Picking The Best Quality T-Shirt Blanks | T-Shirt Magazine

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PICKING THE PERFECT T-SHIRT BLANK C H A Z Z Y ( H T T P : // W W W . T - S H I R T M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E . C O M / A U T H O R / C H A Z Z Y / )   ! F E B R U A R Y 1 0 , 2 0 1 1
Picking the perfect t-shirt blank for your business is an extremely important decision. With so many
di! erent options for t-shirt blanks out there, choosing the one to best "t your brand can be an intimidating
and di#cult decision. Some of the aspects to consider are fabric quality, t-shirt "t, sizing and available
colors. Below I will describe each of these things and how they apply to several of the most popular t-shirt
blanks to help you choose the best quality t-shirt for your brand.
THE BEST QUALITY T-SHIRTS FOR PRINTING
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(https://www.alstyle.com/)
QUALITY:
Alstyle provides a fairly thick quality t-shirt from many of the reviews I have read. Although from what I
have heard, they some of their blank models are actually quite soft. They have a wide variety to choose
from including 22 types of basic style blanks. The most popular blank models are the 1901 Adult Short
Sleeve Tee, 5301 Men’s Fine Jersey Fitted Tee and 1701 Ringspun Tee. The 1901 is a very basic t shirt blank
that is 5.5 oz and 100% preshrunk cotton. The 5301 is more of a fashion style t-shirt that is 4.3 oz and 100%
combed preshrunk cotton. The 1701 is a softer version of their basic t-shirt which is 5.5 oz and 100%
ringspun preshrunk cotton.
FIT:
The 1701 and 1901 models have a pretty average "t to them. They are a good option for brands looking to
market toward consumers who aren’t too picky on "t. The 5301 has a slimmer "t than their other blanks.
This model is a fashion t-shirt and is suitable for brands that want a slimmer "t and more trendy style
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Alstyle has a pretty wide range of sizes available for all of their t-shirt blanks. Most of the sizes range from
small to double or triple XL. Their shirts are made with preshrunk cotton so that is always one thing to
consider. One disadvantage that I spotted was that none of their adult size blanks have an extra small
option.
COLORS:
The available colors for Alstyle blanks are fairly average. Some models o! er a wider range of colors than
others, but they tend to stay on the dark side. They will cover all of the basics such as black, white and gray
without a problem. They do however have some unusual color choices such as mustard and banana that
might be appealing to some brands.
SHOP ALSTYLE (HTTPS://WWW.ALSTYLE.COM/)
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Alternative Apparel has been building a reputation as some of the softest blanks around. They o! er the
widest variety of blanks, outerwear, pants and accessories of all of the brands mentioned in this article. In
their men’s blank t-shirts alone they o! er 44 di! erent models and styles. The most popular blanks that you
"nd brands using are the AA1070 Basic Crew and the AA05 Crew Tee. Both models are 100% cotton jersey t-
shirts that are very lightweight. The AA1070 would be my choice because it has tear away tags and a slightly
larger color selection. Although some of their tees feel very thin, they are the softest and smoothest blanks
around.
FIT:
The "t of Alternative Apparel blanks can be a little bit misleading at "rst. When I am looking for new blank
samples, I compare the sizes to American Apparel 2001 t-shirts because I know how their size "ts me.
Alternative Apparel’s size charts have extremely similar dimensions to the American Apparel numbers. I
have tried on a few di! erent Alternative Apparel models and this certainly was not the case. The Alternative
Apparel shits "t very small and I found myself exchanging them for a larger size. I am a medium in American Apparel and I "nd a large Alternative Apparel shirt to be a little bit short and snug. In the end
though, it all depends on what you prefer for your brand and yourself. One thing that I love about
Alternative Apparel blanks are that the sleeves are very form "tting and don’t wing out as much as other
blanks.
