5 of The Best Quality T Shirts to Print On for 2019.


If you are starting a high-end t-shirt line or just looking for great quality t shirts that keep their color, are durable for years and have soft fabrics that won’t pill, shrink or itch.

Consider these 5 Quality T-shirts as some of the best material & fabric to use when printing a premium t shirt line.

Reviews are based on durability, comfort, softness, quality and t shirt fit. In keeping these important elements in mind, you can create an apparel brand that people trust and want to actually wear. 


5. Anvil Lightweight Fashion Tee

Anvil’s Lightweight Fashion 980 Short Sleeve T Shirt 100% pre-shrunk ringspun cotton. The Anvil 980 t-shirt makes for a great relaxed athletic fit.

The Anvil 980 comes with an easy tear-away label, this feature helps in the printing of custom size tags without leaving tiny cotton pieces behind where the non-tear away tag was sewn into the shirt.

When the size tags are sewn in the fabric and in most cases the collar can come undone when removing the tag by tearing or ripping the label.  

A tag sewn directly into the shirt takes longer to remove and can damage the shirt if not properly detached.

In order to remove it properly, the printer has to cut the threads that hold the tag in place very carefully.

The good thing about the Anvil 980 and most of the blank t shirts being produced now is that the tear away label is becoming the standard for easy size relabeling so that you can fully brand your clothing line from inside out.


After The Wash Update.

The Anvil 980 shrunk a bit after washing, although when new the length is a bit longer than your standard shirt this. When comparing the Anvil 980 to lesser quality tees, the Anvil keeps its color, shape and form better than most t shirts at a lower price point.

The Anvil 980 Lightweight is a soft ringspun cotton that is tightly woven together and long-lasting, this shirt is nicely stitched and looks well on an athletic body type.

Fitted but not too tight this shirt is a comfortable blend of relaxed and form-fitting, a bit denser feeling in the weaving compared to the American Apparel shirt. Anvil is perfect for screen printing inks because of its soft touch material.

It is t-shirt without any side seams the Anvil 980 is perfect for custom printed t-shirts with big side prints. One of the major disadvantages of having a side seam or printing on top of seams is the gaps in the ink when the press is passed through the garment for printing.

These gaps are caused by an uneven surface area, the side seam that bonds your t-shirt together has double the fabric and that extra fabric lifts the surrounding area causing the ink to hit only the flat surface of the t-shirt thus leaving gaps of missing ink or clots behind.

No bueno.

If you are looking to print on the side of your t-shirt then you’re in luck because the Anvil 980 is a one-piece fabric that can produce flush side prints perfectly.

Anvil also carries a fashion line for men and women in a variety of bright colors and heather’s as well as tank top cuts that keep up with today’s trends and fashion.


Main Takeaways • Lightweight / Soft Touch / Relaxed / Fitted / Skate/ Street Wear / Cross fit T-shirt

T-Shirts Comparable to: Diamond Supply Co – Billabong

Anvil Product Specs.

  • 4.5 oz., pre-shrunk 100% combed ringspun cotton, 30 singles
  • Heather Grey is 90/10 cotton/polyester alternate Heather colors are 40/60 cotton/polyester
  • Neons are 65/35 polyester/combed ringspun cotton
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
  • Double-needle stitched sleeves and bottom hem
  • TearAway™ label for easy relabelling


4. American Apparel

The American Apparel Brand has been bought out by Gildan a Canadian Apparel manufacture.

We now know the American Apparel brand will be continued by Gildan and have recently released the American Apparel Fine Jersey Tee 2001W in various colors. 

The American Apparel tee is a popular t shirt brand that is well-known in Los Angeles and across the world for its progressive American made business model.

Under the previous ownership, the American Apparel brand stood for pro-gay rights, pro-immigration reform and pro-USA made.

American Apparel Ads were highly sexualized and attention-grabbing, with hundreds of billboards covering the city of Los Angeles.

Now with Gildan in charge of the brand, it’ll be interesting on how the American Apparel brand comes back form all it’s past controversy.


