what is a triblend t-shirt

What is a Tri-blend shirt? What Are the Best Tri-blend Shirts for You?

A lot of you are familiar with common fabric types like cotton or polyester. However, not many people know about other less popular materials like tri-blend. If you are one of those who are wondering “What is a tri-blend shirt?", let’s find out the answer to this question and get to know what are the pros and cons of this material.

What is a Tri-blend shirt?

tri-blend fabric

Tri-blend is a type of blend fabric that combines cotton, polyester, and rayon. The composition is usually 50% cotton – 25% polyester – 25% rayon. The exact ratio might be different based on each manufacturer and the purpose of the material.

This type of material offers excellent softness and at the same time, remains extremely lightweight and durable. These outstanding feature of tri-blend fabric makes it the ideal material for making a casual day-to-day t-shirt.

Pros and Cons of Tri-blend Shirt

In order to have a better understanding of this type of material, let’s break down each gradient that builds up tri-blend fabric:

  • Cotton: Cotton usually contributes to the largest portion, making up to half of the composition. This natural fiber is known for offering outstanding breathability and super softness.
  • Polyester: Polyester is also a material in textile making. Polyester’s most favorable attributes are its durability and wrinkle-free nature.
  • Rayon: Rayon is a less popular material in the apparel industry, if compared to cotton or polyester. This particular textile was first invented as an alternative to silk. As a result, it inherits qualities like flexibility, flowiness, and softness.

And when we combine all these three ingredients, what we get is a fabric that is soft, moisture-wicking, elastic yet durable and flowy.

Here are all the benefits of tri-blend T-shirts:

  • Highly comfortable, lightweight, and breathable: As cotton makes up for a large composition proportion of tri-blend, quality like softness and breathability are also the main attributes of tri-blend shirts. This component is why tri-blend shirts are super comfortable to wear.
  • Besides, thanks to the addition of polyester, tri-blend shirts are also very strong and durable, which makes them last longer even after tear and wear.
  • The last component of tri-blend material, rayon, has completed the formula and allowed the fabric to be stretchy and flexible. It softens the materials and makes them feel more flowy and gentle on the skin. These qualities are critical for textiles used in activewear or sportswear. It is the perfect material to choose for your gym routine or outdoor activities.
  • Another peak of the tri-blend material is its easy-to-care-for nature. Unlike pure cotton, the types of blend fabrics are more resistant to the twig and twirl of regular washing cycles. You can just toss it into the washing machine and let the machine do the work.
  • It should also be mentioned that the fabric not only retains its forms but also holds up colors very well. Even with all the washing, the colors of the fabric still look fresh and new.

However, there are still some minor disadvantages of this material:

  • All the favorable qualities of tri-blend fabrics come at a price, literally. These particular materials are generally more expensive than 100% cotton or other blend types.
  • Tri-blend fabrics are more prone to pilling. The more polyester content, the more likely for tri-blend shirts to pill.

>>> Also read: Best Shirt Material: How to Choose the Right T-Shirt Fabric?

How to Print on tri-blends

tri-blend print

As mentioned above, not all printing techniques can apply to tri-blend. In the following part, we will dig into what types of printing are recommended for tri-blend fabrics and why:

Recommended print methods

  • Direct to Garment printing: Digital printing is a versatile printing technique that can deal with various types of fabric including tri-blend fabric. This printing technique offers vibrant unlimited colors and precise details for printing designs
  • Screen printing: Screen printing is another viable option for tri-blend fabric. This type of printing. For screen printing on tri-blend fabric, we recommend keeping the ink coverage low and design size small.
  • Discharge printing: This is a unique printing method that uses discharge ink to remove fabric colors and replace them with the color of the ink. However, this ink is only effective for cotton fiber. When applied to tri-blend material, not all colors are removed, which leaves a natural heathering vintage effect on the fabric.

