You may have heard of the term as you are mid-hunt for the perfect shirt for your screen-print order. A “Tri-Blend t-shirt” vs a “normal t-shirt” is one of the questions that will be posed as you proceed with an order for soft custom shirts. If it were up to me, we wouldn't sell anything except for Tri-Blends simply because they are the softest shirts you will ever get the opportunity to wear.
What exactly is "Tri-Blend"
As the name alludes, the foundation of a Tri-Blend is a construction of three different types of fabrics. This is different from your "typical t-shirt" that is either 100% cotton or a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester. Tri-Blend t-shirts are composed of 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% Rayon which results in their soft texture. Below we have your basic 100% cotton shirt on the left and a beautify Tri-Blend on the right. (Notice the quality of the cut as well)
Printing on Tri-Blends
So the next question you may ask is whether the different materials in Tri-Blend result in any differences in the printing properties. Only when using discharge inks. Rayon doesn't allow for discharge ink to bleach out the color so the process results in inconsistent coverage and overall lighter print. Luckily, standard inks work fine with Tri-Blends and only have minor color variations between them and cottons shirts, but its so small, its not typically event mentioned. For more guidance on printing on different materials/printing processes, contact our team.
As a final word, if you are in search of that perfect t-shirt with a good fit, I will always suggest going with a Tri-Blend shirt with water-base ink. If you don't know the difference between water-base and plastisol inks, please check out our blog post dedicated to explaining the differences in ink. It truly makes a HUGE difference.