Are you choosing the right fabric?


Different fabrics explained

We field a lot of customer questions regarding fabric differences. The difference in fabric type I what determines the cost of a garment. Inexpensive garments are just that they are made from an inexpensive fabric.


What is breathability means that air can move through the fabric very easily and keep the wearer comfortable. The measurement is how much vapor can move through a square meter of fabric in a 24 hour period. The higher the number the better the breathability.

Cool Mesh technology

The fabric texture is more open which allows the fabric to breath. It has a very soft hand (feel) when touched. Better value garments allow the wearer to enjoy the breathability features of the garment.

Cotton Thread Count

This is a measure of thread density in the measured in “hanks” needed to create one pound of fabric. The higher the thread count the denser the fabric.  High density fabrics mean more value. Tee shirts have between 15-20 thread count where fashion tees have a 30 plus thread count


A system to measure the weight of a continuous filament of thread used in the manufacturer on the fabric. The smaller the number the finer the fabric.


This is a fabric exclusive to Nike. The fabric move perspiration easily through the fabric to keep the wearer comfortable and dry. It allows rapid evaporation across the entire surface area of the fabric.

Dri mesh polyester

This is a fabric made from polyester into a double layer of fabric that releases heat and sweat from the body. It maintains breathability while being made with polyester material.


team-photoThe fabric is made from eco friendly fibers. It has a very soft feel because it is made from organic cotton, recycled poly and rayon. This is a fabric made from recycled yarns or fabric.


This term is used to describe how a fabric feels. We all like a soft hand.

Herringbone fabric

A zig zag design woven into the fabric to give it a nice pattern. Generally used in golf shirts.

Jersey Knit

A knit used to make tee shirts which yield a very soft fabric. This is generally the term used for tee shirts. Most tees are jersey knit.

Our next blog will continue this discussion


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!