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Choosing The Best Fabric For Your Shirt - Is Cotton The Best?


Whenever we decide to shop for either sewing or any pre-made article, one thing that crosses the mind when selecting is, which is the best fabric for a shirt? With so many options available in the market, making the decision can be overwhelming.

It is better to narrow down all the choices and settle on just one to work for the kind of project you are going for, either personal use or any other. There are many points to ponder other than regular characteristics before making the final call.

The two most important distinct properties that you need to think about at the time of buying the fabric of your shirt are thread count and ply use of the weaving process.

The thread count is given in numbers initiating from 50 to 1000s. The higher the thread count, the better the fabric with more softness, and smooth texture like silk, making the fabric, in the end, more expensive.

And as for ply construction, there are single-ply and two-ply fabrics available. In the case of two-ply fabrics, 2 yarns are spun into 1 preventing wear and tear issues such as pilling. Fabric materials that have thread counts exceeding 100 usually have a two-ply construction and two yarns together in a twisted manner, making them sturdy and durable for use.

Which Fabric Is The Best For Your Shirt?

Some of the ideal qualities you should look out for are:

· Attractive in terms of overall appearance

· Soft texture against the skin

· Breathability

Let’s have a look at some of the best materials you can choose for making shirts.


Fashion designers use cotton to create casual athletic shirts, formal dress shirts, and everything in between. Cotton is well suited for use in both knitted and woven shirt styles.

Cotton is one of the best and sought after materials in the fashion industry. Its popularity with designers and the consumers is due to its affordability, softness, versatility, and widespread

availability. Other than that, cotton fabric for a shirt or any other garment is a hit amongst people because it is the most comfortable and breathable fiber to wear.

Cotton is the best choice to portray your distinct style. Its fiber can dye and print effortlessly, so it shows comfort in not only wearing but also making articles such as printed blouses, screen-printed t-shirts, etc. another positive thing about cotton is that shirts made from it can look dressy, businesslike, casual, sporty, sophisticated or even laid-back whatever you like.

Advantages of Using Cotton Fabric for Shirt

· Breathability

· Comfort

· Widespread availability

· Cost-effective

· A suitable surface for screen printing


· It is susceptible to wrinkling and shrinking.

· Does not work as an ideal insulator for retaining body heat in cold

· Cotton farming imposes a health risk that requires a significant amount of toxic chemicals such as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and defoliants.

Pima Cotton

Extra-long-staple Pima cotton is one of the most desirable fabrics for shirts because it finishes into a soft, durable, appealing fabric that is comfortable to wear. Compared to shirts made from ordinary short-staple cotton, shirts made from Pima cotton are more resistant to becoming frayed, torn, wrinkled, and faded.

Pima cotton, just like regular, shares all of its advantages, including the material softness, breathability, and versatility. However, it is relatively not as abundant as regular cotton and, therefore, more expensive than ordinary cotton fabrics.

The place where its cultivation takes place is one of the main differences between Pima and Egyptian cotton.


· Extra luxurious softness

· Breathability and comfort

· Resistance to wear and tear


· Expensive when compared with other cotton fabrics

· Genuine Pima cotton is very hard to find as it is scarce and a favorite material of counterfeiters


Poplin is a popular fabric for a shirt. It has a plain weave making it smooth and cool in terms of breathability with a crisp feel. You will find a good quality poplin; it is superfine and tightly woven, high-quality material. It is the most desired fabric for making dress shirts because of its smooth texture.

However, there is one disadvantage with poplin in use as a fabric for a shirt is its opacity. If you are looking for a completely solid/opaque fabric, this one is not for you. Poplin is thin and slightly transparent as well, adding to the lightweight advantage.

Its thinness contributes a lot to its crisp look. A fresh pressed poplin dress shirt looks elegant just like you want it to be. So, you can wear them anytime, anywhere, especially as formal shirts.


Linen is exceptional in terms of its sturdy nature because of cellulose fiber which originates from flax plants. This material makes it one of the most desirable shirt fabrics because of its versatility, durability, breathability, and softness. Linen is the best for making tailor dress shirts, crew neck shirts, and formal or casual knit t-shirts.

It does not, however, drape as good as some other materials such as silk, rayon, and polyester. Nonetheless, textile designers have the ability to compensate for this stiff tendency in many ways.

One method is the frequent blending of rayon with other fibers such as spandex, cotton, or even polyester to improve its draping factor and overall fabric movement.


· Breathable and comfortable to wear

· Works up into durable, long-lasting fabrics

· Compostable


· Prone to wrinkling

· Relatively expensive

· Does not stretch or drape as well as some other fibers


If you are a newbie in the industry, Royal Motif Fabrics can hook you up with the best material according to your project and end result. Do not hesitate to visit or call us.

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