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Cotton T-Shirts - Regular vs. Ring Spun

May 9, 2020

So you’re looking through all of the different kinds of t-shirts that there are to choose from and you keep coming across the term ring-spun. You’ve also probably noticed that that term is often times associated with a bit of a higher price point. So what’s the deal with this ring-spun cotton? Is it really worth the extra money over regular preshrunk cotton? You are about to find out.

The manufacturing process for regular cotton material and ring-spun cotton material are very different. Regular cotton is made by twisting the vegetable fibres from a cotton boll into a yarn and then just taking that yarn and then simply weaving it together to make the material. This is what you will find with more inexpensive and popular shirt options like Gildan 2000, Gildan 5000, M&O 4800, Alstyle 1301 and other similar items. This process creates a relatively soft and breathable material though when comparing to ring-spun or synthetic and manufactured materials you will likely notice a bit of a roughness.

Alternatively ring-spun cotton is made by continuously twisting and thinning the strands to create an extremely fine rope of cotton fibres. The more the fabric is twisted the softer and more durable it will become. After this process it is then woven into a fabric. This process is more time consuming and labour intensive than that of creating regular cotton which is why this material is typically more expensive than regular cotton t-shirts. Additionally as I briefly mentioned before ring-spun cotton is noticeably softer and a fair amount more durable than regular cotton resulting in a more comfortable and long lasting shirt. Ring-spun cotton is a go-to option for higher end apparel, some popular styles include American Apparel 2001, Bella & Canvas 3001, Gildan Hammer Tee, and Anvil 980. Also as a little tip, if you’re working on a budget but want the nicer feel check out the M&O 5500, and M&O 4502 as they are extremely budget friendly ring-spun options!

How does the type of cotton affect my print?

Regular cotton t-shirts are more likely to have loose fibres that will stick up and cause your print to have a rougher texture. Because ring-spun cotton is so tight knit it creates a flatter and more smooth surface to print on which ultimately results in a more smooth print!

At the end of the day if you’re just looking for a low-cost shirt for hand-outs or because you are working with a restricting budget then the regular cotton will be just fine for you. If you’re looking for shirts that you plan to sell as a part of a clothing line, or simply want something more high end then definitely look into the various ring-spun options that we have available!

And like always if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or need a hand figuring out what the best option for you is don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!

Jake Moroun

Jake is me, I am Jake the one and only, sole operator of Sausage Dog Promo Co.! I was a graphic designer (technically I still am I guess), and then I started printing t-shirts in my basement. I'm here to help you out with some tips and tricks when I can as well as answer any questions you have about screen printing, design, petting dogs, or whatever else you have questions about, so don't hesitate to ask away! And yes, that is a goat in the picture.

Likes: Dogs (animals in general really), Music, Chocolate

Dislikes: Pickles, Not being able to pet all the dogs all the time, Needles