triblend t shirt with a triangle symbol around it and the word triblend superimposed

In our quest for the best material, we’ve tried a lot of different shirts and spent many hours researching, reading, and buying samples before we selected T-shirts made of 100% Triblend jersey fabric as the perfect material for our prints. They’re super comfortable and last longer, while still being a good value, even if they’re a bit more expensive than plain cotton. Ink prints nicely on the fabric with a slight aged wash and heather dappled texture in the fabric that gives designs a vintage retro look.

Many people haven’t heard of Triblend because it was only introduced to the market in 2006. Most people think 100% cotton means high quality even though cotton tees are actually cheaper and easier to produce than a Triblend. Cotton is also arguably the least durable common shirt fabric. 

Triblend T-shirts offer that broken-in, well-worn favorite shirt softness perfect to wrap your sexy body in. 

Benefits of Triblend Fabric

Triblend has several features that make it our first choice for shirts:

  • Ultimate silky softness from combining smoother, smaller fibers, resulting in a luxurious soft feel beyond plain cotton
  • Stay cooler and drier when you’re active due to its enhanced moisture wicking and breathability, allowing excess heat to escape
  • Lasts longer while looking great because the extra durable, stronger fibers resist wrinkling, ripping, pilling, and fading
  • Fashion friendly appearance that adds visual interest with a vintage heather texture and fabric that takes dye well
  • Better fit that shows off your body because it drapes and contours to flatter your body in the right places
  • Moves with you through comfy stretch and functional fit
  • Doesn’t weigh you down while still being functional and substantial enough to cover you

Getting Technical

In more technical terms, our Triblends are composed of 50% soft-spun high quality Polyester threads, 25% premium combed ring-spun cotton, and 25% wood derived Rayon. Our shirts are 32 singles (higher numbers mean finer yarn and softer fabric) compared to 18-20 singles that you’d find on cheaper shirts. We find 32 a balanced choice between fineness and weight–trying a 40 singles shirt was a bit too thin and nippley for our tastes. They are also a jersey knit fabric, which enhances the fabric’s strength and durability. We tried several different supplier brands for our base blanks and found Next Level to best match our overall expectations.

Fine Polyester threads contribute durability, softness, wrinkle resistance, and moisture wicking. Note that polyester is the strongest fiber of common shirt fabrics. The cotton in our shirts is extra soft due to the combed ring-spun processing that smooths, softens, and strengthens the fibers, creating a higher grade, better cotton fabric. It enhances the breathability, durability, and comfort of the garment. Rayon is created in a 16 step process from the celluose in natural materials like wood pulp and contributes comfort, a fit that makes you look your best, and cooling breathability.

Fun fact: Rayon is so soft and smooth it’s used for making artificial silk.

Here’s a science pic to help you visualize the smoothness of Polyester and Rayon versus Cotton:

comparison of cotton, polyester, and rayon under magnification

Notice how much smoother the threads are compared to cotton? That’s what helps give Triblend such superior softness against the skin. The textured fibers of cotton make it feel much rougher, no to mention the fibers typically being thicker. It’s not all bad though–the rougher fibers mean there are more open spaces between each thread, making cotton a highly breathable fabric that helps let out heat.

When you combine high quality cotton with polyester and rayon, you get the benefits of all 3 materials working together, eliminating the drawbacks of the individual materials, and making an outperforming fabric.

If you’re looking for the tech specs on our typical Triblend T-shirt:

  • Tri-Blend Jersey Knit
  • 32 Singles
  • 145g/4.3oz
  • 50% Poly 25% Combed Ring-Spun Cotton 25% Rayon. 
  • Crew Neck Set-in Collar 1×1 Tri-Blend Baby Rib
  • Preshrunk
  • Fashion slim fit

Printing on Triblend vs Cotton

We mentioned earlier that the ink on Triblend has an aged washed appearance, where you can see some of the fabric’s texture underneath the design. That gives the designs on our shirts a vintage retro appearance we think looks pretty neat. It adds a bit of visual complexity that gives the shirt a more fashionable, worn in, high end look that contrasts with the colored plastic slapped on a T-shirt look we aren’t too fond of.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a visual aid to show you the differences printing on the two materials.

printing on cotton vs triblend comparison of a skull

Supporting the People Behind the Art

You’re probably hyped and ready to drop some green on some Triblend gear after learning how soft, durable, and high performance it is. Lucky for you, we got the independent artist-made designs to go along with this great material.

And they aren’t just great shirts, they also help the community artists we work with earn a living. There’s a person behind the art on each shirt and we make sure to give them their fair share of the profits on every shirt we sell. In fact, you can read about each of our artists here.

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