How to prevent your custom t-shirts from shrinking
Shrinking, the single most concern when a custom is looking to purchase custom t-shirts. Manufacturers have actually come a long way in the shrink prevention department over the past 20 years. If you owned a t-shirt in the 80’s or 90’s it would no doubt shrink 10% over the life time of the shirt. Today, manufacturers use “Preshrunk” cottons so most of the shrinking has taken place during production. Other t-shirt options have entered the picture and now there are several options when it comes to ordering custom t-shirts. This also helps the how to prevent your custom t-shirts from shrinking issue as well.
100% Cotton The most popular shirt for custom t-shirts by far. Now comes in preshrunk from most manufacturers and offers the best price point. Also comes in a couple different weights. Now comes in a standard cotton, a ringspun cotton and combed cotton. The latter two are what give these newer shirts their noticeable softness. Though the ringspun and combed cotton are the more expensive option. Either way you slice it the number one thing you can do to shrink your custom cotton t-shirts is heat! To prevent this is rather simple. All you have to do is read the label because the manufacturers states the best way to wash your cotton shirts. Generally it’s recommended to wash cold or cool. When it comes to drying it’s recommended to tumble dry on low heat or delicate dry. The worst thing you can do is wash in hot water and dry on a normal cycle which is generally a high heat cycle. How to prevent your custom t-shirts from shrinking? Follow the manufacturers washing instructions.
100% Polyester Polyester has come a long way from being that itchy kind of fluffy material. Today it is the number one option for athletic uniforms because it’s lightweight, holds it’s shape really well, and wicks moisture away from the body as you sweat. In recent years with it’s popularity, paired with more and more manufacturers producing polyester shirts, the price has come down a little. Side note: Some poly shirts cost the same as a soft cotton blend shirt. Poly is more resilient to heat and feels good against the skin. It traditionally comes in two textures. The slick shiney shirts you often see related to athletics. Then there is the texture that feels more like a traditional t-shirt, only softer. How to prevent your custom t-shirts from shrinking? Poly is always a great option if you aren’t interested in changing your laundry habits.
Blends Blends are going to be anywhere from a 50/50 cotton poly composite to a 90/10 cotton poly composite. These are going to be very soft shirts, especially if it contains rayon for a triblend t-shirt. The blends are soft again the skin and often times the cotton part of the shirt is going to be either rinspun or combed and sometimes both. If you’ve every felt a really soft shirt that feels great against the skin. It was definitely a blend. The poly parts of the shirt hold it together well and will assist in less shrinkage. Quickly becoming a more popular choice amongst custom t-shirt customers.
The bottom line is heat. Heat is the biggest enemy to fabrics. If you can follow the washing instructions on the shirt you will be fine. If you don’t want to constantly be in laundry room limbo, wash everything in cool and tumble dry low. All of your other garments will last you much longer including leggings, jeans, button down dress shirts, and your underwear. They’ll how their shape for longer and feel like new longer. On the flip side your printed or sewn logo will also fair much better in lower heat settings when it comes to washing.