Tri-blend Tee's

June 04, 2019 2 min read

Tri-blend Tee's

4 June, 16:00

What's the Deal with Tri-Blend Tee's?

Published by Blake Uves

Tri-blend tees can be found everywhere from low-cost tee shirt blank suppliers used in screen printing, mid-level retail mall brands to high end department stores. The definition of a Tri-blend can be found in the literal concatenation of its prefix Tri-(three) and its root word Blend (mixture of substances).

In the textile world, Tri-blend means a blend of three fibers which can be done at the yarn-twisting stage or the fabric knitting stage into a desired fabric which is then cut and sewn into a garment. The tri-blend fabric most people are accustomed to is usually a blend of cottons, polyesters, and rayons that results in a marled, heathered, slub-like fabric as pictured below. What people are most commonly aware of.

Not all Tri-blends are heather.

This is a classic example of a charcoal (anthracite) Tri-blend fabric. The specific texture of this fabric is achieved by the dyeing process for these colors. The specific technique that was used here is called cross-dyeing. This is a process where the fabric is put into a dye bath where either only the synthetic or the natural fiber has an affinity to absorbing the color, thus leaving the opposite fiber undyed and leaving white streaks, or slubs, in the fabric.

There are, however, many other types of Tri-blends that may not exactly look like this. In fact, Tri-blends can really be any blend of yarns including but not limited to bamboos, modals, linens, wools, nylons and many more. You may sometimes even see Tri-blends that are union dyed, which means both the synthetic and natural fibers have been dyed the same color to create a solid color fabric.

When building a Tri-blend fabric, it's important that you get the correct ratio and blend of fibers to get the best advantages from each of its properties.  

— David Reid

Why Blend?

Blending fabrics allows us to combine the desirable characteristics that we’ve come to know and love in each of these fibers and experience the best of both (or in this case, all three) worlds. Using the mentioned Poly/Cotton/Rayon blend we can pull these desirable properties from all three fibers:

  • Polyester
    • Strong and resilient
    • Retains heat
    • Prevents wrinkles and shrinkage
    • Less expensive
  • Cotton
    • Comfortable
    • Hypoallergenic
  • Rayon
    • Silk-like feeling
    • Drape
    • Lustrous
    • Retains colors better

An upcoming development that we will be working on here at Blakes Basics is our iteration on a short-sleeve three button Henley in charcoal, navy, and heather grey colorways. The first image is a teaser of the rolls. Keep on the lookout for future blog posts as we document and share the creation process of our short sleeve Henley.


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