What are the differences in cotton material for a polo shirt?

Cotton polo shirts are the staple of any company’s custom logo embroidered apparel toolbox-and for good reason.  Cotton is a wonderfully natural product that makes for a great pallet for a logo embroidered golf shirt.

A polo shirt’s construction is the core of its existence. It affects the way a shirt drapes, how comfortable it is and how well it holds up to day-to-day wear and laundering. From the cotton used, the make-up of the yarn and the density of the knit, these construction details give clues to the quality of the shirt.

Cotton Categories

There are two primary ways to create cotton yarns. Open-ended cotton is the product of the less expensive of the two methods. Here, the spinning process utilizes shorter cotton fibers. These short fibers are then entangled using a high-speed rotor, creating a fabric that is both rougher and weaker than its counterpart.

The ring-spun method of creating cotton yarn makes use of the longer cotton fibers and spins together uniform strands to create a stronger yarn with a soft hand.

Therefore, when you see a description of shirt that is made of ring-spun cotton, you know it is a quality material.

Here are some examples of our best-selling ring-spun and combed cotton shirts.

Within these two methods are two more sub-categories: carded and combed, which describes the process used to remove impurities and to prep the fibers for spinning. Carded fiber is the opening quality and price point for cotton.

On the other end are combed fibers which are sent through a special combing machine to remove pollutants and shorter staples while systematically aligning the remaining fibers. This extra step creates the softest and most durable cotton fibers on the market.

These different spinning methods can be rather easily broken into quality categories, which, in turn, explain price differences. In terms of good/better/best categories, good could generally be filed as open-ended carded, better as ring spun carded and best as ring spun combed.

Next time you are purchasing a cotton polo shirt, look for these details and know what you are paying for.  A more educated decision is a better decision.

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