What does the weight (e.g. 6.1-oz) of apparel mean?

When you are looking at the various blank apparel to use for your printing or embroidery project, you will notice that most of them have some weight associated with them. And this will vary greatly by the type of apparel. You might see a t-shirt that is 4.3-oz (ounce) or 5.5-oz or 6.1-oz. Or a hoodie that is 7.75-oz or 10-oz. And you probably have asked yourself — well, what does this mean?

The simple answer is that is how much one square yard of material (used to make that piece of apparel) weighs. This is pretty simple because it doesn’t make any difference if it is a Youth Small or an Adult 6X-Large piece of apparel. The measurement of one square yard of material does not change.

Now what is not so simple is that this weight (the number of ounces) is based upon the averaged weight across all colors. Because dark colors require more dye than say light colored or white material, the darker colors tend to weight a little bit more (the more dye the more weight is added to the fabric). So while a piece of apparel may be listed at 6.1-oz, the item in dark color may be as much as 6.3-oz and white could be 5.9-oz or less.

The other not so simple item is that normally you would think the heavier the material thicker and stronger it would be. This is not necessarily true. There are different processes used in creating cotton fibers and sometimes a lighter weight piece of apparel might be stronger and more durable than a heavier weight piece. See What is Ring-spun cotton? Blog.

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