Its single count ensures a smooth texture that’s ideal for intricate designs.

It comes in many colors to match any style. The 6210 also has side-seam or tubular options. You can choose the best look for your brand. Quarter-turning during manufacturing means you get a smoother surface – just what you need for high-quality prints.

Whether using DTG printing or heat press methods, this tee holds up to ensure your image stands out as intended.

Pros & Cons (Next Level – CVC T-Shirt – 6210)

Choose the Next Level – CVC T-Shirt – 6210 for your printing needs. Consider the following pros and cons to see if it fits your project’s needs:

Pros and cons. The brand offers variety in styles, including crewneck and v-neck options. But, it may not work well with all printing techniques. The brand has a reputation for durability. The clothes keep their shape after many washes. But, the sizing can differ from expectations. So, you need to choose carefully. The fabric blend is soft and comfortable. It’s good for custom printing. But, the color options could be more limited. The brand is recommended for custom printing. But, some buyers might prefer 100% cotton for some print methods. The brand is relatively affordable. It provides good value. But, some markets might prefer heavier weight options.

This T-shirt blends versatility with quality. Now, let’s explore features and benefits of the American Apparel 2001.

American Apparel 2001

The American Apparel 2001 t-shirt has been a staple for quality seekers who aim to balance comfort with printing precision. It’s known for its fine jersey fabric and modern shape. It’s a classic choice that resonates well across various groups. They eagerly await your creative touch.

American Apparel Fine Jersey Tee


Opt for comfort and style with the American Apparel Fine Jersey Tee 2001, 100% cotton for softness, ideal for screen printing and DTF by Lamb Screen Printing.

SKU: 2001
Category: ,

Features & Description (American Apparel 2001)

American Apparel 2001 t-shirts stand out for their sleek design and comfy fit. They’re a top pick for anyone looking to print unique designs. Made with 100% combed cotton, these shirts feel soft on the skin.

Their slightly fitted style provides a fashionable look that’s great for both men and women. With a range of colors, you can choose the perfect backdrop for your printed message or art.

These tees feature high-quality fabric that holds up well in the wash, keeping prints looking sharp over time. They offer just the right thickness to ensure your designs come out vibrant and clear.

Customers love the durability of American Apparel 2001 t-shirts. They are comfy and last a long time. These are ideal qualities for printed or everyday clothes.

Pros & Cons (American Apparel 2001)

The American Apparel 2001 t-shirt stands out for its high-quality fabric and fit. It’s a go-to choice if you’re aiming for the best quality prints. People love these shirts because they feel soft and look great on various body types. They come in lots of colors, giving you many options to choose from.

But there are some downsides too. These tees can be more expensive than others. And sometimes, they may shrink a bit after washing. Make sure your customers know how to care for them properly to keep their printed designs looking sharp.

Hanes Beefy T-Shirt Sleeve 5180

The Hanes Beefy T-Shirt 5180 is competing for your attention. It has durability from a high stitch density. This brings comfort and prime space for printing.

It’s heavy and soft. It’s not just a blank canvas. It lasts wash after wash. It shows your design clearly.

Hanes Beefy-T® T-Shirt


The Hanes Beefy-T 5180 combines classic comfort with durable construction, perfect for custom designs that require a high-quality canvas.

SKU: 5180
Category: ,

Features & Description (Hanes Beefy T-Shirt Sleeve 5180)

The Hanes Beefy T-Shirt Sleeve 5180 packs a punch with its heavyweight fabric. Made of 6.1 oz pre-shrunk 100% ringspun cotton, it feels solid yet comfortable. It’s designed to keep its shape wash after wash.

You’ll find it in many colors, making it easy to pick just the right one for your project.

This t-shirt gives you a modern fit without being too tight. Since you only need to order a minimum of 12, trying out different sizes and styles is simple and stress-free. The Hanes Beefy T is great for printing thanks to its high-quality fabric that shows off sharp graphics and bright colors time after time.

