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Blog / Style & trends / 9 Best T-Shirts for Embroidery

Style & trends

9 Best T-Shirts for Embroidery

9 Best T-Shirts for Embroidery
Karlina Rozkalne

By Karlina Rozkalne

8 min read

With Printful, you can have your products printed or embroidered. Today, we’ll focus on embroidery, a technique that adds a layer of texture and sturdiness to any custom apparel, making a logo or design feel more premium. It also gives tees, polo shirts, or other garments a touch of elegance and a high-quality finish.

In this article, we’ll look at the best t-shirts for embroidery. All the shirts in this list are great choices for embroidery. They come in a variety of models, sizes, and colors, and their fabric is well-suited for embroidery.

Contrary to t-shirt printing, where fabric’s weight matters less, choosing a lightweight fabric for embroidery will lead to design distortion and puckering. For the best result, you must choose medium and heavyweight fabrics. If you want a better understanding of fabric weight and how it’s measured, read our t-shirt weight guide.

Now, let’s get into our selection so you can start designing your own embroidered t-shirt.

Read also: Best Embroidery Products To Sell

9 best custom t-shirts for embroidery 

When planning to sell custom shirts, it’s crucial to select the right pieces. Consider the fabric weight, color variety, and fulfillment techniques you want to use. 

Here are 9 outstanding t-shirts that are wonderfully suited for embroidery.

1. Unisex Staple T-Shirt | Bella + Canvas 3001

Starting with one of Printful’s bestsellers, the Bella + Canvas unisex staple tee is a popular choice because the fabric is super soft, high-quality, and medium-weight. This tee also comes in a wide range of colors and sizes. The regular fit and side-seamed construction are flattering for most body types, and our customers praise this t-shirt’s comfort.

  • Price: $17.24 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: XS–5XL
  • Colors: 53
  • Fabric weight: 4.2 oz./yd.² (142 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard or unlimited color embroidery and full-color print
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The Comfort Colors tee is slightly heavier, so it’s a better option if you want a large embroidery because the heavyweight fabric will hold the design better. This model is also unisex, but the fit is relaxed, so it’ll be a little loose. This embroidered t-shirt will be ideal for people who want a structured streetwear look.

  • Price: $22.69 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: S–4XL
  • Colors: 25
  • Fabric weight: 6.1 oz./yd.² (206.8 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard or unlimited color embroidery and full-color print

3. Unisex Organic Cotton T-Shirt | Stanley/Stella STTU169

In terms of fabric weight, this t-shirt is the middle ground between the previous two models we’ve covered. Stanley/Stella organic tee’s material is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified and PETA-Approved Vegan. It has a side-seamed construction and a regular fit, so it’ll easily give into movement and be a wonderful layering piece.

Note: We show the EU sizes for Stanley/Stella clothing. The sizes correspond to smaller sizes in the US market, so US customers should order a size up.

  • Price: $20.874 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: S–5XL
  • Colors: 15
  • Fabric weight: 5.3 oz./yd.² (180 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard or unlimited color embroidery and full-color print

4. Oversized Tie-Dye T-Shirt | Shaka Wear SHHTDS

Shakta Wear’s oversized tie-dye tee shirt is this list’s heavyweight champion—literally. It’s made from 100% US-grown heavyweight cotton and can support embroidery of any size better than any other shirt. Each t-shirt is one-of-a-kind and comes with a slight color variation. It’s oversized, unisex, and features extended sleeves, so it’s ideal for people who want to feel cozy and comfortable.

  • Price: $22.93 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: S–2XL
  • Colors: 4
  • Fabric weight: 7.5 oz./yd.² (254 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard or unlimited color embroidery and full-color print

5. Men’s Classic Tee | Gildan 5000

Gildan’s 5000 is one of Printful’s most popular choices for men’s custom t-shirts. This shirt is made from pre-shrunk jersey fabric, has tubular construction (no side seams), and has a taped neck and shoulders (a thin fabric is sewn over these seams). Our customers say the fabric is on the rougher side, but it becomes a bit softer after the first wash.

  • Price: $17.24 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: S–5XL
  • Colors: 24
  • Fabric weight: 5.0–5.3 oz./yd.² (170–180 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard or unlimited color embroidery and full-color print

6. Unisex Basic Softstyle T-Shirt | Gildan 64000

We have another unisex shirt: Gildan 64000. This t-shirt has a tubular construction and is well-suited for people looking for longer t-shirts. The fabric is mid-weight, so this tee won’t be the best option if you want a large embroidery, but it’s excellent for a logo or other design that can be embroidered on the chest or a sleeve.

“This is a really nice tee at a really nice price. Your basic athletic midweight fabric. Not scratchy and hard, also not flowy and light, but the right, classic in between. Cut is on the boxy side, but not “shapeless” boxy—the cut is nice for a wide variety of sized people.”

