Ring-Spun vs. Standard Cotton


Posted by AllDayShirts on to Printing Techniques., Product Guides

The most popular fabric across the globe is cotton. For hundreds of years, cotton has been used to make clothing for mass use. Currently, cotton accounts for half of all fibre needs in the entire world. Some of the largest producers across the globe for this important crop include China, India, the United States, and Brazil. The production and use of this crop has steadily increased every year, becoming more important as the population grows and technology increases. There are a variety of uses for cotton, including creating clothes, towels, tents, fishing nets, and paper.

Today, we will be focusing on the uses of cotton in the clothing industry. As most know, cotton shirts are a staple of today’s fashion. However, there is not only one form of cotton, in fact, there’s tons. Here at AllDayShirts, we often get asked what the difference is between these types of cotton, for example ring-spun vs. regular. In order to answer that question, we must explore how standard cotton differs from ring-spun cotton. So, ladies and gentlemen, buckle up and get ready for a ride into the wonderful world of cotton. 

cotton G500 t-shirt

Standard Cotton G500 Shirt

Standard Cotton

First, let’s begin with standard cotton. The process for creating standard cotton apparel consists of twisting together soft vegetable fibers into yarn. After that, the yarn is then woven together. This type of cotton is currently the most popular, and can be found in basically anywhere that sells clothes. The biggest names in t-shirts are commonly made with regular cotton. Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, and Gildan all use regular cotton in their standard t-shirts. For example, those bundles of t-shirts that they sell at Macy’s and JCPenny’s are a group of regular cotton shirts. Being the least expensive form of cotton to make, these are certainly the most sold shirts in the world. However, when compared to ring-spun or combed cotton, they are also less comfortable and durable. The greatest selling point these shirts have are they are very cheap, and still reliable products for all your business necessities. Regular cotton shirts are good for all your DTG (direct to garment), heat press, and tie-dying needs. Some of our most popular regular cotton products include the G500 (our best seller), the G500L, and the G500B. These are all gildan products, and are very popular blank canvas shirts across America. The G500 is a simple Adult Heavy Cotton T-Shirt. It is very light and is a great casual shirt that comes in a plethora of colors. The G500L and G500B are alternate versions of the G500 designed for ladies and children, respectively. If you would like to check out these options, please use the hyperlinks provided throughout the paragraph, or visit our website at If you would like to learn more about ring-spun cotton, follow me down to the next paragraph!

ring spun

Regular Cotton strand (top) vs. Ring-Spun Cotton strand (bottom)

Ring-Spun Cotton

Next on the agenda is ring-spun cotton. More comfortable t-shirts are often crafted with ring-spun cotton rather than regular cotton, primarily because of the unique way they are manufactured. The first step to making ring-spun cotton is creating the yarn. Ring spun yarn is created by making the cotton strands to be as thin and durable as possible, twisting extremely thin strands together. From this thin yarn, the fabric is woven and compacted to create a much more durable form of cotton. 

The difference between ring spun and regular cotton does not seem impactful, but you can definitely tell the difference when you feel them next to each other and compare. Ring-spun cotton will feel softer and heavier, even though it isn’t truly heavier than regular cotton. Some customers lean toward ring-spun cotton because of the benefits it can provide the consumer. In general, ring-spun cotton tends to be much more comfortable and soft compared to regular cotton, creating a better apparel experience. Not only that, the manufacturing process of ring-spun cotton makes it a much more durable product, so the material will last longer. The only drawback to this product is that the price jumps up to factor in the additional manufacturing components, and some customers simply do not want to pay the increased price. Some brands famous for this style of cotton include:

  • Gildan Softstyle
  • American Apparel
  • Next Level
  • Bella + Canvas

These brands are built on the idea that individuals will pay an extra dollar for something more comfortable. Bella + Canvas thrives off the idea of comfortability, and even has used the slogan, “No Tee is Created Equal.” Overall, attempting to signify how their tee shirts are an upgrade from the rest of the bunch. I will say, they’re pretty comfortable, quality tees. 

On the sides of their boxes, Bella + Canvas has inscribed “...if you’ve ever worn a heavy, scratchy, cardboard-like tee, you know what carded open end [cotton] feels like.” Therefore, not only are they heavily promoting their style of cotton, they are also attempting to diminish the value of other cotton styles. 

Regarding do it yourself businesses, ring-spun fabric is usually better to screen print, heat transfer, tie-dye, and embroider on. This is because the better quality cotton is better equipped to support these alterations. The only trade-off is whether or not you will want to pay the higher price for this material.

Interested in ring-spun cotton? Want to see if you notice a difference? We have a plethora of ring-spun manufactured apparel. Most popularly, we offer the 3001C, G640, and 3001CVC. If you were curious as to whether Bella + canvas can support their big talk, the 3001C and 3001CVC are perfect to experiment on. The other option, the G640, is a Gildan Softstyle best seller. Gildan knew the benefits and drawbacks to both styles of cotton, and decided to capitalize on both. Therefore, it might perfectly exemplify the differences in these styles to test out a G500 and a G640. All of these items come in a large variety of colors for your personal use or business preferences. There is no minimum amount per order so feel free to order one to test it out!


If you kept with me throughout our journey you might be starting to lean toward one particular type of cotton, but a short summary will probably help. Well, your decision all depends on what you want to do with these shirts. Maybe you’re looking for cheap shirts that you can wear to bed. Perhaps you’re trying to and what you want your price point to be if you are choosing to buy and resell shirts for a profit. If you are looking for a cheaper option, definitely go for the regular cotton. It will still work for all of your business needs and will wear just fine. However, if you are looking for a higher quality cotton, then the ring spun is right for you!

Important Note: If you are looking to use sublimation, cotton is completely out of the question. Any shirt you want to do sublimation on has to be at least 50% polyester. There are many options for polyester and blends on our website.

To Sum Up

Regular Cotton 

  • Most commonly used cotton
  • Not as soft
  • Less expensive to make

Ring Spun Cotton

  • Longer manufacturing process
  • More expensive 
  • Extremely soft
  • Breathable

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