Are you planning to print t-shirts for your events in Singapore, but stuck in the dilemma of choosing between cotton and dri-fit as the fabric? As you are likely to order the t-shirts in larger quantities, it is important for you to make sure that the material you pick is a great fit for the intended use. As a start, understanding the benefits and shortcomings of these two fabrics can help you make more informed decisions, which is why you should read the detailed guide below:
Cotton is the most used fabric in the world today. Due to its soft texture and versatility, cotton is a popular choice of fabric for t-shirts printing in Singapore. Tracing back to its source, cotton grows like a fluffy, white boll that acts as the protective case for the seeds of the cotton plant. If you are planning to choose cotton as the material for your t-shirt printing in Singapore, there are a few pros and cons that you should know.
- Natural: Cotton is a natural fabric that is suitable for all types of skin. Different from synthetic fibres like rayon, nylon, polyester and spandex, the fibre in cotton is natural and does not irritate the skin.
- Comfortable: The texture of cotton is soft and flexible, making any cotton t-shirt comfortable enough to be worn even for long hours.
- Airy: Cotton t-shirts are highly breathable. Cotton fabric works great in absorbing and evaporating sweat, hence preventing inconvenience like perspiration odours. Furthermore, cotton t-shirts are insulating, meaning they can keep your body at a comfortable temperature regardless of the weather.
- Easy Cleaning: One of cotton’s characteristics is stain-repellent, making cotton t-shirts fairly easy to clean.
- Versatile: Cotton is suitable for various types of shirts, including round neck t-shirt, polo tee, long sleeve t-shirt, mandarin collar shirt and singlet. Moreover, cotton is easy to dye, so you can enjoy more colour options for your t-shirt.
- Shrinkage: Cotton shirts are likely to shrink after you wash them, hence you might have to opt for slightly bigger measurement when you order them.
- Deformation: The neckline, sleeve and overall shape of cotton t-shirts tend to deform after multiple wear and washing.
- Damage: A natural fabric like cotton is more prone to being torn, and being damaged by mold. Other than that, the colour of cotton t-shirts are more likely to fade under sunlight and frequent washing.
- Wrinkles: Cotton t-shirts are easily wrinkled, which means you’ll have to iron them frequently.
- Harder to Dry: Cotton t-shirts hold moisture longer. In other words, they can take longer to dry.
Choose Cotton T-shirt If:
- Your t-shirts are for young kids, elderly or people with sensitive skin.
- Your t-shirts will be worn for long hours frequently.
- Your t-shirts will be worn in an environment with minimal ventilation.
Tips on Taking Care of Cotton T-shirts
- Turn your cotton t-shirt inside out before washing them to maintain the colour.
- Hand wash your cotton t-shirts if possible. If you are using a washing machine, wash them in cold water (maximum temperature of 30°C) to prevent them from shrinking.
- Stretch your cotton t-shirt gently right after you get them out of the wash to restore their shape.
- Air dry your cotton t-shirt instead of using the dryer to retain its shape.
- Iron your cotton t-shirts when they are still slightly damp. Alternatively, use a steam iron on your cotton shirts to protect its natural fibre.
Dri-Fit, or microfiber is the most popular choice of fabric for sportswear in the market. Dri-Fit is a type of petroleum-based synthetic fibre that consists of concentrated threads that are thinner than a human hair.
Dri-fit fabrics are often made from one type or a combination of synthetic fibres, such as acrylic, nylon, rayon and polyester. Some of the features of dry-fit fabric are very similar to natural cotton fabric, read on to see if they are what you look for in a t-shirt.
- Breathable: The fine fibres of dri-fit t-shirts makes them breathable regardless of the weather or the intensity of your activity.
- Light Weight: Microfiber shirts are much lighter compared to other fabrics, which is a desirable feature if you are wearing for exercising or playing sports.
- Quick Drying: Dri-fit t-shirts dry quickly due to their wick absorption characteristic. Not only does this feature keep you cool and dry during sweaty workouts, it also means your t-shirt will dry faster after you wash them.
- Durable: The fibre of dri-fit t-shirts are highly durable against wear and tear. Dri-fit-shirts are also more machine-wash-durable, so they are generally easier to maintain.
- Wrinkle-Resistant: Dri-fit t-shirts are not wrinkled easily, so you don’t have to worry about spending your time ironing them.
- Not As Comfortable: Dri-fit is not the most comfortable choice of fabric for t-shirts because they do not have the natural softness of cotton.
- Not Suitable For Sensitive Skin: The texture of microfiber is rougher than cotton. Furthermore, since its material is not natural, some people might get skin irritation after wearing them.
Choose Dri-fit t-shirt If:
- Your t-shirt is for fitness or sports events.
- Your t-shirt is for outdoor or intense physical activities.
- You prioritize convenience over other features.
Tips on Taking Care of Dri-fit T-shirts
- Wash your dri-fit t-shirts with warm water to protect its synthetic fibres.
- Avoid using softeners and detergents with extra additives, because some of these products can clog up the space between the fibres of dri-fit t-shirts, which might compromise their wick absorption feature.
- Avoid mixing dri-fit-shirts with other fabric when washing. Washing cotton and microfiber shirts together might cause microfiber shirts to collect stubborn lints.
Ultimately, there is no “one-fabric-fits-all” when it comes to t-shirt printing. Cotton and dri-fit fabrics are both great options for t-shirts, depending on your needs and purpose. Before you make your decision, list down some of the important features that you are looking for in a shirt, and see which fabric fulfils the most of your requirements.
Alternatively, you can always contact an experienced and reliable Singapore t shirt printing service like Custom Prints & Apparels for professional advice.