— Kathy W

  • Price: $17.24 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: S–3XL
  • Colors: 5
  • Fabric weight: 4.5 oz./yd.² (153 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard or unlimited color embroidery and full-color print

7. Men’s Premium Heavyweight Tee | Cotton Heritage MC1086

These men’s premium Cotton Heritage t-shirts are made from heavyweight yet soft fabric and have a relaxed yet structured fit. Thanks to the tight weave, this cotton shirt is made for large embroideries and bold designs. Our customers say it’s one of the best shirts, based on price to value ratio. 

  • Price: $17.24 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: XS–5XL
  • Colors: 7
  • Fabric weight: 6.5 oz./yd.² (220 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard or unlimited color embroidery and full-color print

Valuable read: What Is a Heavyweight T-Shirt: A Short Guide

8. Oversized Faded T-Shirt | AS Colour 5082

The faded t-shirt from AS Colour has a boxy, oversized fit and dropped shoulders. It’s made from heavyweight fabric with wide neck ribbing, adding a touch of sophistication to the relaxed silhouette. It’s also unisex, so it appeals to everyone looking for an effortlessly cool tee to embroider.

  • Price: $30.19 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: S–3XL
  • Colors: 4
  • Fabric weight: 7.1 oz./yd.² (201.28 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard embroidery and full-color print

9. Unisex Tri-Blend T-Shirt | Bella + Canvas 3413

The unisex Bella + Canvas tri-blend tee is the most lightweight t-shirt on the list, so if you’re looking for a soft, breathable option ideal for everyday wear or warm climates, this is the shirt for you. Be mindful of the fabric’s weight when creating your design—this shirt is best suited for small embroidery designs. 

“We are truly overjoyed with this t-shirt! I love the soft feel, color choices, and how our band design fits on the front/back and as an inside tag! The sizing is spot on - very true based on the sizing chart.”

— Kimberly D

  • Price: $25.35 (1 design placement included)
  • Sizes: XS–4XL
  • Colors: 23
  • Fabric weight: 3.4 oz./yd.² (115.3 g/m²)
  • Available techniques: Standard embroidery and full-color print

Why custom embroider a t-shirt?

You can opt for embroidery to elevate the perceived value of your t-shirt, offering a sophisticated, textured look to your design. Whether for personal use, professional branding, or promotional items, embroidered shirts are a wonderful way to bring your design to life.

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Your embroidery options with Printful

As said above, embroidery gives a premium feel to the products it’s added to. And the premium feel comes at a slightly higher price. Embroidery costs more than printing because it requires more resources and a hands-on production approach. Custom embroidery demands more time and detailed craftsmanship: digitizing each custom design, overseeing the embroidery process, and manually cutting off the backing and excess threads.

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When it comes to embroidery, all files need to be turned into a format our embroidery machines can read—that’s digitization. Each design requires a separate digitized file. For registered Printful accounts, this is a one-time fee for each new design, and the fee depends on the type and placement of the design.

a white rectangular box with black text and black textSource: Printful

You can re-use your digitized files for future orders of the same embroidery design without additional fees.

With Printful, you have 2 embroidery options.

Classic embroidery

Classic (or standard) embroidery means stitching designs onto fabric using needle and thread, creating textured, sturdy artwork. Aside from shirts, you can personalize a wide range of products with embroidery, from jackets, sweats, and hoodies to robes, blankets, and aprons.

Classic embroidery is best for embroidery design with solid shapes, clear details, and colors. You can choose from 15 colors and have 6 colors per design.

For best results, follow the embroidery file guidelines or watch a brief video below.

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Unlimited color embroidery

The unlimited color embroidery uses a white recycled polyester thread that’s colored during embroidery without stopping and changing needles between colors. It allows you to get multi-color, gradient, or simple embroidered designs with practically no color limitations.

Note: This technique will cost an additional $3.75 per design.

Unlimited color embroidery is best for designs that require a wide variety of colors and shades.

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As with classic embroidery, follow our file guidelines for optimal results.

Time to turn your idea into custom embroidery

If you’ve made it this far, congrats—you now know everything you need to make an informed decision about embroidered t-shirts. It’s time to put your creativity to work. Pick a shirt you want to customize and transform your ideas into wearable art.

You can also make money by selling your beautiful embroidered design shirts and other products online. In previous articles, we’ve covered how to develop a t-shirt business plan, design ideas for your tees, and t-shirt business success stories for inspiration. If you need additional knowledge, inspo, or resources, visit our blog.

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By Karlina Rozkalne on Apr 22, 2024

Karlina Rozkalne

SEO Content Writer

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.

Karlina is an SEO Content Writer specialist at Printful. As a firm believer in attitude over aptitude, Karlina gives her 100% whenever she works on something new. Karlina spends her free time reading, traveling, and doing yoga.