What are T-Shirt fabrics?
Fabric is made of fibers and means that this is fabricated from yarn. The yarn will be knitted to form fabrics. The fabrics will be used for textile manufacturing. Fibers can come from many sources, plants, animal hair, insects, and crude oil. There are many types of fabrics available in the market. Few of the fabrics are:
- Cotton Fabric: Cotton fabric is one of the most common fabrics used in t-shirt manufacturing. Cotton is soft, sturdy, breathable, and affordable. Cotton usually does wrinkle. Several types of cotton fabrics are available.
- Combed cotton: It is slightly costlier than normal cotton. It is extremely soft and stronger. Fine brushes are used to get rid of short strands and straighten fibers.
- Pima Cotton: Pima cotton has a stable material that has extra-long, more durable fibers. Pima is normal cotton but with better fibers (50% longer than regular material). Pima cotton is very soft to touch and lasts longer. Pima is only grown in Peru, Australia, and the United States. Only three percent of cotton grown in the United States is Pima.
- Supima Cotton: Supima is a superior version of Pima cotton (Supima = Superior + Pima). It is the longest and strongest cotton available in the market. Supima fibers are stronger, Softer and durable than Pima cotton. It is manufactured only in the United States. Supima is a brand name trademarked by the Supima Association, so all Supima is higher level Pima. Supima cotton also feels like silk.
- Slub Cotton: A slubbed fabric is caused due to imperfections which are created with slight knots and knobbles, which can be seen as thicker, raised threads on the fabric surface. The intention was to create a smooth, even yarn, but sometimes slubs made the yarn a little uneven. The imperfection caused can be due to a characteristic of the yarn or created purposely with the intention of giving the fabric an organic, tactile look and feel.
- Linen: Linen fabric is made from flax fibers. To extract the fibers, the plants are either cut or pulled by hand from the ground. The seeds are then removed through a process called winnowing or ripping, followed by retting which removes the plant stock from the fibers. Once the fibers are separated to collect the longest, which can be up to 20 cm long, they are spun into yarn and then woven into the fabric.
- Lycra: Lycra is also called spandex or elastane. It is a registered brand name for a polyurethane-based synthetic fiber. Lycra has great durability and strength. Lycra, usually always used as a blend material with cotton and polyester. Lycra is mostly used for manufacturing surgical stockings, swimwear, and sportswear. It's also used to add stretch to jeans, tops, dresses and even fitted sheets.
- Polyester: Polyester is an extremely strong fabric and very easy for machine wash and dry. Being a fiber derived from oil, polyester is water-repellent, and therefore not absorbent. The moisture regain is only 0.4% at standard temperature and humidity conditions. For this reason, polyester fabrics do not absorb sweat and can give one a moist, warm, clammy feel.
- Rayon: Cotton and rayon fibers are both made from the same polymer (cellulose), cotton’s cellulose is grown in five to six months. Rayon’s cellulose is produced from trees, which require a much longer time (years) to grow before they are big enough for harvesting. Rayon fabric is inexpensive, drapes beautifully, breathable, and can be blend with other fibers.
- Blends: T-shirts can be made as a combination of two or three materials. Ex: Cotton and polyester blend, Cotton and lycra blend, polyester and lycra blend. The reason for the blending is that while blending, good qualities from both the fabrics will be combined.