Select Page

As you shop for the perfect wholesale t-shirt there might be some features or words that you don’t see at the retail level. What does it mean if a shirt is “tubular” versus “side-seamed”? Does it make a difference if the cotton used to make the shirt is combed and ring-spun? That’s why we put together some of the most commonly used terms in the wholesale industry so you can find the right fit and features for you!

Combed Cotton is a process that combs the cotton fibers to remove any imperfections as well as straighten and smooth the yarn. T-shirts made from combed cotton is of higher quality and has a soft hand.

Hand is a way to describe any characteristic of the t-shirt that can be felt by touch. Some examples can be the softness, drape, or firmness of the garment.

Credit to

Heavyweight describes any fabric that is heavier than 10 ounces per square yard. This is two ounces heavier than the average fabric weight (eight ounces). Heavyweight t-shirts are typical for the “workman’s shirt” or one that is heavier duty and more durable.

Lightweight describes any fabric that is lighter than six ounces per square yard. Lightweight t-shirts provide a light and flowy design.

Open-End Yarn is processed with less manufacturing steps then combed or ring-spun cotton. These t-shirts have a rougher hand to them but come at a lower price.

Ring-Spun Cotton describes the process of the yarn continuously twisting and thinning. This causes a similar result to when it is combed. Often shirts will go through both processes of being combed and ring-spun which creates an even softer and higher quality t-shirt.

Side-Seamed t-shirts describes when there are sewn seams along the sides that attach the front of the shirt to the back. This feature creates a more naturally contoured fit to the body than a “tubular” t-shirt.

Singles is a term used to measure the diameter of the yarn used to make the t-shirt. The smaller the number is, the thicker the yarn. An example of how this is depicted as “18/1” or “30 singles”. For a softer and higher quality t-shirt, look for a higher number which defines a thinner yarn and a tighter weave.

Credit to

Tubular t-shirts feature no side seams and require less manufacturing steps to produce. This is achieved by cutting a tube of fabric into the circular body portion of the shirt. Then two smaller tubes are cut to create the sleeves. This shirt, however, creates a more basic fit and comes at a lower cost.

Weight refers to the weight of the fabric as ounces per square yard of the fabric used to make it. Most t-shirts weigh five to eight ounces with anything lighter defined as “lightweight” and heavier as “heavyweight.” This is commonly confused with being the weight of the shirt after it is manufactured rather than the fabric itself.

If you ever have any additional questions about what different features or aspects about any of our apparel offerings, call in to our Call Center where one of our many Sales Representatives can assist you in finding and defining the best products for you!


We are available Monday-Friday between 8:00AM-8:30PM EST at 1-800-289-5400


Please follow and share us: