This may sound like an easy question, but is has no simple answer. It’s just like asking “What’s the best car?”. The best I can come up with is that the best grammage for a t-shirt is the one meeting your expectations.
What exactly is this grammage?
According to Wikipedia:
Grammage is a term used in the pulp and paper industry and also for fabric industry to denote a measure of mass of the product per unit of area for a type of fabric, paper or paperboard.
There, it’s all clear now. So you’re probably thinking, the higher the grammage the better, right? WRONG! The notion that higher grammage of a shirt equals higher quality is a MYTH! Grammage is just one of the factors to consider while selecting shirts for printing, and it’s certainly not the most important one. Final quality of the shirt is influenced by:
- type of cotton, yarn
- type of welt
- type of seam
- smethod of dyeing (black isn’t always black enough!)
- individual taste, target group, current fashion
The last point is just as important as the other ones. Some prefer to wearmore tight (slim) shirts, others ? more loose versions. Some prefer lower,lighter grammage of 150 gsm, others like to feel the weight of heavy cotton (210 gsm or even more). Luckily, the t-shirt and promotional clothing market is well stocked and everyone can find something to fit their needs, no matter how sophisticated. So the most important question you should be asking yourself, is…
What do I need the shirts for?
Shirt grammage is like wine ? you have to pick the right one considering context and use, just like you would select your wine to go with a given meal or occasion :-) Is this a one-time promotional event or a simple promotional item? Are you creating your own brand of clothing? Or maybe you need work wear for your company or a t-shirt with your own design to impress your friends? Usually a promotional t-shirt for a hostess for a one-time event does not have to meet very high standards, because it won’t be used again. On the other hand a promotional item is a reflection of your company, so it cannot be cheap. Clients are becoming more demanding with each passing year. The clearer your goals, the easier it will be to find a solution.
The fairytale of the best quality at the lowest price
I hope you don’t believe in fairytales. Quality will cost you. That is a fact. Luckily, the competition on the shirt market is huge and so purchasing great shirts for (relatively) cheap is possible. However, you need to know where to look and what to look for. There are hundreds of larger and smaller promotional clothing vendors out there. In Poland, the most commonly used shirt brands are:
- Fruit of the Loom
To say “X shirts are good/bad” is not professional and imprecise for reasons mentioned above. Also consider the fact that every company manufactures different kinds of t-shirts ? from the most basic to premium class. The highest quality shirts are made of combed and semi combed cotton. Not all promotional clothing manufacturers have them on offer.
A common sin among t-shirt manufacturers is declaring in advertisements higher grammage, than it is in reality. Besides, as you’ve already learned, grammage is not the most important factor in whether or not a t-shirt is of high quality. So don’t just rely on the info you’re given – check things out on your own. Since you’re reading this, you’re on the right path to enlightenment ;) I realise this may all seem quite complicated; one might assume grammage is a rather straightforward topic. At the beginning I warned you there are no easy, black-or-white answers here. That’s simply how things are. It all depends on your needs and budget.
Feel it, wash it
I’ll now let you in on the inner workings of our company. Potential customers, you want to know what they are getting, should order samples of 2-4 kinds of t-shirts. Select them with your ultimate goal in mind. This way you can easily (and on the cheap) find out for yourself, what fits your purpose best, before placing the final order and spending your money. What the shirt looks like after the first wash is also important. It’ll let you know, if what you have in your hands is only good for cleaning floors or a is proper t-shirt, which will look well and serve you well for a long time.
As a side note, I noticed women tend to have lower tolerance when it comes to the decision, when it’s time to throw a t-shirt away. My wife would very much like to get rid of half of the shirts I have in my wardrobe, which look more than OK to me and I still put them on with pleasure ;-)