One of the most important if not the most important decision for any project is which brand to choose when screen printing or embroidering garments. There are so many different manufacturers out there, how can you know which product will fit your needs best? As decorators, it is our job to help clients select the best garment for their needs--after all, we work with these brands every single day so we should know best, right? Which brand should you work with for your project? Keep checking in with our blog as we continue to review many of the popular garment manufactures in the field today.
For our first brand review, we'll start with one of the most popular brands in the market: Gildan.
Gildan has become one of the biggest staples in the decorating industry as a budget-friendly brand. You would be hard pressed to find a shop that hasn't printed on their line of products--and there are quite a lot of them. Gildan offers t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, polos, blankets, and even underwear. Gildan does not rest on their laurels by having a wide variety of products offered either--they add versatility to their entire line through their frequent use of different materials. As an example, we can look more closely at the most popular garment choice in the printing industry: The t-shirt. Take a look at the blend styles below and see how each style can be used in the world:
Ultra Cotton (~$3.83 per blank): A 100% cotton option with a weight of 6.1 ounces. This piece is a significant weight for a t-shirt and the standard cotton construction keeps cost as low as possible. The Ultra Cotton blend is widely used for blue collar projects or any project that requires a sturdy garment that is still budget friendly. If you want a garment that is going to be around for a long time, look no further.
Hammer Cotton (~$3.93 per blank): A 100% combed ring-spun cotton option with a weight of 6.0 ounces. The Hammer collection is a relatively new item from Gildan which offers something that not many brands have expanded in to just yet. This piece is heavy in weight, sturdy in construction and gives the added benefits of having ring-spun cotton which provides a smoother print surface and a softer overall feel. Gildan always prices their products as competitively as possible and while this garment is very high quality, it does come in at their highest price point for any standard cotton tee. For only $0.10 more than the Ultra Cotton garments, this is an easy way to step up your heavy-duty apparel.
South Shore Customs Preferred Style - "Budget Friendly"
Heavy Cotton (~$3.35 per blank): A 100% ring-spun cotton option with a weight of 5.3 ounces. The Gildan Heavy Cotton t-shirt may be one of the most popular t-shirts on the market. With a lighter weight than the Ultra Cotton style, this t-shirt serves as a "middle-weight" option which is typically considered more casual and wearable as a garment. Pair the casual nature of this piece with such a low price-point and you can see why this style sees so much success.
South Shore Customs Preferred Style - "Fashion Friendly"
SoftStyle (~$3.24 per blank): A 100% cotton option with a weight of 4.5 ounces. Gildan's SoftStyle t-shirt option is arguable the most "fashion-forward" piece offered by this brand. Utilizing ring-spun cotton with a lighter weight makes this piece very soft to the touch, increasing comfort and overall "wearability" of this t-shirt. Gildan also departs from their standard cut style by tapering in the neck and shoulders for a more modern, fitted look. With a surprisingly inexpensive price-point this garment is very competitive for anyone looking to step up the quality of their merchandise without breaking the bank.
DryBlend (~$3.62 per blank): A 50% Cotton/50% Polyester option with a weight of 5.5 ounces. The DryBlend style from Gildan breaks from their standard cotton selections with another popular blend. Why choose a blended fabric over a 100% cotton fabric? Synthetic materials such as polyester are resistant to shrinking, much softer to the touch and much less absorbent than cotton. This makes DryBlend shirts more desirable for those looking for an "easy-care", softer, or moisture-wicking style. While Gildan typically offers a tear-out tag for their product line, the DryBlend model is one of their only styles that remains with a tagless label printed inside. The tagless label is a pro for some clients but a con for others who are looking to relabel their garments with their own brand name.
Performance (~$5.38 per blank): A 100% polyester option with a weight of 4.7 ounces. For years the sportswear industry has seen a massive shift toward polyester as the material of choice for all things athletic. Ideal for athletic situations such as sports or manual-labor, the performance blend comes to the table with a snag resistant polyester designed to be moisture-wicking and anti-microbial. Pair these properties with the always budget-conscientious price-points by Gildan and you have another impressive contender for clients who need a more performance-oriented style.
With so many different styles to choose from Gildan has a competitive option for nearly any situation you can think of. This makes Gildan an ideal brand to work with in terms of flexibility and consistency while also being one of the most budget-friendly. As one of the largest, most reputable brands, be sure to consider using Gildan for your next screen printing or embroidery project.
When it comes to bringing your project to life, the importance of who you choose to work with can not be overstated. The team at South Shore Customs is not only committed to providing a fast and affordable service, we also stand by our craft as artists who are invested heavily in creating the highest quality products for our clients. Have questions about process or pricing? Want to get started on a project? Speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today.