When buying a custom T-Shirt, most of us only pay attention to the design we’re going to print on it. And while the design is undeniably important, you shouldn’t neglect T-Shirt materials. The fabrics used to make your Tee will not only determine how long it will last but also what type of print you can use on it. To help you understand the differences in materials, we’ve compiled the ultimate T-Shirt fabric guide.

Fabrics play a huge role in the creation of custom T-Shirts. For one, some materials take on print ink better and are therefore better suited for complex designs. Others are higher quality and more comfortable to wear, especially if you have sensitive skin. Lastly, certain types of fabrics are just more ethical than others, as they support both the environment and a fair wage for the workers that produce them. 

If you want to pick a shirt that meets all these criteria, we hear you. With our T-Shirt fabric guide, you’ll learn the basics of clothing materials, as well as their pros and cons. Once you’re armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to browse ArtistShot’s vast collection of customizable Tees to find exactly the T-Shirt you’re looking for. 

What are The Best Fabrics for Custom Shirts?

From cotton to polyester to linen, there is no shortage of clothing fabrics to choose from. Lucky for you our T-Shirt fabric guide is here to help you get started on your custom Tee journey. 


Opening this list is the undisputed ‘king of all fabrics’. Cotton is one of the most widespread and commonly used clothing materials — for good reason. As a fabric, it’s strong and easy to work with, while also being soft to the touch. Furthermore, it’s quite comfortable to wear, and it’s incredibly affordable even for those on a tighter budget. For this reason, we had to give it the top spot on our T-Shirt fabric guide.

Cotton makes the best material for custom T-shirts because it absorbs water-based ink so well. Therefore, a cotton shirt is the ideal canvass for complex, custom designs that require high levels of detail. The only drawback of cotton is that it can lose its softness after repeated washing. Cheaply sourced cotton clothing is also not very durable, nor is it eco-friendly. 


Luckily, there are a few subcategories of cotton that circumvent these flaws:


  • Organic cotton: Produced without the use of pesticides and growth boosters, organic cotton is of higher quality than its non-organic counterpart. It’s also much more eco-friendly.
  • Combined cotton: this type of cotton undergoes another round of treatment before it’s spun. As a result, it’s much more durable than traditional cotton.
  • Pima cotton: the highest quality and most expensive type of cotton. This is the fabric you choose if you want your clothes to stay soft, even after you’ve washed them several times.


Polyester may be the runner-up on our T-Shirt fabric guide, but make no mistake — it is still a solid material for custom T-Shirts. It’s an entirely synthetic fabric most commonly used to make workout clothes. As a material, polyester is stretchy and won’t shrink even after repeated washing. While it’s not quite as breathable as cotton, it’s still a comfortable alternative.

When it comes to custom Tees, polyester is ideal if you’ve opted for transfer printing or dye sublimation. Both techniques involve passing the design from a special type of paper, metal, or plastic onto a garment. Since polyester holds its shape and dries quickly, designs can be printed on it quite efficiently. 

Polyester’s biggest flaw is that it’s not as durable as cotton. Moreover, it’s one of the least eco-friendly materials available, since polyester production generates a lot of harmful waste


The bronze medalist of our T-Shirt fabric guide, linen is a fantastic material for your custom Tee. It’s incredibly light and airy, which makes it the most breathable fabric on this list. Since it can absorb moisture well, it’s the perfect clothing material for hot summer months. Moreover, it’s derived from the flaxseed plant, meaning that it’s entirely natural and very eco-friendly.

The reason it ranks third on our guide is that it’s not as comfortable as cotton. The fabric can feel very coarse and rough against the skin, and it also wrinkles very easily. Not only that, but it’s not compatible with a lot of printing techniques, since it doesn’t absorb ink well. Therefore, it’s not really the best choice if you want a solid custom Tee at a decent price.

How to Get the Perfect Custom Tee

Now that you know which materials will work best for your Tee, your next step is designing it. And there is no better place for that than ArtistShot. With over 15 years of experience making custom clothing and accessories, we know how to choose the best quality materials to create the best-looking products. 

Our website has a vast collection of different T-shirt designs that are guaranteed to fit everyone’s unique style. What’s more, since all our Tees are 100% cotton, you can bet that you’ll feel comfortable while wearing them. Not to mention that they’ll last you a long time, and still look as good as the day you got them.

However, if our pre-made Tees don’t strike your fancy, we also offer you the option of custom designing your own Tee in our online lab.  Simply log onto our platform, choose your size, color and enjoy browsing our array of design templates to print onto your custom T-Shirt. You even have the option of uploading your own unique masterpiece, which we will print per your instruction. 

So, if you want a Tee that is both stylish, affordable, and made from quality fabrics, then ArtistShot’s custom T-Shirts are the best choice for you. 

In Summary

Fabrics should be your number one priority when designing a custom Tee. They will not only determine the printing technique you can use, but also how long your T-Shirt will last, and how comfortable it will be. 

While there is a wide range of fabrics on the market, not all of them will be perfectly suitable for your T-Shirt. However, our T-Shirt fabric guide will help you understand the differences between these fabrics so that you can choose the best material for your unique needs. And, once you’ve decided on the fabric, you’re free to head over to ArtistShot to custom design your favorite T-Shirt of all time.