SIZING:
Alternative Apparel has a nice selection of sizes ranging from small to triple XL. Depending on how you
prefer your t-shirts to "t, you may want to consider ordering a size up. These blanks are not made with
preshrunk cotton and Alternative Apparel recommends that you wash your blanks in cold water to reduce
shrinking.
COLORS:
The AA1070 blank comes with 25 di! erent color options for you to choose from. This is an extremely large
amount of colors which is de"nitely a positive. Alternative Apparel does o! er additional color options but
many of them are available only on speci"c style blanks. One thing that I noticed when browsing their color
selection was plenty of earth tone and neutral themes.
SHOP ALTERNATIVE APPAREL (HTTPS://WWW.ALTERNATIVEAPPAREL.COM)
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American Apparel blanks are known for their exceptional quality, producing arguably some of the best
quality t-shirts on the market. They have just the right amount of thickness that is also extremely soft and
comfortable. Although expensive, their blanks have become the go to t-shirt for a majority of independent
fashion brands. Their most popular models are the 2001 and the TR401. The 2001 is a "ne jersey 100%
cotton blank with a slim "t. The TR401is their Tri-Blend blank which is made up of 50% polyester, 25%
cotton and 25% rayon. The TR401 is a softer blank but it is thinner than the 2001 and also has less stretch.
FIT:
The "t of American Apparel has to be my favorite out of all the blanks in this article. There is a good
amount of length in their blanks which is one thing that I love. Many of their models have a slim "t so that is one thing to always consider. The "t of the Tri-Blend model is a little bit smaller than the 2001. I "nd
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myself wearing a size larger than my normal size of medium. Again, it all depends on how you prefer your
t-shirts to "t. The Tri-Blend blank can sometimes feel a little snug and doesn’t o! er much stretch.
SIZING:
American Apparel o! ers a very large range of size for their unisex tees. Most models are available in sizes
XXS to 3XL. It is always best to check out the speci"c sizing charts for each blank model and decide which
size if best for you. Models that are not 100% cotton tend to be on the smaller side and may require a size
up.
COLORS:
The American Apparel 2001 o! ers the widest range of colors that you will "nd anywhere. Currently there
are 47 di! erent color options and they are adding new ones constantly. The Tri-Blend t-shirt only comes in
8 di! erent colors since it is made up of a mixture of materials. So if you are going with American Apparel,
chances are they will have a model style that comes in your desired color.
SHOP AMERICAN APPAREL (HTTP://WWW.AMERICANAPPAREL.NET/)
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(http://www.anvilknitwear.com/)
QUALITY:
The only Anvil blank that I have personally dealt with is the 980 model. The 980 is a slimmer, fashion "t
model tee. Many people consider the 980 to be the closest alternative to the popular American Apparel
2001. In my opinion, the 980 is a very underrated model in the t-shirt industry. I say this mainly because it
is thicker than and just as soft as the 2001 but for a cheaper price. I used the 980 for my "rst initial Vicious
History release and I was extremely satis"ed. It is a pre-shrunk 4.5oz 100% combed ring spun cotton t-shirt
that also features a tear away label.
FIT:
The "t of this t-shirt is also very similar to the 2001 except for a few small di! erences. The 980 is a little bit
shorter in length compared to the 2001 and various other blanks. The thick material provides for a surprisingly soft and comfortable "t. The only downfall that I noticed is that the sleeves tend to wing out a
couple of inches although this is di! erent for every body type.
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SIZING:
The 980 comes in a wide variety of sizes ranging from small to 3XL. They even o! er 4XL size tees in certain
colors. Since the 980 is made with preshrunk cotton, make sure to order true to size as these shirts will not
shrink much.
COLORS:
The 980 is available in 20 di! erent colors to choose from. They are available in 4XL in white, chocolate,
navy, black and heather gray. The available colors are pretty basic and you won’t "nd many unusual or
exotic options.
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Gildan is a relatively cheap blank alternative that you see many start up brands using. The popular models
are the Heavy Cotton 5000 and the Soft Style 64000. I have only had the chance to try out the heavy cotton
model and I have mixed reviews about it. Like the name describes, the t-shirt is relatively thick and rugged.
