One of our bestselling bulk t-shirts comes from the good folks at Gildan: the G500, a cotton tee that starts around 1.69 for white and averages around 2.70 for colors. If you're looking for a blank, wholesale t-shirt that won't break the bank, comes in 100% cotton, works for printing, and wears comfortably, the G500 might be your best bet.
Here are some things to note:
We're asked this question a lot--is an incredibly cheap tee like the G500 right for a screen printing job? What if I want to use sublimation? What about shrinkage?
That depends on what you're looking for. The G500 is 100% cotton, so sublimation won't work--you'll need at least 50% polyester for your print to "stick."
Low-priced options like the G500 aren't side-seamed, meaning they may not give you a more retail or "tailored" fit. The G500 also isn't knit from, say, ringspun cotton, giving it a "firmer hand" and a thicker feel than other offerings.
But is it soft enough?
If you're looking at Gildan apparel for all your printing needs, you need to know that Gildan offers three main levels of fabric softness. The three examples above represent Gildan's three levels:
Gildan's heaviest offering. 100% cotton and preshrunk, Ultra Cotton is thicker and more firm than softstyle. Wt: 6oz
Gildan heavy cotton tees are actually lighter than Ultra Cotton, but the knit gives it a textured feel. Wt: 5.3 oz
Offerings like the G125 are different in that Gildan uses a Dryblend technology that combines 50% cotton and 50% polyester.
Polyester is durable and versatile. Printers who choose polyester tees or hoodies over 100% cotton may be doing so because 100% poly tees keep their shape and color over longer periods of time.
The same is true for 50/50 blends, like the G125. Some would say that the G125 gives you the best of both worlds--you get the softness of cotton and the durability and "pop" of polyester. You also get a more athletic, sporty feel and look.
So what do you think?
If you're looking for our most economical choice in blank t-shirts or printable apparel, Gildan tees and hoodies probably fit the bill.
If you want higher-quality and more colorfast fabric, choose something with a cotton/poly blend.
If you want something with a tailored fit or look, upgrade to the softstyle offerings.
If you want heavy, try Ultra Cotton.