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Getting the Lingo Straight. Common Terms Used in T-shirt Printing

As you know, every industry has its own collection of shorthand, jargon, and acronyms.

These industry terms are used to label or describe their products and services. The t-shirt industry is no different and even though we don’t have a lot of acronyms, we definitely have our share of unique vocabulary words that are used on the reg. Understanding a few of these will make the custom apparel ordering process easier for any consumer.

Here we will provide you with the most popular terms that we use here at Celebritees. With them, you can jump into our conversations at any time and have a good idea of what we mean. Different manufacturers across the world use different terms to describe their product. These are terms are not always consistent and it would be great to have a reference guide to give you a better understanding of them.

Bamboo Fabric

This type of fabric is indeed as it sounds – it is derived bamboo cellulose. If you haven’t ever felt bamboo fabric, I highly suggest that you ask for a quick feel the next time you are in a t-shirt shop. It is known its extreme softness and producing excellent drape.

Boat Neck

This term refers to the collar cut or neckline of a popular woman’s shirt style. The neckline is like a sideways zero running long from shoulder to shoulder.


If someone refers to fabric as “Burn-out”, it means there are lots of different areas of the shirt that are see-through. The fabric is put through an acid bath and portions of the blend literally burn-out leaving a sheer spot in its place. This is a trendy process and tends to be popular with younger markets.

Cap Sleeves

Having a shirt with capped sleeves means the sleeves are very small and only “cap” the top of the shoulder. A great mental visual is football jersey sleeves (sans elastic).

Cheap Cotton T-shirt

Basically if you walk into a t-shirt company looking for the least investment, you are guaranteed to walk out with a cheap cotton t-shirt. These garments are boxy, rough, and tend to shrink. Just remember – you get what you pay for.

Contrasting Stitching

If you’ve ever seen a shirt that had stitching around the edges of the sleeves or bottom of the shirt that didn’t match the color of the shirt, we in the industry call that “Contrast Stitching.” It’s a nice way to add extra depth to a garment and it looks really good if you match your ink to the contrast stitching.

Crop Top

This is exactly what it sound like it should be; a garment that is cropped higher than the belly button. Popular with women or 1980’s body builders.

Crew Neck

A crew neck is the standard neckline you find on basic t-shirts. It curves around the base of the neck right where it meets the collar.

Fabric Dyed

A fabric dyed shirt is made out of fabric that was dyed prior to its assembly.

Garment Dyed

Opposite from fabric dyed, garment dyed clothing is assembled and then dyed.

Garment Washed

If a shirt is garment washed it means that it was washed after production. It is great for retailers that want a nice feeling product to go directly into their store.

Heat Transfer

Heat transfer is a process of printing garments in which the printed design is transferred from the paper to the garment through heat and pressure.

Pigment Dyed

Pigment dye creates a washed-out, almost soft color

Yarn Dyed

A step before fabric dyed would be yarn dyed. Where the has been dyed before being woven into fabric.

If you have any questions on what terminology you can also just ask your screen printer, they will be happy to help make sure you get the right product. You can contact with any questions you might have about products we offer here in Savannah.

#savannahscreenprinting #customapparel #tshirts #womenstanks

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