On the other hand, many critics have said that the soft style model is one of the most comfortable tees
they have ever worn. The 5000 is a 5.3 oz 100% preshrunk cotton t-shirt. The 64000 is a 4.5 oz 100%
preshrunk ring spun cotton t-shirt.
FIT:
I have heard many mixed reviews towards the "t of these models. Some people love them while some
others dislike their "t for a couple of reasons. Although they are advertised as preshrunk cotton, these
shirts have been known to shrink signi"cantly over time. Even fresh out of the box, many people have
reported several inconsistencies towards sizing. Many of the same size shirts will have completely di! erent
dimensions. From what I have noticed with the 5000 model, the length is pretty average but the sleeves
wing out quite a bit. Almost every time I see a brand printing on Gildan, their product shots have the t-shirt sleeves rolled up a few times. It all depends on the style you prefer, but it is something to take into
consideration.
SIZING:
The 64000 soft style tee comes in sizes small to triple XL while the 5000 heavy cotton comes in sizes extra
small to triple XL. Since they are preshrunk cotton tees, it is best to order true to your normal size. Be
careful when washing them as they are known to shrink. To reduce the risk of shrinking, wash cold and
either dry low or hang dry.
COLORS:
The 5000 heavy cotton comes in a wide range of 37 di! erent colors. You will "nd some very unusual and
exotic colors in this range such as Heliconia and Sapphire. The 64000 soft style has fewer options but still
comes in 27 di! erent colors.
SHOP GILDAN (HTTP://WWW.GILDAN.COM/)
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(http://www.tultex.net/)
QUALITY:
Tultex is another one of those alternative blank brands that are cheaper to print on. They only o! er four
di! erent unisex models but the 0202 blank is the only one that I have seen used. The 0202 is a 4.5oz 100%
ring spun cotton t-shirt with tear away tags. I have a couple Tultex tees in my closet and I must say that I
actually like them for the most part. I "nd them to have a nice "t and be very comfortable at the same time.
The only downfall that I notice with this t-shirt is its thinness. The 0202 is probably the thinnest tee out of 
all the models mentioned in this article. Wearing a white Tultex t-shirt almost feels a little see-through and
its thinness is de"nitely noticeable.
FIT:
In my opinion, the Tultex 0202 has one of the nicest "ts around. Again, it’s always a matter of opinion and body type when discussing t-shirt "ts. You will "nd that the 0202 has a fairly good length, similar to that of 
the American Apparel 2001. The sleeves are also very nice as they provide good coverage yet do not wing
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shirtmagazineonline.com/4-tips-marketing-brand- online/)
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10 Tips for Starting a T-Shirt Business (http://www.t-
out like some other brands. One thing that many people complain about when it comes to Tultex is their
shrinking inconsistencies. After several washes, Tultex owners have noticed that the "t does not stay intact
and the dimensions become warped. The dimensions of every Tultex shirt that I own have stayed in
proportion because I wash them cold and then only hang dry them. This is a serious thing to consider for
your customers if you decide to go with Tultex. If the "t stayed in proportion more often and they were
made a little thicker, Tultex could possibly be one of my favorite blanks.
SIZING:
The Tultex 0202 comes in a large amount of sizes ranging from XXS to 3XL. These tees will shrink if you
wash them in hot water so you might want to consider ordering a size up. The only way to keep the shirt in
its original size is to wash and dry it in the method I described above.
COLORS:
The 0202 comes in 22 di! erent colors, many of which are pretty basic. Due to the thinness of these tees,
you want to be weary of lighter shades because they can feel a little see through.
SHOP TULTEX (HTTP://WWW.TULTEX.NET/)
I hope that this guide helped you understand the di! erences between all of these popular blanks and
narrow down the best quality t-shirts for printing. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at chazzy[at]vicioushistory.com and I will be glad to help you.
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