There is an endless number of factors that can differentiate one tee from another. Two seemingly identical tees can be very different when you dissect what goes into the construction all the way down to the thread level. How a tee is made has everything to do with the feel, fit, and durability.
Ring spun cotton is smoother and longer than open end yarn. The term “ring spun” means that the yarn goes through an innovative spinning process that’s designed to thoroughly soften and straighten each fiber. The result? Softer, more refined fibers (aka pieces you want to wear).
Want something even softer? Combed and ring-spun cotton, the kind that Liberty Maniacs uses on our tees means that cotton fibers are spun then combed through to remove impurities while ensuring it stays soft to the touch. Fewer impurities mean a smoother surface to print on and maximum comfort.
Carded open-end is a cheaper way of turning cotton into yarn. In this method, fibers are bound by a wrapped fiber that runs perpendicular to the bundle, whereas in ring-spun cotton, all of the fibers are aligned in the same direction. Up close you can see that carded open end fiber is bulky, fuzzy and creates an uneven knit.
The industry standard used to be a carded open-end tee, but at Liberty Maniacs, we do things differently. We promised never to sacrifice quality for price and only use cotton that is 100% combed and ring-spun. As people become more educated in in fabric and feel the difference in quality we see customers moving out of that carded open end tee and into Liberty Maniacs.
So to break it down, the benefits of ringspun cotton shirts are:
Add the extra process of combing, and shirts are even softer!
The 30 singles moniker refers to the thread weight, or more specifically the diameter of the yarn used to weave the fabric of a shirt. This is determined by the number of times the fiber is twisted. The higher the thread weight number, the finer, softer, and thinner the shirt. When a higher thread weight number is used, the thread is finer and a tighter weave can be achieved. This gives the shirt using a higher thread weight number a softer, finer feel.
So a 50 singles shirt would be thinner and lighter than a 30 single shirt, and that would be finer than an 18 single shirt and so on. For men, a 30/s shirt is considered to be a premium quality, fine, soft shirt. Sometimes, manufacturers use 40/s for men, but it's less common. For women, a 30/s or 40/s is very common for the premium shirt manufacturers to use.
We use all 30s and 40s Singles ringspun cotton or blend shirts at Liberty Maniacs.
Sometimes there's a misconception when people try on the 30s or 40s single shirt that it's more flimsy or cheap than a heavy 18 Singles shirt that they may be used to. That couldn't be further from the truth. Actually, the manufacturing of higher thread count shirts is much more expensive and creates a more durable shirt. In short, the 18 singles heavyweight tees you grew up with aren't very good.
Normally heavyweight t-shirts are found in the 18-20 singles range. While being a bit bulkier, the problem with shirts in that category is that they tear easier, the prints don't look as good, and the artwork has a 75% higher chance of flaking and deteriorating. Add to that the fact that they are much less soft to the touch and it becomes difficult to compare them to the quality of our 30 singles combed ringspun cotton shirts.
Want something even softer and more durable? Check out our page on tri-blend shirts!