The Fine Jersey Crew Neck 2001W tee is 100% cotton and is the standard American Apparel shirt printed in most print shops in the U.S. although American Apparel carries a wide variety of 50/50 blends, Tri blends and Poly Cottons, we will use and focus on the 100% cotton Fine Jersey Crew as our main example.

The Fine Jersey crew is used as merchandise by bands like Van Halen, Vampire Weekend, Death Cab for Cutie and online companies like Threadless and Teespring.

The quality of this blank t-shirt is durable and the softness is definitely felt, the stitching is well done and the variety of colors is enough to get your clothing brand started.

However, some of the reasons why the American Apparel brand shirt is at #4 is because of our clients feedback when printing on and using American Apparel shirts.

The first major concern when looking to buy American Apparel shirt is the high cost per shirt, since it’s made in the U.S expect to pay premium prices.

Another common complaint is that the shirt tends to be a bit on the thin and slouchy side. Since Gildan has taken over we have seen some minor changes in the pricing that brought the cost of the shirt lower and quality of the shirt has improved.

However, this doesn’t mean The American Apparel brand is bad or not good quality t shirts. Unless you or your buyers prefer a lighter material and a t shirt that’s a bit more relaxed fit, then the American Apparel could be the right choice for you.

However, there is always different taste in what we wear and how it fits on us and how it makes us feel. If this shirt was music I’d classify it under rock n roll & grunge.

The t shirt is laid back in style for a natural relaxed look and feel.

Main Takeaways • Lightweight / Sheer / Relaxed / Loose Fit / Soft Touch

American Apparel Product Specs.

  • 100% Fine Jersey cotton construction (Heather Grey has 10% Polyester)
  • Durable rib neckband
  • Fabric weight 4.3 oz/yd² (146 g/m²)
  • Superior screen printing results
  • Made of 100% fine ring-spun combed cotton, this lightweight fine jersey is exceptionally smooth and tight-knit, making it a perfect surface for screen printing.


3. Next Level Premium Fitted Sueded 

If you were looking for super soft t-shirts the Next Level 6410 is the softest tee we’ve felt. This is the t shirt your girlfriend will want you to wear all the time to rest her head on your chest and snuggle close to you, it’s that soft and comforting. The Next Level Fitted Sueded is a Fabric laundered 60/40 combed cotton/poly sueded jersey which means a super soft touch almost a fine velvet feel but sportier and way cooler looking than regular velvet.

Next Level is known for producing quality t shirts along with trend-setting fits and cuts for men and women.

Since Next Level 6410 is higher end in the T Shirt chain so is the price, compared to an Anvil 980 and Bella Canvas 3001 Tee, they range at higher price, but your buyers and fans will surely love the way they feel and fit if the unique quality is what you’re looking for.

The print on these shirts is also pretty cool looking if you do a single pass of ink on them, this gives you a vintage worn-in type of look, think Led Zepplin or new Heavy Metal type of prints that are trending right now.


After The Wash.

The Next Level 6410 Premium Sueded after washing still feels soft and the color is still bright.  Although this shirt had normal shrinkage after the wash the quality makes up for it because we haven’t found another quality t shirt that feels this way.

This is a shirt that becomes your favorite after washing because it has a vintage look and feel for a brand new shirt.

The fit on the Next Level 6410 shirt is athletic and tends to shrink just a bit after washing but nothing too drastic. Don’t worry about having to toss it out to replace it with a larger size, its a small shrink and true to their size but run a bit short on length for my personal taste.

I prefer a longer length t shirt but I still love the way the sueded texture feels on the Next Level 6410.

Next Level Apparel carries a wide selection of solid colors, specialty burnout tank tops for women and modern cuts that are on the trendier side with a bigger selection for women but you have to try the Next Level Premium Fitted Suede shirt for a unique type of feel.


Main Takeaways • Super Soft Touch / Fitted / Comfort

T-shirts Comparable to: Unique One of a kind T-shirt.

Next Level Premium Fitted Sueded Product Specs.

