A T-Shirt Primer

I read a LOT about t-shirt quality, construction, and fit before settling on the perfect blanks that we use at One Light Thread. Here’s the gist: it’s complicated!

Options range from fiber content (polyester?), to growing method (pesticides?), to origin (imported?), to quality (carded open end cotton?), to fit (boxy?), to cost ($40 retail tees?), and color choices (neon?). Sadly, in tee shirts as in life, it is cost-prohibitive to have it all.

The must haves for us are:
  1. Super soft
  2. High quality
  3. Modern cut
Once we figured that out, our choices narrowed considerably!

As my older brother is wont to say, especially when referring to something on the distasteful side: sharing is caring. So here is some terminology that explains why our tees are kitten soft and destined to become your new favorites.

QUALITY
COMBED COTTON:

Combing separates longer fibers from the stubby ones, providing a more even surface when knitted. Bonus: the cotton is softer and stronger. 

RINGSPUN COTTON:

Cotton thread is continuously spun before being knitted, again producing softer and more durable thread.

FINE COTTON JERSEY:

Jersey is the most durable of knits, lightweight with fine vertical ribs. The finer thread yields a better drape and better screenprinting results. 

PREWASHED:
The knit is laundered before construction, reducing surprise shrinkage after the first wash. Prewashed cotton also has a softer hand.


CONSTRUCTION
SIDE SEAMING:
Front and back t-shirt pattern pieces are side seamed from armpits to hems, increasing garment stability, and resisting twisting and warping. 
NECK TAPING:

A thin strip of fabric is sewn over the inside neck and shoulder seams, lengthening the lifespan of the garment. 

DOUBLE NEEDLE HEMS:

Twin needles are used to stitch the bottom and armhole hems, perfectly parallel and doubly durable.

SLIM FIT:
On men, slim fit usually denotes a narrower pattern overall. On women, this can also mean that the waist is tapered in, and the arm holes are smaller. 
Ok, meet me in classroom 204 in five minutes for a pop quiz!

Kelley

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