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Common T-Shirts Printing Terms

- 1x1 Rib -

The most popular form of ribbing, it is created by alternating 1 to 1 between two different stitching techniques. The results are narrow ribs on the fabric that are soft and fine to the touch.

- 2x1 Rib Knit -

A form of ribbing that creates more wide ribs compared to the 1x1 rib and is achieved by alternating 2 to 1 between two different stitching techniques. The result is a more textured and stretchier fabric.

- 4-Needle Stitching -

It is very common to see this finish on a sleeve or bottom hem. How it works is that four needles are used to create four parallel rows of stitching which adds durability to the garment as well as a clean symmetrical look.

- Airlume Combed and Ring-Spun Cotton -

The signature fabric of Bella+Canvas commonly referred to as “100% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, 32 singles”. Bella Canvas crafts it with a much more intensive process than standard ring-spun cotton as 2.5 times more impurities are removed and only lengthy cotton fibers are utilized. It serves as an excellent printing surface.

- Blend -

Simply just a term used to describe a fabric made up of more than one material. For example, a 50/50 cotton/polyester blend is made up of 50% cotton and 50% polyester.

- Breathability -

The ability of air to flow from one side of the garment to the other to keep the user more comfortable. Sometimes you will see breathability expressed as a number in the units G/M^2. The higher the more breathable.

- Carded Ring-Spun Cotton -

A lower quality cotton as it has not been combed to remove impurities and shorter fibers. Garments made with this type of cotton usually are not as strong or fine.

- Combed Ring-Spun Cotton -

A higher-quality cotton as short cotton fibers are removed while longer fibers are straightened. Garments made from this cotton have exceptional strength and fineness.

- Cotton -

One of the most common materials utilized in clothing, it is a soft white fiber found surrounding the seeds of certain tropical and subtropical plants. It is characterized by great softness.

- Cotton Count -

A way to measure the fineness of a fabric expressed in the unit singles. The higher the number the better. A standard t-shirt is usually around 20 while a fashion t-shirt is normally 30 plus.

- Cuff -

The part of the garment at the end of a sleeve that encompasses the wrist.

- CVC (Chief Value Cotton) -

A cotton/polyester blend that contains over 50% cotton. It is a much more affordable alternative compared to the highly sought after tri-blends.

- Direct to Garment (DTG) -

A printing method in which designs are printed directly onto the garment via a specialized direct to garment printer. Direct to garment printing works best on natural materials such as cotton.

- Double-Needle Stitching -

It is very common to see this finish on a sleeve or bottom hem. How it works is that two needles are used to create two parallel rows of stitching which adds durability to the garment as well as clean symmetrical look.

- Dyed-To-Match -

A term used to describe a feature of the garment being dyed to match the color as the garment itself. For example, dyed-to-match drawcords on a hoodie are drawcords that are the same color as the hoodie.

- Extended Tail -

A.K.A. a Drop-Tail, this is when the back of a shirt is longer than the front, usually to keep the shirt tucked in.

- Flowy Poly-Viscose -

A very delicate and fine fabric made by Bella+Canvas that is composed of a 65/35 poly/viscose blend, 32 singles. The material is normally used in flowy styles that offer a more relaxed fit.

- Garment Washed -

A process of washing the fabric with softeners that help the fibers relax. As a result, the fabric will shrink less and have a softer feel.

- Heat Press Printing -

A broad term used to describe a category of printing techniques that utilize a heat press to facilitate the transfer of a design to a garment. The most common printing techniques include CAD Cut Vinyl (when vinyl cut from a special computer is transferred to a garment via heat press) and Heat Press Transfer (when an image is printed on a special heat press paper which is then transferred on the shirt via a heat press).

- Heather CVC -

This is Bella+Canvas’ version of Chief Value Cotton (CVC) consisting of a 52/48 Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton/poly blend, 32 singles. It is a solid alternative to the more expensive tri-blend and adds softness and texture to the t-shirt.

- Hand -

A common term used to describe the feel of a fabric.

- Heather -

A type of color pattern on a fabric in which fabrics of different colors are mixed to produce little specks of alternate colors.

- Hem -

The edge of a piece of cloth that gets folded over and sewn into itself. You'll find these at the end of your sleeves, around your neck, and at the bottom of your shirt.

- Kangaroo Pocket -

An alternative term used to describe the front pockets on a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie. In an item containing a full zipper, it may be referred to as a split kangaroo pocket.

- Marble -

A fabric specific to Bella+Canvas, it consists of a 91% polyester and 9% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton blend, 32 singles. It is a great fabric for screen printing and has great breathability and softness.