  • Fabric laundered, 4.3 oz., 60/40 combed cotton/poly sueded jersey
  • 1×1 sueded baby rib set-in collar
  • Satin label



2. Alternative Short Sleeve T-Shirt

The Alternative is the Mercedes S500 in the quality t shirt world as far as pricing. 

The look the feel and the quality is something else when you compare Alternative 1070 shirts to the rest of the aforementioned brands.

We’re not saying that the rest of the shirts are poor quality but the Alternative brand specifically focuses on providing high-end apparel.

If you’re looking for weightier and softer shirt compared to American Apparel or Next Level shirt then Alternative might be for you.

Alternative also has a large selection of shirts, tank tops, styles and cuts that are unique and fashionable.


After The Wash Update.

The Alternative 1070 Crew pretty much remained the same after the first couple of washes. The color reviewed (Apple Red) remained vibrant and the cloth handled the washer and dryer just fine with minimal shrinkage.

I would categorize this shirt in the rock and roll section of t-shirts type because it’s not super form fitting but kind of loose and relaxed at the bottom half.

You’ll mainly find these high end quality t shirts in boutique stores like Rodeo Drive or Melrose Ave in Hollywood where a single shirt can go for $60 up to $200 if you have the customer base and the outlet to get to these buyers willing to pay these premium prices than you might want to check out the Alternative shirts.


Main Takeaways • Super Soft Touch / Fitted / Comfort / Relaxed Fit / Yoga Style T-shirt / Hipster / Modern / Loose Fit

T-shirts Comparable to:  RVCA – Stussy

Alternative Short Sleeve Product Specs.

  • 4.1 oz., 100% combed ringspun cotton, 30 singles
  • Heather Grey is 67/33 cotton/polyester
  • Piece dyed and washed



1. Bella Canvas Unisex Jersey T-Shirt

So you have your designs ready for print and you’re looking to find the best Quality t shirts for your brand, you’ve looked at several shirts but you still haven’t come to a conclusion on which one to purchases.

The quality of shirts are good but the price and fit may not quite match what you’re looking for… well.. I believe Bella Canvas 3001 has found the right combination of quality, price, comfort, and fit.

The Bella Canvas Unisex short sleeve jersey is 100% combed ringspun cotton, this soft shirt is a perfect blend between weight, softness and fit and with 57 different colors to choose from, you’ll have plenty of blank canvases to express your creativity.

This is one of the Best T-shirts for tall and slim body types. Although the Bella Canvas 3001 is not considered a “Tall”, the 3001 has the longest length of all of the shirts reviewed.

The best part is that it also maintains the length after washing with little to minimal shrinkage compared to the Anvil 980 and Next Level brands.


After The Wash Update.

The Bella Canvas 3001 is by far our favorite out of all Quality t shirts mentioned in this article. This is the shirt that you like better after washing because it’s more comfortable after it’s broken into like your favorite pair of jeans.

The colors remain vibrant and the length of this particular shirt remains the same which is a huge plus of comfortable and stylish clothes.

You can pair this t shirt with a nice blazer for a casual date or you can wear it out to a dive bar and the quality will stand out.

Overall a solid clean looking Quality t shirt that feels great and wears great after several washes. 

The unique custom tailored design of the Bella Canvas 3001 is form-fitting and comfortable to wear anywhere with a nice sports coat or perfect for when you want to spend a day at the beach.The Heather style tee from Bella Canvas 3001 has that soft vintage t-shirt look that feels lightweight but durable.

Main Takeaways •  Soft Touch / Fitted / Comfort / Casual / Street Wear/ Cross fit T-shirt/ Vintage Style

T-shirts Comparable to:   Stussy – RVCA  .

Bella Canvas Unisex Jersey T-shirt Product Specs.

  • 4.2 oz., 100% combed ringspun cotton, 30 singles
  • Athletic Heather is 90/10 cotton/polyester alternate Heather colors are 52/48 cotton/polyester
  • Ash is 99/1 cotton/polyester
  • Shoulder to shoulder taping
  • Coverstitched collar and hemmed sleeves