Print methods to avoid

  • Vinyl and printed vinyl: Vinyl printing produces a very heavy print on the fabric, which is not suitable to sit on a lightweight and flowy material like tri-blend fabric.
  • Embroidery: Embroidery is also considered too heavy on tri-blend, especially with larger embroidery designs. Only use embroidery on tri-blend fabric if the design is small and placed somewhere around the sleeve’s hem or collar.
  • Sublimation printing: It is possible to apply sublimation printing on tri-blend material. However, it is not an ideal option. Sublimation printing works best on 100% polyester fabric, which is not the case for tri-blend fabric where polyester only accounts for more or less than a quarter of the content.

Best Tri-blend Shirts

Since its invention, tri-blend shirts have become incredibly popular, especially in the sportswear market.

If you are interested in making your own T-shirt using tri-blend materials, here are some tri-blend T-shirt blank options.

1. Bella+Canvas Tri-blend t-shirt

bella canvas tri-blend shirts

Bella+Canvas is one of the industry-leading apparel blank companies. The company is known for its range of high-quality products. Not only offering high quality, Bella+Canvas also provides a great range of tri-blend products with various colors and styles. They are currently producing 21 products that are made from Tri-blend fabrics, which is the most diverse range we could find.

Bella+Canvas’ line of tri-blend t-shirts come in different styles, for example, classic unisex t-shirts, slouchy V-neck t-shirts, women’s t-shirts, women’s tanks,  youth t-shirts, toddler tees, etc. With all these options, you have the possibility to make the most out of this material. Here are some of the triblend t-shirts provided by Bella+Canvas:

  • 3480 Unisex Jersey Tank
  • 3413 Unisex Tri-blend S/S Tee
  • 3414 Unisex Tri-blend Raw Neck Tee
  • 8815 Womens Slouchy V-neck Tee
  • 8816 Womens Slouch Tee
  • 2. American Apparel tri-blend t-shirt

american apparel tri-blend


Americal Apparel is among the few names that have tri-blend t-shirts in their product ranges. If you are working on your sports apparel clothing line and looking for blank products that can do your design justice, don’t forget to look at American Apparel’s tri-blend shirt.

Currently, Tri-blend Crewneck Track T-shirt is the only product in their range to feature tri-blend fabric. These particular products are available in four different colors, including Tri-black, Tri-Indigo, Athletic Blue, and Athletic Grey.

Their tri-blend materials’ standard composition includes 50% Polyester/25% Cotton/25% Rayon.

Other than the standard Tri-blend fabric, American Apparel also offers a special material, the Tri-blend terry that is used in other winter products like hoodies. It is a great option if you want to expand your sports products.

3. Next Level tri-blend t-shirt

next level tri-blend t-shirts

Next Level is another note-worthy brand in the blank apparel market. It also topped among the highest-quality blank providers out there. Similar to Bella Canvas, Next Level also proved its dedication to excellence by including high-quality materials like tri-blend products.

Currently Next Level is offering 8 tri-blend products:

  • Unisex Tri-Blend V-Neck T-Shirt
  • Women’s Tri-Blend Dolman T-Shirt
  • Youth Tri-Blend T-Shirt
  • Women’s Tri-Blend T-Shirt
  • Unisex Tri-Blend Long Sleeve T-Shirt
  • Women’s Tri-Blend Racerback Tank
  • Unisex Tri-Blend 3/4 Raglan T-Shirt
  • Unisex Tri-Blend T-Shirt

4. Threadfast tri-blend t-shirt

Threadfast tri-blend t-shirt

Threadfast tri-blend t-shirts are other alternatives for your tri-blend products. Even Threadfast is a newer and lesser-known name in the blank apparel industry, it has successfully gained attention and keeps growing steadily over time.

Besides the main staples of all the classic, standard products, the company has expanded its product line-up for a more diverse range. Especially, they have developed a strong line of activewear products that use quality tri-blend materials.

As of their latest product catalog, they are currently offering six tri-blend products, which include both T-shirts and hoodies. Here are all the tri-blend T-shirt that Threadfast are offering:

  • 102A • Unisex Triblend Short-Sleeve Tee
  • 102C • Unisex Triblend Tank
  • 202A • Women Triblend Short-Sleeve Tee
  • 202B • Women Triblend Short-Sleeve V-Neck Tee
  • 302G • Unisex Triblend 3/4 Sleeve Raglan
  • 302Z • Unisex Triblend Full-Zip Lightweight Hoodie
  • 602A • Youth Triblend Short-Sleeve Tee

5. Bayside tri-blend t-shirts

Bayside is a made-in-America blank apparel brand. Even though this brand is not as popular as other blank manufacturers, they are still a worth-considering alternative for those who are looking for quality tri-blend products.

