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Polyester Blends Vs. Cotton: Which Is Right For Your Business

Branding  -  February 27, 2018

When you are making plans to place an order for custom apparel, quality and having the right product for the goal you are trying to accomplish is critical.

There are many variables to consider when selecting the material that you’ll select for your custom apparel. Some businesses don’t place much value on the quality while others care deeply on the comfort or material that is used. While brands play a role, we’ll be focusing strictly on comparing the two most popular materials known in the custom print world; Cotton and Polyester. (100% Cotton, 50/50 Cotton Poly Blend)

With 100% cotton you get a few different benefits:

Cotton Seed


  • Maybe you have a clientele that are allergy prone, or you are a spa that advertises services for people with sensitive skin on your custom apparel, you want to have a product that you know will be gentle on them and that they will want to wear. Cotton is the best pal of the epidermis.
  • Cotton is majorly breathable, consider this if you live in warmer climates or are making custom apparel for the summer months.
  • Custom clothing made from cotton holds onto screen printing designs better than a polyester blend. It will hold on to colors better and be less likely to bleed, as well, the print will last longer and look better for more time. If your business likes big and bold designs and wants to make sure their custom apparel look as crisp and professional as possible, cotton is a great choice.

However, polyester blends come with a heap of good qualities as well!



  • Poly blends are more versatile than 100% cotton and can be used for more purposes, taking some benefits from both cotton and polyester and combing them into one.
  • While screen printing will hold better on cotton, the colors of piece of custom apparel made of 100% cotton will likely fade faster and the fibers will weaken in less time, which means that a poly blend can be washed more frequently and will stand up to harsher treatment and longer wearing overall. A custom t-shirt that the client can hold onto will keep your brand name in their mind, even if it does fade a bit more.
  • Poly blends are easier to care for, requiring a simple warm wash and dry, while cotton is finicky. You don’t have to worry  about a poly blend shrinking or developing major wrinkles unless you are REALLY tough on it. So, in short, poly blends are great if your custom apparel is meant for kids.
  • Cotton is definitely the more breathable fabric, but is also doesn’t react great to heavy sweating and activity, so while a poly blend might not have the same airy quality as 100% cotton, it more than makes up for it in how well it stands up to rough treatment during sweaty activities. Basically, if you want your custom apparel to last and hold up, go with a poly blend. It doesn’t hurt that it also has a sportier look to it and is a bit easier to clean!

So which is best for your business?

There is no right answer. It’s important to understand the factors and make a decision based on your specific needs. Understanding who you are printing for, your budget and the particular customization also all play a factor. The best advice is to visit a showroom (we have a nice one) and look at both blank and printed samples to review and discuss your options.

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