How to choose the right blend

100% Cotton or Poly-Blend, or 100% Polyester?

We often get asked which is better, 100% cotton or a Polyester blend?  Here are just a few thoughts.  

100% Cotton:

Cotton is generally known to “breathe” better.  Because it does not trap heat like polyester your body temp remains lower longer.  However, when you do sweat, the cotton absorbs that moisture and has a hard time letting it go. They are pill resistant, and resilient. 

On the whole, 100% cotton shirts cost less, which is why they get chosen by customers working on a tight budget. 

Polyester Blends:

Personally, I am a fan of the polyester blend shirts.  They generally are softer and don’t tend to shrink as much as 100% cotton shirts.  Also, the polyester fiber helps the shirt keep its shape so they don’t wrinkle as easy as 100% cotton and repel water and stains better.

I suppose one con of the poly-blend shirts, is that over time they tend to “pill” up, but that usually doesn’t stop me from wearing that shirt, especially if I like the print.

As employees of a screen printing shop, we try out a lot of garments, and would all agree the all-time master of awesome is the tri-blend tee.  Along with cotton and polyester, this blend brings in a fiber called “rayon” which magically makes the shirt even softer.  I describe it to customers as “that shirt that you’ve been wearing at bedtime since the 90’s that is as soft as the clouds in the sky.”  

I’ll never forget the first time I put on a tri-blend shirt (pretend you are reading this in the voice of J. Peterman from Seinfeld) 

The year was 2007. That July was exceptionally hot as if the sun had pulled the orbit of the earth light years closer.  I had been working in the back of our old studio printing all day and had sweat through everything I had.  Just before hopping on my bike to meet some friends for Happy Hour at Lazlos, I reached into our extra stock bin and grabbed an American Apparel Tri-blend Track Tee listed on page 76 of our catalog.  The color was athletic grey.  As I put on the shirt, it was as if I was putting on the down of 10,000 baby goslings.  I knew from that point, my life would never be the same.  At the very least, I’d be able to face the challenges of each day wearing a comfortable shirt.