The Ultimate Guide to Blank T-Shirts for Printing: How to Choose the Perfect Canvas for Your Designs

Screen printing

Jan 12
screen printing t-shirts

When it comes to screen printing t-shirts, the canvas you choose plays a pivotal role in the outcome of your design. Whether you're a budding entrepreneur in the custom t-shirt business or a DIY enthusiast looking to express creativity, selecting the right blank t-shirts for printing is crucial. This guide will walk you through the key factors to consider, the best fabrics for printing, and tips to ensure your designs not only look great, but also stand the test of time.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Blank T-Shirts for Printing

Selecting the right blank t-shirts for printing is a crucial step in creating custom apparel that not only looks great, but also stands up to washing and regular use. It’s about finding the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality. As you dive into the world of custom t-shirt printing, there are several key factors to consider that will significantly impact the success of your printed designs. From the durability and quality of the fabric to the type and weight of the t-shirt, each element plays a pivotal role in how your final product will look, feel, and last. It’s important that you ensure your choice of blank t-shirts aligns perfectly with your printing needs and goals.

Quality and Durability:

The quality and durability of the t-shirt significantly affects how well your designs will adhere and last. Look for t-shirts that are well-constructed with strong seams and made from high-quality materials. A durable t-shirt ensures that your design remains intact through wear and washing.

Fabric Type:

The fabric of the t-shirt greatly influences the printing process and the final result. The two most common fabrics used are cotton and polyester blends. Each has its pros and cons, and your choice will depend on the look and feel you want to achieve with your designs.

Weight and Thickness:

T-shirts come in various weights and thicknesses. Heavier, thicker t-shirts might be more durable, but they can also be less comfortable, especially in warmer climates. Lighter t-shirts are more breathable but might not hold up as well under heavy or repeated printing.

The Best Fabrics for Printing on T-Shirts: Cotton vs. Polyester Blends

When it comes to t-shirt printing, the choice of fabric is as crucial as the design itself. The debate between cotton and polyester blends is a longstanding one in the world of custom apparel. Each fabric brings its unique qualities to the table, influencing not just the printing process, but the comfort and durability of the final product as well. Whether you’re aiming for the classic comfort of cotton or the resilience of polyester blends, understanding their distinct characteristics is key to achieving high-quality, lasting prints on your t-shirts.

Cotton T-Shirts:

Cotton is a popular choice for screen printing t-shirts due to its softness and excellent ink absorption qualities. It's ideal for detailed, vibrant designs. However, pure cotton can shrink when washed, which may affect the integrity of the print over time.

Polyester Blends:

Polyester blends, often mixed with cotton, offer the best of both worlds. They are less prone to wrinkling and shrinking compared to pure cotton and still provide a good surface for printing. These blends are particularly suitable for athletic or performance wear.


Choosing the right blank t-shirts for printing is an art that requires consideration of various factors like fabric type, quality, and weight. Whether you opt for the classic appeal of cotton or the resilience of polyester blends, understanding these basics will ensure your screen-printed designs are not only visually appealing but also durable. With the right choice of t-shirt, quality materials, and proper care, your printed designs will be a walking testament to your creativity and craftsmanship for years to come.

BrandSpeed specializes in bulk custom screen printing online in NC, offering a simple and expert solution to customers' screen printing needs since 2009. We've worked with over 3000 churches, businesses, and teams, understanding the challenges of online custom screen printing and providing support every step of the way. BrandSpeed is well-versed in various aspects of screen printing, from selecting super soft t-shirts to determining cost per shirt. With over 4000 satisfied customers, we cater to orders starting from as few as 25 pieces, offering flexibility in design and shirt types. BrandSpeed prides itself on quality, service, and speedy execution, ensuring that each project meets the client's deadline and budget. Contact a BrandSpeed specialist today to learn more.