Ringspun and Regular Cotton T-shirts

Ringspun vs Regular Cotton

By ShirtSpace | Aug 23, 2019 |  Updated Oct 23, 2020

When it comes to t-shirt shopping there are a variety of fabrics to choose from. One unwaveringly-popular option is cotton. But, even cotton has a handful of variations to be aware of.

With that in mind, we're going to cover the difference between ringspun cotton and regular cotton. The short of it is that ringspun cotton is softer, higher-quality, and more durable, but we're here to tell you why.


What is Regular Cotton?


The process of making regular cotton consists of twisting together soft vegetable fibers into yarn. The yarn is then woven together to create regular cotton material. This type of cotton is the most widely used, though ringspun is becoming increasingly popular. Manufacturing regular cotton is less expensive than ringspun, and while it offers breathability, the softness pales in comparison to ringspun cotton. Even still, regular cotton continues to be an industry staple and is widely sold in both the wholesale and retail markets.


What is Ringspun Cotton?


The term ringspun was coined because of the process used to manufacture this type of cotton. The yarn that is created for ringspun cotton is spun in a way that produces stronger, longer strands that are soft, extremely durable and free from the rough texture of standard raw cotton. The process of continuously spinning, twisting, and thinning the cotton strands is what yields long, soft strands. Additionally, during this process, the threads are compacted in a way that produces a very strong and durable material.


Which is Best- Ringspun vs Regular Cotton?


When the time comes to determine which type of cotton is the “best”, it depends entirely on what you'll be using it for. Both types of cotton are wildly popular for very good reasons. If you’re looking for a new favorite tee that’s fashionable and soft, or an option for your new clothing line, ringspun cotton tees are your best bet. But, if you’re looking for a quality t-shirt for a fundraiser, donation, or simply want a standard t-shirt to withstand the wear-and-tear of lots of use, you can’t go wrong with regular cotton.

As with any purchase, you must determine what’s most important to you, what you’ll be using your shirts for, and how much you want to spend. Though ringspun cotton is generally a bit more expensive, the added cost is minimal and will not break the bank. As the old adage goes, buy nice or buy twice.

To Recap:

Regular Cotton

  • Most widely used

  • Less soft than rinsgpun

  • Less expensive to manufacture

  • Durable


Ringspun Cotton

  • Manufacturing process produces stronger, longer strands

  • Very soft

  • Typically lighterweight than regular cotton

  • Breathable


Gregg10/15/2021 07:08 am

Are ring-spun always combed as well? Or is “combed” independent?


ShirtSpace08/18/2022 10:18 am

Hi, Gregg! To answer your question about whether ringspun cotton is always “combed”, or if the “combed” portion is independent of “ringpsun”, you can definitely have a ringspun cotton shirt that is not “combed and ringpsun”. “Ringspun” refers to the process of continuously spinning, twisting, and thinning the cotton strands is what yields long, soft threads. This process also yields stronger, longer strands that are soft, extremely durable, and free from the rough texture of standard raw cotton. When it comes to the term “combed”, according to the top-selling blank apparel brand Bella + Canvas, “Combed and ring-spun cotton, the kind that BELLA+CANVAS uses on all 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.” Short and medium-sized strands are pulled out through the combing process, leaving just long and strong strands. So in conclusion, although ringspun cotton isn’t always combed, combed cotton is usually ringspun. Here is a fantastic video that we love, explaining these types of cotton tees and a few more: ​​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPUMT4N8IEo We hope this cleared up the terms “ringspun” and “combed” for you a bit better when it comes to cotton tees. Please feel free to reach out to our Customer Service Team if you have any further questions and I would be happy to assist.


Mark10/10/2021 06:58 am

Thanks for the information. There is a better understanding now since ordering shirts online is often a “shot in the dark” process.


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