- Nublend® Fleece -

A process developed by JERZEES® that combines spinning and knitting to develop fabrics that are less prone to pilling.

- Open-End Cotton -

A type of cotton made with open-end (OE) spinning, a technology that makes fabrics without a spindle. Open-end cotton can be produced at a much higher rate than ring-spun cotton. It has a more uniform and clean appearance but is less soft than ring-spun cotton.

- Pilling -

A process in which tiny broken fibers on the surface of a garment tangle into small balls. It creates a rougher and less uniform look on the exterior of the garment.

- Polyester -

A nonnatural, synthetic fabric. It is extremely durable and can handle a large amount of tension. Unlike cotton, it does not absorb much moisture which allows it to dry quickly.

- Pre-Shrunk -

A term used to describe garments that have received treatment for pre-shrinking. This does not mean the garment was shrunk before use.

- Prism -

A fabric from Bella+Canvas consisting of a blend of 99% airlume combed and ring-spun cotton and 1% polyester, 32 singles. The polyester used in this blend is much darker and creates a very unique vintage look to the garment.

- Raglan Sleeves -

A sleeve containing a diagonal seam from the underarm to the collar. The result is increased movement with a wider range of motion.

- Rayon -

A manufactured fiber that is composed of natural materials such as agricultural products and wood formed into cellulose. It resembles a hybrid between silk and cotton.

- Reverse Weave® -

Patented in 1952 by Champion, it refers to the sideways direction of the fabric grain instead of vertical. It prevents shrinking and helps the garment maintain its shape.

- Rib Knit -

A type of knit that has a textured look and features vertical lines. It can be stretched greatly while still maintaining its shape. It is commonly used at the ends of garments, such as the sleeves and waistband.

- Ring-Spun -

A technique in which a material is twisted and thinned out. The twisting adds strength to the yarn and softness as it causes shorter fibers of cotton to stick out.

- Scoop Neck -

A much deeper and curved neckline compared to a crew neck that is found mainly in women’s clothing.

- Screen Printing

A printing method in which ink is forced through a prepared screen to create a design on the garment. It is a classic printing method beloved for its versatility in shirt fabrics and print quality.

- Side-Seamed Tee -

The classic technique in which t-shirts are produced, two large sheets of fabric are stitched together forming the body of the shirt. The stitching is found along the sides of the shirt, hence the name. It allows for more optimized fitting as the front and back can be altered in size and shape. The sleeves and collars are then attached. This is typical of a t-shirt that you will find in a retail store.

- Singles -

A unit used to describe the diameter of a yarn. A smaller number would indicate a thicker yarn and vice versa. Typically numbers that are 30 and higher are a very high quality and soft fabric while anything under 20 is of lower quality.

- Soft Spun Cotton -

A type of open-end cotton with an additional twist added to it. It helps add softness to the exterior of the cotton, improving its quality.

- Stonewashed -

A washing process where the fabric is treated with large stones to roughen up the fabric. The result is a softer fabric with a worn look along with reduced shrinkage.

- Sublimation -

An increasingly popular method of printing that converts ink into gas which is then absorbed by the fabric and converted directly back into a solid. It creates extremely long-lasting and high-resolution images and has been highly sought after for its affordability. Sublimation can only be used on man-made materials such as polyester and nylon, not natural materials such as cotton.

- Sueded -

Fabric that has undergone a brushing process to enhance the raised texture and surface on a piece of fabric. It creates an extremely soft feel to the fabric.

- Super Heavyweight Fleece -

An extremely heavyweight fleece (12oz.) consisting of an 80% ring-spun combed cotton and 20% polyester blend. The garment's weight allows for enhanced heat storage.

- Tie-Dye -

A classic dying method in which parts of the garment are tied to prevent it from being exposed to the dye. As a result, very unique patterns can be produced.

- Triblend

An extremely fine fabric blend (50% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, 25% polyester, and 25% rayon, 40 singles) developed by Bella+Canvas. Designed to combine all of the great qualities of each material, the fabric is extremely soft, breathable, and durable.

- Triple-Needle Stitched -

It is very common to see this finish on a sleeve or bottom hem. How it works is that three needles are used to create three parallel rows of stitching which adds durability to the garment as well as clean symmetrical look.

- Tubular Fit -

- A type of fit in which the t-shirt is formed from “tubes” of fabric so there is no sewing on the sides. They allow for increased torque or easier rotation of your body.

- Vintage Slub (BELLA+CANVAS) -

A 50% polyester, 37.5% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton, and 12.5% rayon, 32 singles blend from Bella+Canvas that features a very tonal texture due to its knitting. Thus, the fabric is a unique and creative choice for a printing surface as it has a vintage and worn look to it.