You see them all the time: t-shirts that are 4.3 ounces, 5.5 ounces or 6.1 ounces, or hoodies that are 7.75 ounces or 10 ounces. Most blank apparel items have some kind of weight associated with them, but what exactly does it mean?
Simply put, it’s the weight of one square yard of material (which is used to make the apparel item). So whether you’re seeking a youth small or an adult XXL garment, the measurement of one square yard of material remains the same.
Understand, however, that the weight (the number of ounces) is based upon the average weight across all colors. Dark colors require more dye than white or light shades of material, so darker garments tend to be heavier. The more dye, the more weight is added to the fabric. So a garment may be listed as 6.1 ounces, but the item in a dark shade may weigh as much as 6.3 ounces, and a white garment could weigh 5.9 ounces or less.
Also, keep in mind that weight and durability don’t go hand in hand. You might think that the heavier the material, the thicker and stronger it is, but that’s not always the case. There are different processes used in creating cotton fibers, and sometimes a lighter-weight garment is stronger and more durable than a heavier item.
Here’s an example for you: If you grabbed some cotton fiber to create a basic cotton material, and then grabbed the same amount of cotton fiber to create a material using a ring-spun process, the twisting and thinning in the ring-spun cotton makes it lighter weight than regular cotton. So even though a 6.1-ounce basic cotton t-shirt may be heavier than a 4.3-ounce ring-spun cotton t-shirt, the lighter-weight ring-spun t-shirt is more durable (and much softer) than the basic cotton tee.
Promo know-how tip: Always consider how your customers will use your promotional apparel. If they’ll be doing something active, opt for a lighter-weight garment to keep them cool and comfortable. If they’ll be wearing it on a job site–think construction–choose heavy-duty custom apparel.