How to Choose the Best Material for a T-Shirt

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How to Choose the Best Material for a T-Shirt

Named for the T-shape that the body and sleeves make, T-shirts have roots dating back to the early 1900s. T-shirts have been worn throughout history by servicemen, early farmers, and actors. Today, the wardrobe staple is a two-billion dollar market. T-shirts are extremely functional pieces of clothing as they are durable and versatile and can be worn as outerwear or underwear.

Furthermore, T-shirts come in a plethora of colours, patterns, and styles. When looking for a T-shirt, consider the different fabrics and weaves. Some are better suited for casual or warm weather wear, whereas others are ideal for athletic or business wear. To find a large variety of T-shirt brands and styles, check out eBay and eBay deals for T-shirts.

Popular T-Shirt Fabrics

T-shirts are made from many different types of fabrics. It is helpful to know a bit about the materials before buying because each fabric. Additionally, know when to wear each type of fabric in order to stay prepared for the environment.


Cotton is the most popular fabric for T-shirts. Cotton is soft, sturdy, and breathable. It is also very affordable. Cotton does wrinkle, so remove from the dryer immediately to prevent this. Cotton is ideal for everyday wear and is casual. Several types of cotton are used in apparel, and each one slightly differs.

Combed Cotton

Slightly more expensive than basic cotton, combed cotton is extremely soft. It is made by specially treating the cotton fibres before spinning them into yarn. To do this, fine brushes are used to get rid of short strands and straighten fibres. The outcome is a stronger, smoother fabric.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton is grown using methods that do not greatly impact the environment. For example, organic cotton production maintains soil fertility and reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides. Because of the strict growing methods, organic cotton is more expensive than regular cotton; however, it is very soft to the touch.

Pima/Supima Cotton

Considered the highest quality cotton available, pima cotton is made from extra long fibres. These long fibres make the cotton extremely soft and durable. Supima cotton is the same as pima cotton in texture; it just refers to 100 per cent American grown pima cotton. These cottons resist pilling, fading, and stretching, even after multiple washings. In fact, with each washing, the cotton becomes softer.

Slub Cotton

Slub cotton appears to have slight lumps in the fabric. This is due to the process prior to weaving the cotton where the cotton is twisted, creating irregular twists. The result is a unique fabric with texture to it. Slub T-shirts are light and airy and do not cling to the body. Because the fabric naturally looks textured, there is no need to iron, because it is not designed to look flat.


T-shirts are also made from linen. Linen is made from the flax plant and has a textured weave. It is lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking, making it a good choice for summer wear. By the very nature of the fabric, it is stronger when damp. With repeated washings, it gets softer and softer. The only downside to choosing a linen T-shirt is that it wrinkles easily and often requires ironing.


Shoppers often hear the term lycra; however, this is the brand name for the material known as spandex. Spandex, or lycra, is a stretchy material that is often added to T-shirts to give them a little more "give". This material is most often found in athletic apparel since it allows for easy movement.


Polyester is an extremely strong fabric that has many advantages. It is quick drying, does not mould or mildew, and is very easy to machine wash and dry. After repeated wear and washings, it retains its shape and resists shrinking or stretching. Thus, it is an excellent material often seen in athletic apparel.


Created as a more affordable alternative to silk, rayon is a man-made fibre created from trees, cotton, and plants. It is woven or knitted into a silky, breathable fabric, and is often found in athletic wear. It drapes easily, is simple to dye, and is extremely absorbent. However, it does not hold up well over prolonged wear; it tends to become yellowed and pilly. Rayon also wrinkles easily.


A form of rayon made from beechwood plant fibres, it has a beautiful drape and a slinky feel. Modal is soft and breathable. It is cool to the touch and dries quickly when wet, making it perfect for summer wear. It is shrink-resistant and fade-resistant. It stays soft and does not pill quickly, in contrast to regular rayon.


Often, T-shirts are a combination of two or three materials. A very popular example is a cotton and polyester blend. By combining these two fabrics, the best qualities from both result. This blend remains cool and lights from the cotton fibres, yet it also has the strength and wrinkle-resistance of polyester.

Popular Weaves

Many T-shirt fabrics also come in different weaves. Weaves are either loosely or closely woven, and the looseness of the fabric depends on the number of yarns per square inch. The more yarns results in a tighter fabric.

In weaving, there are two important terms to know: warp and weft. The warp refers to the set of lengthwise yarns. The weft is the yarn that is inserted over and under the warp yarns.

Plain Weave Cotton

The simplest weave is called a plain weave, which is an easily recognisable over and under pattern. The horizontal (weft) yarns travel over and under the vertical (warp) yarns. This weave wrinkles easily and is not as absorbent as some other weaves. Thus, it should not be worn on days when a man needs to stay cool, such as during a hot summer day or for a workout. Instead, it is better suited for a cooler day or for a day at the office.

End-on-End Weave

The end-on-end weave is similar to the plain weave. However, warp and weft yarns alternate colours, creating a heathered effect. T-shirts with this weave are a lightweight choice for warm weather.

Voile Weave

In the voile weave, the warp and weft yarns are spun over and over until a curly twist results. Such a wider thread creates a soft, sheer, and light fabric. Voile weave breathes and is a good choice for hot weather. Because it is so light, it also makes a good layering piece.

Twill Weave

The twill weave has a diagonal line going through the fabric. Twill weave fabrics come in several varieties, including herringbone, chino, denim, houndstooth, cavalry, and gabardine. Twill weave fabrics are wrinkle-resistant and easy to care for. Many of the fabrics are also very sturdy, making them perfect for men who need T-shirts to wear outside when doing yard work or construction. Consumers can expect to pay more for twill weaves than plain weaves due to the higher yarn count.

Oxford Weave

Oxford weave is another popular shirt material. It is like the plain weave; however, two or more warp yarns cross alternately side by side with two or more weft yards. This creates a wide, basket-like weave. This type of weave usually uses a high thread count; therefore, it is a smoother, silkier, and more expensive fabric. Because oxford weave T-shirts are more sophisticated than some of the other choices, they are an acceptable shirt for a day at the office.

Buying a T-Shirt on eBay

eBay boasts an enormous inventory of new and used T-shirts from sellers worldwide. Because eBay's sellers offer competitive pricing and other incentives, such as free shipping, the site is a smart option for buyers looking for an affordable and convenient shopping experience. Once a free eBay account is established, buyers are met with a host of shopping opportunities, including eBay deals.

The easiest way to find a T-shirt on eBay is to enter specific keywords into the search box on eBay's home page. Such examples include: "polyester T-shirt" or "linen T-shirt". Buyers are met with many choices, but the options are easy to narrow down with the available refinements. such as size, brand, or material desired. If the product descriptions are too vague, contact the seller and request specifics before bidding.


T-shirts are a must-have for any man's wardrobe. And, most men have a variety of T-shirts in many different styles and colours. Whether buyers want a T-shirt for lounging around the house or for working out at the gym, they should keep in mind a few other factors when shopping, such as other fabric and weave options.

Choosing the right fabric and weave for a specific need impacts the function and comfort of the T-shirt. When buyers are ready to buy a new or used T-shirt, they should be sure to check out eBay for a huge selection of T-shirt brands at great prices. Also, be sure to browse eBay Deals to find additional apparel choices at exceptionally low costs.

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