Despite being a newer player in the game, Bayside manages to develop a surprisingly comprehensive product line-up with diverse styles and various material choices. Besides a range of common cotton fabrics, Bayside also further explores other blend materials including tri-blend.

For tri-blend fabric, Bayside has introduced 7 products as follows:

  • 9510 Bayside Unisex 50/50 Fine Jersey Crew
  • 5810 Bayside Made In USA Women’s Triblend Crew
  • 9600 Bayside Women’s Triblend Racerback Tank Top
  • 5820 Bayside Made In USA Women’s Triblend Racerback Tank Top
  • 9570 Bayside Unisex Triblend Crew
  • 5710 Bayside Made In USA Unisex Triblend Crew
  • 5910 Bayside Made In USA Heavyweight 6.1 Oz. Combed Ring-Spun Soft Tee

The best part about Bayside tri-blend t-shirts is its colorful palette that includes various options – possibly among the most diverse ranges that you can find. If you are expecting to experience more color options for your tri-blend products, consider checking out Bayside’s catalog.

Tri-blend FAQs

Are tri-blend shirts expensive?

Yes. Compared to other fabric materials, tri-blend fabrics tend to cost more. This type of fabric requires a more complicated process as well as costlier components, which explains why it is more expensive. Despite the higher price, many brands still prefer this type of fabric due to the aesthetic appeal as well as the quality of this fabric type.

Moreover, tri-blend fabrics are usually used for active- or sportswear products. In this particular category, customers prioritize quality more and are willing to pay more for good quality products.

Do tri-blend shirts shrink?

Yes. Tri-blend shirts can shrink under some circumstances. As it is comprised of cotton – a material that tends to shrink significantly, tri-blend shirts also tend to reduce in size if exposed to high temperatures. It’s important to properly follow the care instructions in order to avoid unintentional shrinkage or damage to the material.

CVC vs. tri-blend: what’s the difference?

Besides tri-blend, CVC is also a popular blend material that is commonly used in apparel products. Even though they share some common characteristics, these two fabric options are still essentially different:

CVC stands for “Chief Value Cotton". Normally, the content of cotton in CVC fabric ranges from 60 to 70%. And the rest is polyester.

On the other hand, for tri-blend fabrics, the cotton content only contributes 50%, which is lower than that of the CVC fabric. However, the biggest differences derive from the fact that tri-blend fabrics are comprised of three different fiber types – cotton, polyester, and rayon, instead of only two like CVC fabric. The addition of rayon fiber gives tri-blend material a flowing drape that creates a relaxed and comfortable fit for the garment.

Is Tri-blend the same as Dri fit?

No. Dri-fit and tri-blend are two distinct types of fabric with different characteristics and purposes. While tri-blend is a combination of cotton, polyester, and rayon, Dri-fit is a blend of polyester and spandex. Especially, Dri-fit is a patented material developed by Nike.

Tri-blend is well known for its softness, comfort, and breathability, making it perfect for casual, athleisure wear. On the other hand, Dri-fit’s strength is its moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties. Dri-fit is best used for sports and athletic apparel.

Are tri-blend shirts good for working out?

Yes. Tri-blend fabric is prized for its remarkable softness, comfort, and breathability. Its gentle texture minimizes skin friction, reducing chafing during workouts like running and weightlifting. With effective moisture-wicking, it keeps you cool and dry, regulating body temperature. The polyester content adds durability, making it suitable for rigorous workouts, and some blends offer added stretch for flexibility, perfect for activities like yoga or Pilates.

is a senior writer at Merchize covering products, services, and consumer tech issues and trends. Previously, she was a content writer for trustworthy brands and International corporations. With her deep knowledge in multiple industries, Bich has become a professional writer and has chosen Merchize to explore eCommerce, MMO, and Print on Demand... In her free time, she loves reading, listening to music, and hanging out at cafes.