How to Make a T-Shirt?

How to Make a T-Shirt?


T-shirts are durable, versatile garments with mass appeal that can be worn as outerwear or underwear. T-shirts are suitable for almost any body type and any age. Below we have collected how to make T-shirts, hoping to help you understand more about T-shirts.

custom t shirts manufacturing
T-shirts are durable, versatile garments with mass appeal that can be worn as outerwear or underwear. Since its inception in 1920, T-shirts have grown into a $2 billion market. T-shirts are available in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles, such as standard crew and V-necks, as well as tank tops and scoop necks. T-shirt sleeves can be short or long, hooded, yoke or raglan. Other features include pockets and decorative trim. T-shirts are also popular garments that use custom screen printing or heat transfer to showcase one's interests, tastes, and affiliations. Printed shirts may feature political slogans, humor, art, sports, and celebrities and places.

T-shirts fit almost any body type, from babies to seniors. Adult sizes are usually small, medium, large and extra large, while toddler sizes are determined by month and weight. Also, to compensate for the baby's larger head relative to the body, the shirt is specially designed with shoulder openings that can be fastened with buttons or snaps.

Raw material

Most t-shirts are made of 100% cotton, polyester, or cotton/polyester blends. Eco-conscious manufacturers may use organically grown cotton and natural dyes. Stretch T-shirts are made from knitted fabrics, especially sweatshirts, rib knits, and interlocking rib knits, which consist of two pieces of rib fabric joined together. Sweatshirts are the most commonly used because they are versatile, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive. They are also popular materials for screen printing and thermal transfer applications. Some jerseys come in tubular form, which simplifies the production process by reducing the number of seams. Rib knit fabrics are often used when a tight fit is required. Many higher-quality t-shirts are made from durable interlocking rib knit fabrics.

The neck strap adds support to the garment and makes the neckline of the t-shirt look more refined. The neckband is usually an inch-by-inch rib knit, but heavier fabrics or higher-quality t-shirts may require a two-by-two rib knit. The neckband fabric can be a tubular rib knit of a specific width or a plain fabric that must be sewn. Other t-shirt materials include tape or seam binding made from twill or other rigid fabrics. The binding reinforces the neckline and shoulder seams and prevents them from tearing under tension by covering the seams. Alternatively, elastic bands can be used at the shoulder seams to keep them flexible.

Thread is of course an essential element in sewing any garment. There are many types and colors of thread that can be used to create a t-shirt. Some manufacturers use white thread seams on all shirts, regardless of color, eliminating the extra labor involved in changing threads. Visible topstitching is done with thread colors mixed with the fabric. Colorless or monofilament threads can be used on the hem of any color fabric, again eliminating the need to change threads frequently, although monofilament threads may irritate the skin slightly. Finally, optional decorative features may include embellishments such as weaving, contrasting cuffs, and heat-transfer or screen-printed designs.

Manufacturing process

Making t-shirts is a fairly simple and largely automated process. Specially designed machines integrate cutting, assembly, and stitching for the most efficient operation. The most common seams for T-shirts are narrow overlapping seams, usually made by laying one piece of fabric over another and aligning the seam edges. These seams are often sewn with an overlock stitch, which requires the use of one needle thread from above and two looper threads from below. This special seam and stitch combination produces a flexible finished seam.

Another type of seam that can be used on t-shirts is the covered seam, in which a narrow piece of fabric is folded around the seam, such as at the neckline. These seams can be stitched together using lockstitch, chain stitch, or overcast stitch. Depending on the style of the t-shirt, the order in which the garments are assembled may vary slightly.


1. T-shirt style design, the size is converted into a pattern. Adjusted for size differences and style preferences.


2. Cut the T-shirt part to the size of the pattern. These pieces consist of tubular bodies or separate front and rear sections, sleeves, pockets, and trim.

Assemble the front and back

3. For fabrics without tubes, the separate front, and rear sections must be sewn together on both sides. They are joined at the seam line to create a simple, narrow, overlapping seam, and are sewn together using an overlock stitch. Care must be taken to avoid the needle cutting into the yarn of the fabric, which can cause the garment to tears.

