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1. Fruit of the Loom Heavy Cotton T-Shirt
Fruit of the Loom offers a wide range of promotional T-shirts for screen-printing but their Heavy Cotton T continues to be the most popular in the UK offering quality and value backed by a recognisable brand. Produced specifically for decoration with a fine knit gauge and open end yarn this shirt can handle repeat washes and intricate screen-prints.
Fruit of the Loom are the only imprint brand to use Belcoro licenced yarn for their fabrics, yarns that are produced on specialist spinning machines which have been installed at their manufacturing plant in Morocco. This attention to quality fabric means the Heavy T offers a more stable and tight printing area with fewer loose fibres and a ‘soft hand’ feel. Fruit of the Loom are one of the world’s largest vertically integrated manufacturer (meaning they control all aspects of production from cotton field to finished garment), producing around 1.9 million T-shirts each week from their Moroccan based facility alone. The company abides by their ‘Fruit Code’ – a code of conduct that outlines Fruit of the Loom’s commitment to producing garments in an ethical and environmentally friendly way. The Fruit of the Loom Heavy Cotton T is Oeko-Tex approved and is available in 8 colours and sizes from small to 3XL.
2. Gildan Heavy Cotton T-Shirt
Gildan is currently the largest leisurewear brand in the screen-print market in the U.S. and Canada. Their heavy cotton T is made from 100% pre-shrunk jersey cotton (apart from the sport and ash grey options which contain small amounts of polyester for more durability). 100% USA cotton is used, cotton that has been grown and harvested ethically under USDA and USEPA regulations.
Other applaudable initiatives include Gildan’s innovative BIOTOP wastewater system which uses gravity, sunlight and micro-organisms to virtually eradicate the dyes and chemicals from the water. Gildan were also the first global manufacturer of basic apparel to be accredited by the Fair Labour Association for their labour compliance programme and employ 30000 people worldwide and their large scale highly efficient facilities in Central America and the Caribbean Basin is soon to be complemented by a manufacturing hub in Bangladesh to support growth in Europe and Asia. The Gildan Heavy Cotton T is available in a huge choice of 35 colours and sizes small to 3XL and when screen-printed gives quality results every time.
3. Starworld Hefty T-Shirt
Starworld’s heavy cotton T-shirt is made from 100% ring-spun Egyptian cotton. Ring-spun cotton is produced by continuously twisting the strands of yarn making the short hairs of cotton push out and giving a fine length of cotton fiber which is stronger and considerably softer to the touch. Although the hefty T has this softer ‘hand’ than its rivals arguments can be made for extra difficulty in producing a smooth image when screen-printed.
Starworld is also a vertically integrated supplier and its production facilities are monitored and certified by the Egyptian Minister of Manpower. The company is WRAP certified (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) which ensures that staff are properly trained and work in safe environments. The Starworld Hefty T-shirt is available in 21colours and sizes small to 3XL.
Fruit of the Loom T-shirts once again come out as the most in demand garment for T-shirt printing in our workshop, outselling the closest rivals by some way. This goes to show that the more prominent a brand is the more likely people are inclined to be attracted to it, safe in the knowledge that you ‘know what you’re getting’ – even when very good alternatives are available.
write by victor young