The Complete Guide to Selecting the Best T-Shirts for DTG

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Posted by AllDayShirts on to Product Guides

In 2021, the decorated apparel market maintained a value of $23 billion. Decorated apparel accounts for custom t-shirt designs ranging from embroidery to screen printing, heat transfer, sublimation, and direct-to-garment printing (DTG). 

Direct-to-garment printing is a great method for printing t-shirt designs that are long-lasting and vibrant. This makes it a popular printing format for custom t-shirt designs.

If you're interested in finding the best t-shirts for DTG printing, this guide will provide you with all of the information regarding how DTG printing works and which types of t-shirts work best with the DTG printing method. Keep reading to find out more. 

What Is the DTG Printing Method?

If you aren't familiar with how DTG printing works, here's a brief rundown. The DTG printing method is known as direct-to-garment because, as the name implies, the ink penetrates directly into the fibers of the t-shirts. 

One layer of water-based ink is applied to the shirt. It utilizes all of the colors on a palette, including white ink. This creates full-color and intricate custom t-shirt designs that have highly detailed and high-quality images.

Types of T-Shirt Fabrics to Consider 

The quality of the designs can also vary based on the fabric content of different t-shirts. To find the best t-shirts for DTG, you need to understand the different types of t-shirt fabrics.

Ring-Spun Cotton

Regular cotton fibers are twisted together to make a yarn, which is then woven together to make a t-shirt or other garment. Ring-spun cotton straightens and softens the fibers through a spinning process. This creates a finer and tighter weave.

Ring-spun cotton t-shirts have a flatter and smoother surface for printing, so they will provide good results when using the DTG printing method. Ring-spun cotton is soft to the touch and long-lasting.

Combed Cotton

Combed cotton t-shirts have their cotton fibers brushed before they are turned into yarn to make t-shirts with. This combing process removes any fiber pieces that may stick out otherwise. 

As a result, combed cotton fibers may be able to be more tightly woven together. It also helps to align the threads more evenly. Reducing the number of fibers that stick out improves the print quality for the DTG printing method.

Poly-Cotton Blends

Poly-cotton blends combine the softness of cotton with the durability of polyester. The ability to print on poly-cotton blends depends on the type of blend it is, as well as the different processes they may undergo or any coatings that may be added during production.

The higher the cotton content your t-shirt contains, the better it will be for direct-to-garment. It should contain at least 50% cotton, so 50-50 poly-cotton blends and tri-blends will work well for DTG printing.

100% Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic material primarily used for sporting apparel. It can be tricky to print on polyester and it must be pre-treated with a special chemical to help the ink stick to the fabric better.

New printing techniques allow for the use of the DTG printing method on 100% polyester. However, materials such as nylon and spandex incorporated into the polyester may affect the quality of the printing results as well as the overall durability of the fabric.

Best DTG Printing with "30 Singles" Ring-Spun Cotton

The best t-shirts for DTG printing are those made from 100% cotton containing 30 singles. Singles, when referring to fabric, equate to what thread counts are for sheets. A single denotes the yarn count and the thickness of the thread. 

The higher the single count a t-shirt has, the softer it will be and the better it will drape. Lower-quality t-shirts typically contain 18 singles and are too thin to hold print designs from direct-to-garment printing.

T-shirts made from 30 singles and 100% cotton are ideal for using the DTG printing method because they are medium-weight and take ink the best.

Best T-Shirts for DTG Printing

For the best-quality DTG print, it all depends on the type of t-shirt you use. Here are some examples of recommended brands and styles of the best t-shirts for DTG Printing.

3001C Bella Canvas Unisex Jersey T-Shirt

Bella Canvas 3001C

The Bella Canvas 3001 Unisex Jersey T-Shirt is a comfortable and soft t-shirt for everyday wear. This t-shirt is made from 100% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton. It is a 4.2 oz lightweight fabric made from 32 singles. 

This t-shirt features a classic crew neck and short sleeve design. It comes in sizes S to 5XL. It is available in 59 vibrant colors. 

The ash colors are 99% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton and 1% polyester. Athletic Heather & Black Heather colors are 90% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton and 10% polyester. Heather and blended colors are 52% Airlume combed and ringspun cotton with 48% polyester.

G640 Gildan Adult Softstyle T-Shirt

Gildan G640 Softstyle

The Gildan Adult Softstyle T-Shirt is a 4.5 oz lightweight t-shirt made out of 100% preshrunk ring-spun cotton. It is available in 61 colors and in sizes from S to 3XL.

The Sport Grey and Antique Heather colors contain 90% Soft Cotton and 10% polyester. The Heather colors are made from 35% Soft Cotton and 65% polyester. The Graphite Heather color is made from a 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend.

3600 Next Level Unisex Cotton T-Shirt

Next Level Apparel 3600

The Next Level Unisex Cotton T-Shirt offers comfort and durability for everyday wear. It is made from 100% combed and ring-spun cotton. The lightweight 4.3 oz is constructed from 32 singles. 

It is available in 33 eye-catching colors and it comes in sizes from XS to 4XL. The Heather Grey color is 90% cotton and 10% polyester. It features a crew neck with hemmed sleeves.

Find the Highest Quality and Best T-Shirts for DTG Printing at AllDayShirts.com

Using the best t-shirts for DTG printing ensures your direct-to-garment designs will come out looking their best every time. You can find the best types of t-shirts for printing t-shirt designs at AllDayShirts.com.

Whether you are printing t-shirt designs for a special charity event, school function, business conference, or your own personal use, you'll find the quality blank t-shirts you need at AllDayShirts.com.

At AllDayShirts.com, there's no minimum wholesale order amount. Buy one shirt or buy 100, all for one low price per shirt. 

Order today on our website and check out our blog post on How to Spray Paint a T-shirt.

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