Everyone owns at least one polo shirt, the casual or semi-casual with a button-down collar. Polo shirts have been in-trend for the longest time – and never left. There is a reason why almost every corporate shirt you have received is designed to have the look of a polo shirt. The best thing about polo shirt is the versatile look that makes it neither too casual nor too formal. It is pretty much a ‘formal tee’.
A lot of companies are getting into the trend of providing two kinds of staff uniforms to the employees. One is the formal, cotton or a cotton blend button-up shirt, and the other is the informal, more casual everyday shirt. The latter one is typically designed as a polo shirt but is not necessarily made up of the 100% cotton material that polo shirts are originally known for as it simply does not suit all climates.
While the design of polo shirts remains the same, the fabric is not so much. These days, there are more and more new materials chosen to create polo shirts that are sometimes indistinguishable from the traditional version of polo shirts. More companies have also chosen the design of polo shirts to be made into their corporate shirts. The only question is, what kind of material would be the right choice?
One does not simply list a selection of fabric without mentioning the one true ruler of the fabric kingdom – the cotton. It offers excellent breathability and is at the same time a wrinkle/crumple-free material. Unfortunately, as we constantly experience, this fabric can get heavy easily from the sweat. This makes it a bit impractical for athletes and working under the sun. If your team stays indoor and you simply need the thickness and comfort of the fabric, cotton would make a good choice.
This fabric is the most common one as it is what a polo shirt is known for. Just how it looks, it is a thick and comfy fabric. It works great to absorb sweat, but sweat-absorption is often not the only thing people look for. For Singaporeans, the tropical climate makes humidity apart of our lives. We would want the sweat to easily evaporate as well, and this heavily depends on the fabric material. Cotton offers the most comfort and the highest absorbancy. Unfortunately, this also means it is thicker than other materials.
You might wonder what this fabric is doing here, but believe it or not it makes a good material – yes, even for the design of polo shirts. Jersey is made of wool, cotton, and synthetic fibers. This material is totally flexible and lightweight, giving its wearer the utmost comfort. It has excellent sweat-wicking properties which makes it one of the most famous sportswear fabrics. Just skim through the field. You will find a lot of the fabrics worn by athletes are jerseys. It drapes the body nicely without clinging to them. Contrary to what one may think due to the lack or absence of cotton, this material is breathable and still promises comfort in terribly humid conditions.
Keeping you cook and non-sticky, this material is also anti-fade and anti-shrink. Out of all fabrics, jersey is undoubtedly the lightest. However, just like how a 100% cotton will not be the best choice for a tropical climate, a jersey material also would not work great if you live in a dry area. Of course, if you are in a tropical climate but you spend most of the day in an air-conditioned room, you will not find the thin jersey fabric very helpful either.
CVC stands for Chief Value Cotton, a blended material of cotton and polyester, with the cotton being of a higher percentage, typically 60%. This blended material is lightweight and feels soft and light on the skin. The combination of the two materials gives this particular fabric high absorbency and extra durability. You will find the shirts made of CVC can generally stand the test of time well. Plus, due to the high ratio of cotton to polyester threads, it stays breathable and makes a great fabric to be put on the skin when under the sun. It is highly favored in the sportswear industry as CVC is generally inexpensive, despite its good quality.
Basically the higher-end type of cotton with longer fibers, this smooth shirt fabric feels extra soft to touch. Its appearance does not really resemble the polo shirt fabric that we know, but if comfort is the only thing you look for, you are going to love Pima Cotton. As it is ultimately cotton, it offers the durability, breathability, and sweat absorbency that we know typical cotton fabric has. However, cotton does not always dry up quickly so it might retain sweat for quite some time before it evaporates. This material is particularly pricy, which is why you will find a lot of high-end brands use it for their polo shirts. Though incredibly lightweight and comfortable, it is not the best choice for all occasions and weather, especially if it is extra humid where you are. You would be better off with a blended material so your sweat can quickly evaporate instead of being retained.
Talking about a blended material that offers quick evaporation of moisture, this fabric could not come up at a better time! Gotten its name from a brand, Dri-Fit is basically microfiber polyester material. Do not easily get intimidated by the materials as it works as great as cotton in soaking up sweat. However, there is a twist! Unlike cotton, this fabric dries up quickly, keeping your body off the icky feeling and letting you stay fresh. This undoubtedly makes it the top choice among athletes as they can stay comfortable and dry while exercising or working out. In the warm and humid Singapore, putting on microfiber polyester fabric can help keep us active and cool.
Beyond the material itself, the quality of a polo shirt is also determined by the way the fabric is knit. The appearance of the shirt highly depends on this element. The most famous knit methods that can give the classic polo shirt look are pique, interlock, and Lacoste. Although other knits like jersey and eyelet are occasionally used to be made into polo shirt as well, the outcome would not look similar to the classic look of a polo shirt.
Hence, based on the collated information above, your best options (if you want your custom-made polo shirt to look like one) are CVC Lacoste, Dri-Fit, interlock jersey, and interlock pima cotton. Given the daily weather and temperature, finding the best material for your polo shirt printing Singapore residents would love to wear on a daily basis can be tough, but not impossible. Reach out to us to get the best recommendation on your customized shirt printing!