Different Materials T-Shirts Are Made From

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If you think the cotton t-shirt is the only type that exists, well, you would be wrong.


While cotton is probably one of the most common materials used in the manufacturing of the t-shirt, there are several other kinds. To make it easy, we will review each in alphabetical order.

1 – Burn-out

While this is typically a term used to express one’s loss of motivation, it is also the description of a type of material used to make t-shirts. Burn-out is actually fabric that has undergone a chemical process that results in several ‘sheer’ patches throughout the body of the t-shirt. The edgy look is unique and creates a specific kind of image for the person wearing the t-shirt.

2 – Combed Cotton

If you’ve ever noticed that a few of your cotton t-shirts seem to last longer than others, this may be part of the reason. Combed cotton is the result of fine brushes that sweep over the t-shirt material and remove short strands as well as straightening fibers. This process will make the fabric more durable, smoother and even softer than regular cotton.

3 – Jersey

This stretchable knit, which is very comfortable and flexible, is made from cotton or a synthetic blend. The shirts made from this are typically warm and heavier than regular t-shirts.

4 – Linen

This textured weave is made from the flax plant. It dries fast but wrinkles easily.

5 – Modal

Plant fibers are used to create this form of rayon that resists shrinking and drapes in such a way that it is sort of slinky.

6 – Organic Cotton

Because this cotton is grown organically – without fertilizers or pesticides – it is more expensive than other cottons. However, it is also softer.

7 – Pigment Dyed

The outside of the fibers are all that get treated with colors and result in a slightly faded appearance. The look is more trendy than fashionable but continues to be featured in many t-shirt options.

8 – Pima/Supima

This is the name used for the highest quality cotton there is. It is basically an extra long fiber cotton that gets softer with wear. It also resists pilling, stretching and fading. Expect this fabric to make your t-shirt cost slightly more than usual.

9 – Polyester

This tightly-woven fabric does not breathe but it won’t shrink or wrinkle. It also holds its shape. Because it is so tight a weave, this fabric tends to trap heat and as a clothing item, can become uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

10 – Rayon

This manmade fiber is a mixture of cotton, woody plants and trees. It breathes well and is silky to the touch but it will wrinkle.

11 – Rib Knit

This thick garment is the result of a ridged pattern. It is comfortable and flexible.

12 – Slub

The twisting action of fibers during the manufacturing process creates an irregular weave known as slub. The texture is also rough but the garment is unique in overall appearance.

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