Positives and Negatives of the Top 22 Fabrics

25 August, 2015

Fabric Type
Characteristics/Positives
Negatives
Printing/Embroidery
Characteristics
100% Cotton
Natural/hypoallergenic
Breathes well
Resists Pilling
Does not dry quickly
Tends to wrinkle
Tends to Shrink
Good color retention
Easy to print on
Easy to embroider on
Ring Spun and Combed Cotton
Natural cotton fiber that has been processed or spun creating a much softer feel and extended durability.
Combed cotton – stain resistant
Ring spun cotton has a higher tendency to snarl or become intertwined because it is so soft.
It is also sometimes difficult to keep the spinning conditions constant, which may cause more unevenness and imperfections with ring spun cotton. This type of cotton also may be more expensive
Combed cotton is more expensive. Combed cotton will shrink if it is exposed to heat. This means it should never be washed in hot water or dried in a hot dryer.
Smooth, low textured fabric like cotton is best and easiest to print on
Pima Cotton
One of the most superior blends of cotton. This type of cotton is known to be very absorbent and durable.
Stain resistant
Will shrink if exposed to hot water or a hot drier
Smooth, low textured fabric like cotton is best and easiest to print on
Polyester – Synthetic
Wrinkle and abrasion resistant
Holds shape and color
Durable
Resilient and warm
Resists moisture and mold
Stains are hard to remove
Fabric pills
Prone to static cling
Holds body heat
-Can be sublimated
-Requires special inks when printing because polyester poses a problem controlling the potential for bleeding of the inks
Spun Polyester
Synthetic fiber with a much softer feel
Same disadvantages as polyester
Cotton/Polyester Blend
Fewer wrinkles
resistant to abrasion and tearing
Good crease retention
Laundry ease
If high percentage of polyester, oily stains are a problem
Less cool and absorbent
than cotton
Fabrics containing polyester pose
a problem controlling the potential for bleeding that
polyester dyes present
Requires bleed-resistant inks
Jersey
Knitted instead of woven
Soft and breathable
Warm, flexible, stretchy, and very insulating
The fabric can stretch up to 25% percent along its grain
Softens with washing
Can tend to shrink
Broadcloth
Tightly woven fabric with crosswise rib
Extremely sturdy and very soft
Not popularly used
Pinpoint – Cotton or cotton/poly blends woven with two-over-one-under stitching
Soft and durable
Smooth, low textured fabric like cotton is best and easiest to print on
-However, when screen printing, you may lose some of the design within the ribs or over the texture
Pique
Knit fabric
Characterized by raised cords or ribs in an allover waffle, honeycomb, or diamond pattern
Popular for polo or golf shirts
Stain Resistant
Will shrink when exposed to heat so it should not be washed in hot water or dried in a hot drier
Poplin
Cotton or cotton/poly blends
A tightly woven plain weave fabric with crisscrossing ribs
Tends not to wrinkle easily, and is somewhat water and stain resistant
Smooth, low textured fabric like cotton is best and easiest to print on
-However, when screen printing, you may lose some of the design within the ribs or over the texture
Rayon – Synthetic
Excellent softness
Drape like silk
Absorbent
Static resistant
Dyes well
Can be bleached
Tends to wrinkle and shrink
Holds body heat
Silk
Absorbent and warm
Strong and lustrous
Drapes well
Weakened by perspiration and sunlight
Typically dry clean only
The fabric is very delicate, so when it comes to embroidery the fabric can tear and perforate easily
Satin
Synthetic polyester fabric with silky, shiny finish
Dry clean only
Difficult to clean
Stains easily
Twill
Cotton or cotton/poly blend
Woven with distinct diagonal lines on the face
Strong and durable
Tends to resist staining
Spandex
Super stretchy
Retains shape
Resistant to washing and perspiration
Spandex can cause allergic reactions and irritate sensitive skin due to the presence of some harmful chemicals
Should not be washed with fabric softener
It’s stretchy properties can make it very pucker prone when it comes to embroidery and printing.
When hooping, it’s best to stretch the spandex so it replicates the level of stretch the garment will have while it’s worn
Yarn Dyed
Yarns are dyed before the fabric is woven
Extended color brightness and improved softness
Sueded Fleece
Finished with a gentle sanding
Soft and luxurious
Warm and Comfortable
Can be damaged easily after consistent washing and ironing
Prewashed/Preshrunk
Fabric has been washed or treated before construction
Prevents shrinking
Moisture Wicking
Draws moisture away from the skin to be quickly evaporated
Often more expensive that garments made out of more common fabrics because of the technology that goes in to creating the fabric
Stain Resistant/Stain Release
Fabric has been treated to resist stains or release stains when washed
Anti-Microbial
Treated, or natural benefit of the material (such as bamboo), to reduce odor causing bacteria

- Madeline Boldyrew

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