Softness Meter: How To Select A T-Shirt Fabric

by |June 11, 2012
Categories: Blog, Resource

T-shirts are a staple of everyone's closet. From high-class to vintage, there are many different ways to wear a t-shirt and they can be made out of many different fabrics. Nevertheless, the softer and more comfortable the tee, the better! So let's get into the softest fabrics you can have against your skin to keep you comfortable.



Let's face it, 100% cotton t-shirts are probably the most comfortable shirts you can buy. If you look at this site's super awesome softness meter, these tees are almost off the charts.

Plus, you can get many awesome shirts in 100% cotton like this terrific Star Wars shirt:


Star Wars Tee

(Vintage Star Wars T-Shirt)


Or this shirt with a gorilla in a tuxedo:


Gorilla Tuxedo Tee

(Gorilla Tux Tee)


Who wouldn't want that? However, these are slightly more expensive than other fabric options, so if you want to save a few bucks and still want a soft shirt go for something made of ring-spun cotton like this awesome (and super cute) Domosaur t-shirt:


Domosaur shirt

(Domosaur T-Shirt)


As you can see from the meter, it is still really soft and super comfortable.



If you want to save some money and still get a killer t-shirt get a shirt made from a cotton blend. Blends are cheaper and usually have some degree of polyester.

Check out shirts like this Mario Brothers shirt:


Mario shirt

(Mario Bros Plumbing T-Shirt)


Or this Navy t-shirt:


Navy shirt

(Naval Rank Insignia Vintage Tee)


You're saving some cash by not getting a 100% cotton t-shirt but it's still going to be really soft and comfortable, which is really what you want in a t-shirt. There is, however, a flipside to this coin so you have to watch out!

Check out this Harley Davidson shirt:


Harley t-shirt

(Harley Davidson Genuine Parts and Accessories Tee)


Now, the price could be higher just because it's such an iconic brand, but it could be because it's made from a high quality blend and not only is it going to be really soft, but you're getting a really high quality product. That is another thing that is great about blends. When you put cotton together with a synthetic fabric, you sometimes get a stronger product. You have to be aware of the kind of blends you're purchasing when getting a t-shirt and you want to make sure that you are getting what you pay for.


Jersey Knits

Jersey Knits is a fabric made of a blend of wool, cotton and synthetic fibers. It's very soft and comfy and very, very wearable. Most time when used in T-shirts it's only made with a single knit giving it it's awesome, light weight feel and incredibly stretch and flexibility. However, sometimes when people invest in a dressier tee, it can be made of a double knit, which gives it a heavier feel with less stretch. Given, you can get a fancy blouse or t-shirt in the single knit because it is considered the best for the popular "draping" effect we see a lot in fashion these days.



Rayon is a classic material and most of the time you're going to find this used more in blouses opposed to just your average t-shirt. It's been seeing a rise in popularity over the past couple of years due to the rising cost of cotton. Unlike the other fabrics in this list, you can neither list Rayon has an "organic" or "synthetic" because it's kind of both! Technically, it's listed as a "semi-synthetic" deriving parts of it from both chemical and natural properties. While the wear ability of Rayon is fantastic and your product will last you a long time, the softness of your garment will depend on the way it's made and the type or Rayon you are using.



Not sure what to do with your old tees? Upcycling is a cool new trend in clothing where you take what is old and make it new. While the concept is not entirely new, the desire for it is. The fact that you can look awesome while doing something great for the planet and the environment is something that is resonating with many people these days. Check out some of our suggestions on what to do with your old t-shirts in our previous blog post.


Maribeth Curley is a staff writer for and she is a fabric expert.