How to tell High-Quality T-Shirts vs Low-Quality T-Shirts

There is a common belief that quality t-shirts are high in price. For the most part, it is an accurate statement. But saying all expensive t-shirts are of good quality is not always the case. There are big brands who price merchandise at high price points because of the brand equity they have built over the years, but the quality of the product can be average at best.

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The market is full of t-shirts that are appealing to the eye, there are some really cool designs out there. But it is hard to tell good quality t-shirts from poor quality t-shirts based on the color, shape, design, and print. In order to ensure that the t-shirt you take home is of high quality, you need to examine the following:


The fabric is the most basic component that drives the quality of a t-shirt. Specifically, the weaving of the fabric will indicate the items lasting value. If the fibers are loose or fragile, there is a high probability that it will wear down rather quickly. However, if the weave is tight, it should definitely extend the garments useful life.

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Traditionally, cotton is believed to be the best material and makes up a majority of t-shirt composition. But you need to determine if the t-shirt you’re interested in is made of high grade or low grade cotton. Here’s how you can check the quality of the fabric?

  • Check the label

Most manufacturers put the threads used to make the fabric on the label, and some manufacturers will simply indicate the materials used. Either way, this should expose the quality of the t-shirt.

  • Touch the fabric

Touching the fabric is a great way to test the quality. A quality fabric will feel firm and soft. A low-quality fabric will feel plastic-like.

  • Hold it up and stretch it

The transparency of the fabric will reveal density. A high-quality t-shirt will not be transparent. To test the t-shirt, simply hold the t-shirt up against the light and stretch it.

  • Wrinkle test

The wrinkle test is good way of determining the quality of the fabric. Synthetic materials will produce minimal wrinkles. Poor-quality fabric will produce heavy wrinkles.


The stitching of the fabric gives the t-shirt its shape. The method of the stitching will determine how long the shape will hold and last.

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Here’s a guide to helping you determine t-shirt quality from tailoring:

  • Stitches

Turn your t-shirt inside out. A t-shirt that is stitched with high quality will have a flat seam that is straight and neatly done. The threads will be tight, and you will not see any loose threads. If you pull the seam from each side of the garment, the threads should hold firmly.

  • Hems

Quality t-shirts will have hems on the sleeves and at the bottom of the t-shirt. The hem should be straight and well-stitched. If the hem is wavy or crooked, it’s of poor quality and will probably not last you long.

Final Thoughts

Although a t-shirt may look great with the design, you really should look at the label, stitches, hems and make sure it passes the touch test. You want your t-shirt to hold-up over time, so take a look at the quality before you make your next purchase. With the above pointers, you should be able to pick a good quality t-shirt made from quality materials and with expert hand.


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