FABRIC CHOICE – PROS & CONS OF FABRIC

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FABRIC CHOICE – PROS & CONS OF FABRIC

Cotton? Or 50/50 cotton/polyester? Dry Fit?

This is what most consumer ponder over and sometimes not even sure what those terms means! We at Actinium here will help you go through all the fabric choices and explain to you the pros & cons of using different types of fabric. The list is long, we will only touch on some general, major points. For detail such as if certain material is well suited for certain t-shirt designs, our sales team will be glad to assist you.

100% cotton or pure cotton is what most people are familiar with. They are made into single jersey (also known as single knit) in different weights. The commonly used is between 170~190gsm (gramme per square meter or gm/m2) and it’s also recommended for our tropical weather. It is also made into honeycomb or piqué which is commonly made into polo t-shirts. Cotton is very comfortable to wear and moisture absorbent too. However, as like other natural products, such as leather, tender loving care is needed to maintain it. Such as gentle washing, sunning them should be avoided so that the colour will not fade easily. Over use of the cotton will tend to give an “old” or “worn down” look though some fashioner call it “grunge.” Cotton are also subjected to shrinkage, especially in high heat, such as dryer or washing in very hot water. And ironing is a must for most cotton t-shirt to look good.

Swatches

Common terms you might have heard are TC or CVC but what do they mean? Some fabric are made with some cotton & some polyester, in the case of TC, more polyester less cotton. And CVC is vice-verse with more cotton in it. The percentage varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Basically the idea is to control some of the disadvantages of cotton with polyester. But while doing so, it also reduces the comfort & absorption of moisture too. And with cotton prices soaring like all other agricultural products, mixing polyester also helps bring cost down. A distinctive disadvantage for TC is that over time, the fabric will develop tiny “lint ball” all over. Think back the days of your old school PE t- shirts. Those are mainly made of TC.

The new technology of microfibre, made popular by Nike, brand name known as “Dri-Fit” is the new polyester. It has made traditional polyester that could not absorb moisture now absorb even more & faster than cotton. Thus the comfort of such fabric is the most welcomed feature. Microfibre has a soft & comfortable touch. A definition of micro fibre is that a polyester yarn that has more than one filament per denier.

For example:
100 denier / 96 filament (is not a microfibre yarn)
100 denier / 144 filament (is a microfibre yarn – one of our stock fabric you can find has this definition.)

Swatches

Many vendors in our local market are selling just pure old traditional polyester. Most of the consumer has no idea, but while using it, you will find discomfort, hot to wear, and none in absorption. Thus they are a lot cheaper than the actual microfibre. When the fabric doesn’t absorb moisture, you may experience unpleasant odor. Now you know – it’s not you, it’s the fabric!

Microfibre gives you a fresh look even after many washes, the colours stay fresh, and you can wash & wear it immediately, no ironing needed. But some people still shy away from it, as the fabric tend to be soft, thus “clingy” to your body which some of us are not fond of. Well, we thus developed another range of microfibre for our corporate users, call jacquard. It’s made to 210gsm which is not the usual for microfibre, especially in most sports wear, but we still put 100% microfibre yarn into it so that all the goodness are not lost.

Lastly, one note about microfibre is that it gets prick easily. The very same reason that the filament is very small to provide all the goodness, it gets broken easily too. So just like ladies wearing thin luxurious looking silk, they are very careful not to let sharp objects prick on the cloth cause they know that it will damage their precious fashion piece! And the only maintenance that you need to keep in mind for microfibre is that no fabric softener should be used as that will clog up the fabric and thus looses it’s effectiveness.

For those who are interested to read more,