Pros & Cons (Hanes Beefy T-Shirt Sleeve 5180)

Moving on from the features, let’s dive into the benefits and drawbacks of the Hanes Beefy T-Shirt Sleeve 5180. This shirt brings comfort with its heavyweight 6.1 oz pre-shrunk 100% ringspun cotton, ensuring a soft feel and durability wash after wash. It strikes a nice balance between classic style and modern fit, making it versatile for various body types. Plus, you’ll find plenty of choices with its wide array of color options.

Now, some things to keep in mind. If you plan to do sublimation printing, this may not be your top pick. Polyester shirts are generally better for that method. Cotton is ideal for direct-to-garment printing. Also think about where you’ll wear these tees. The fabric weight could be too heavy or just right, depending on local weather. And remember, you must buy at least twelve. Orders start at a dozen. This is perfect for small runs but a budget concern.

Different Printing Techniques for Custom T-Shirts

Understanding the many printing techniques will greatly affect the look and feel of your custom t-shirts. This section explains methods like DTG and screen printing. It will help you select a technique that fits your project’s demands for quality and style.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG)

Direct-to-Garment, or DTG, is like having a high-tech inkjet printer for your shirts. It’s perfect for creating detailed designs with lots of colors. The best part? The print feels super soft against the skin and won’t crack or peel like some other methods.

You can expect vibrant colors and sharp images that really pop on the fabric.

With DTG, you get great quality without sacrificing comfort. This technique works well on cotton t-shirts but can also handle blends and synthetic fabrics. Whether you’re after a single piece or a small batch of custom tees, DTG could be your go-to choice for prints that are as vivid as they are durable.

Screen Printing

Screen printing stands out for its vibrant colors and durability on t-shirts. It’s a top choice if you want high-quality prints that last wash after wash. With screen printing, ink gets pushed through a stencil or screen onto the fabric.

This method allows for one color at a time, so designs with fewer colors are perfect.

A smooth surface is key to sharp prints in screen printing – that’s where quarter-turning comes in handy during production. It ensures your design looks crisp on every shirt. Whether doing it yourself or picking the best quality t-shirts for print shops, think about how your artwork will look with this technique.

Next up: let’s dive into sublimation and see how it compares!


Moving from screen printing, sublimation is a whole different game. It works like magic on polyester t-shirts. The ink turns into gas with heat and bonds to the fabric. This means your design won’t peel, crack, or wash out.

Plus, the colors are super vibrant! Sublimation is great for intricate patterns and full-color images.

Here’s something cool: sublimation only sticks to polyester fibers. If you print on a blend, the design gets this vintage look because it doesn’t go onto the cotton part. Keep in mind that sublimation needs special printers and inks but gives you quality prints that last a long time!


Choosing the right t-shirt for printing is like finding the perfect canvas for your art. Keep in mind fabric, fit, and function to make a standout product. Remember, quality matters—from thread count to print method.

Pick wisely, and your design will shine on any tee. Good luck with your next custom t-shirt project!


1. What makes the best quality t-shirts for printing?

The best high-quality t-shirts for printing combine a smooth blank canvas, durable fabric composition, and fiber content that holds onto ink well. You need to consider these factors alongside the type of print you want.

2. Can I find good t-shirts online for my print on demand business?

Absolutely! Online stores are bursting with different colors and styles of high-quality t-shirts perfect for printing. Gildan offers popular options – from classic cotton to soft triblend fabrics.

3. How important is fabric when choosing a t-shirt for printing?

Fabric is key! Whether it’s a loose fit unisex jersey or a fitted raw edge tee, the quality of the print often depends on the fabric composition – like cotton, polyester, or a mix.

4. Are all blank t-shirts created equal for different types of prints?

Nope – they’re not all the same! Some tees work better with certain inks and designs. Triblend shirts might be great for vibrant designs while heavyweight cotton keeps it classic and bold.

5. When selecting a blank t-shirt, what should I be willing to pay more for?

You might pay extra if you’re after top-notch fabric quality that will make your design pop and survive many washes without fading. Remember though – higher price doesn’t always mean better so do your homework first!

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