Most T-shirts today are preshrunk. It just makes sense to have them sold that way. You get the benefit of knowing more accurately how your shirt will fit once you get it home, wash it and want to wear it. It also gives the fabric a much softer feel and anything printed on it will be more accurately positioned if the shirt is preshrunk.
When fabric is preshrunk prior to production it is much more accurate to work with during sewing. T-shirt fabric is preshrunk in huge batches in specially designed washing machines and dryers that are used solely for these purposes. It is done in order to remove excess dyes and chemicals, bring the fabric closer to the actual size it will be once the consumer gets it and make it more pliable for working with.
The best and easiest way to find out if your T-shirt is preshrunk is by reading the tags. Usually tags attached to the shirt for sales purposes will tell you if the item is preshrunk. The inside tag with size and laundry directions may also tell you. Preshrunk T-shirts are a sign of higher quality manufacturing. The maker of the shirt wants to produce a better quality garment and has therefore added a step to the production process that will insure that.
Regardless of whether or not your T-shirt is pre-shrunk, there is usually still room for more shrinkage. This is particularly true with T-shirts that are 100% cotton or a cotton-blend with a high percentage of cotton. Therefore, you should keep the shrinkage factor in mind when you are purchasing even preshrunk T-shirts. Buy them a little larger than you like to wear them and then wash them when you get them home to bring them down to the size that you want them to be. Be careful to purchase the correct size with this in mind because many retailers will not return items that have been washed.
It is so frustrating to buy a shirt that you really like and wear it, only to discover that it is not preshrunk. When you wash it for that first time, it shrinks and you can no longer wear the shirt anymore, or you can but are not as comfortable in it, because it has lost the shape and size you wanted. It is an annoying and costly mistake when you buy a shirt that is not preshrunk and you only get to wear it once. T-shirts that are not preshrunk, especially cotton ones, may as well be called disposable shirts or shrink and wear shirts, so that the consumer is aware of what he or she is getting.
When you are looking for a custom-made T-shirt, your best choice is a preshrunk shirt. Whatever you choose to have printed on it will turn out better and will be more naturally placed. Your custom-made T-shirt will show its high quality by how good it looks and how long it will last. Make the smart choice and get a custom-made preshrunk T-shirt today.