Assemble the sleeves

4. The hem of the sleeves is usually done before being loaded into the garment, as the fabric is easier to hem when laid flat. An automated system moves the sleeves to the sewing head via a conveyor belt. The fringing can be done by folding, forming a hem and stitching, or by applying straps. The straps can be attached as overlapping seams or folded over the edges as binding.

5. If the T-shirt body is tubular, sew the sleeve material together before slipping it into the garment. Or, if the t-shirt is "cut and sewn," pin the unstitched sleeves in place. Later in the final stage of sewing the shirt, the sleeves and side seams are sewn in one motion.

Stitched hem

6. The hem of the garment is usually sewn with hemming stitches to form a flexible hem. The tension on the stitches should be loose enough to stretch the garment without tearing the fabric. Alternative hem styles include a combination of edge finishing stitches.

Add pocket

7. Pockets can be sewn on T-shirts for casual wear. Higher quality t-shirts have interlining inserted in the pockets to keep their shape. The interlining is inserted into the pocket when sewn on the front of the T-shirt. The pockets can be attached to garments with an automatic stapler, so the operator simply arranges the fabric pieces, and the mechanical stapler positions the pockets and sews the seams.

Seam shoulder seam

8. Generally speaking, the shoulder seam needs a simple stack seam. Manufacturers of higher-quality t-shirts may use tape or elastic to reinforce the seams. Depending on the style of the tee, the seam on the shoulders can be done before or after the neck strap is attached. For example, if a tubular neckband is to be used, the shoulder seams must be sewn first.

Install the neck strap

9. For round-neck shirts, the perimeter of the collar edge should be slightly shorter than the outer edge that connects to the garment. Therefore, the neckband must be pulled just right to prevent bulging. The tubular neckband is applied manually. The straps are folded, the wrong sides together, slightly stretched, and aligned with the neckline. Overlapping seams are sewn with overcast stitches.

The binding seam is finished with an overlay stitch for easy implementation. Bound seams are available for a variety of neckline styles. The process requires feeding the rib fabric through a machine that folds the fabric and applies tension to it.

The necklines on some low-priced shirts are tied to the front and back necklines of the garment. So when the shoulder seams are sewn, the seams are visible on the neckband.

V-necks require an extra step to lap or miter the neckband. In the previous process, one side is folded over the other. Miter seams are more complicated and require the operator to accurately overlap the straps and stitch the straps to the front center. An easier way to look for a V-neck is to attach the straps to the neckline and sew a pleat to create a V-shape.

Finish the neckline

10. The neckline of the overlapping seam can be taped to make the shirt stronger and more comfortable. Tape can be extended over the back and shoulder seams to reinforce this area and flatten the seams. The seams are then covered stitched or topstitched.

Label settings

11. One or more labels are usually attached to the back of the neckline. The label provides information on the manufacturer, size, fabric composition, and washing instructions.

Optional features

12. Some t-shirts will have trim or screen printing added for decorative purposes. Baby t-shirts have a larger head opening. The shoulder seams remain open near the neck and are attached with buttons or other fasteners.

Finishing operations

13. Inspect the T-shirt for flaws in the fabric, stitching, and thread.

14. High-quality T-shirts may be pressed through a steam tunnel before being packaged. Packaging depends on the type of t-shirt and intended distribution channel. For underwear, the shirt is folded and packaged in a pre-printed bag, usually clear plastic, that lists the product's information. Shirts can be wrapped in cardboard or folded into a piece of cardboard so that they retain their shape during shipping and on the shelf. Finally, they are packed into boxes by a dozen or six.

Quality control

Most operations in the manufacture of apparel are regulated by federal and international guidelines. Manufacturers can also create guidelines for companies. There are standards specific to the t-shirt industry, including the proper size and fit, proper needle and seam, stitch type, and stitches per inch. The seams must be loose enough to allow the garment to stretch without breaking seams. The hem must be flat and wide enough to prevent curling. It must also be checked that the t-shirt fits the neckline properly, which should lie flat against the body. The neckline should also recover properly after being slightly stretched.

The above describes the production process of T-shirts in detail. If you want to customize T-shirts, please contact us.

METRO is a professional custom clothing manufacturer. Our products include jeans, hoodies, t-shirts, shirts, jackets, and more. We can provide you with professional custom clothing solutions. We'd love to listen to your ideas and needs, then help you bring them to life through our experience.