Published Apr 13, 2024 ⦁ 11 min read
High Quality Hoodies for Printing: Material Guide

High Quality Hoodies for Printing: Material Guide

Choosing the right material for your printed hoodies is crucial for both comfort and durability. Here's a quick guide to help you select the best option:

  • Fabric Types: Cotton for comfort, polyester for strength, and blends for the best of both worlds.
  • Weight: Aim for a fabric weight between 5-8 oz for optimal print quality and hoodie longevity.
  • Texture: Smooth textures are ideal for even, clear prints.
  • Durability, Breathability, and Softness: Consider these factors based on your needs, whether it's for casual wear, athletic use, or outdoor activities.
  • Printing Compatibility: Different materials work better with certain printing techniques. Cotton and blends are great for screen printing and DTG, while polyester excels in dye sublimation.

This guide will dive deeper into each aspect to ensure you choose high-quality hoodies for printing that meet your specific needs.

Key Factors for Hoodie Fabric Selection

When picking out the right fabric for a hoodie, especially if you're planning to print on it, there are a few important things to keep in mind. These tips will help you choose a fabric that's not only comfy and looks good but also holds up well over time.


How long a hoodie lasts depends a lot on the fabric it's made of. Here are some things to look for:

  • Fiber content - Mixing in some polyester with cotton makes the hoodie stronger and helps it keep its shape.
  • Fabric weight - A bit heavier fabric (more than 7 oz/yd2) usually means it'll last longer.
  • Construction - Features like double stitching and neck tape make the hoodie sturdier.

Picking a strong fabric means the print won't fade or crack after a few washes.


This is about how well air can move through the fabric, which keeps you from getting too hot.

  • Lightweight fabrics like polyester blends are airy and cool.
  • Heavier fabrics like fleece are warmer but less breathable.

Think about when and where you'll wear the hoodie to choose the right level of breathability.


Everyone likes a hoodie that feels soft. Here's what affects softness:

  • Cotton is really soft and comfy.
  • Polyester might feel a bit less natural but is still okay.
  • Fleece is super soft and fluffy inside.

Mixing different fibers can give you a good balance of softness and strength. High-quality cotton like Supima is extra soft.

How well the print turns out depends a lot on the fabric.

  • Texture - Smooth fabrics work best for a clear, even print. Skip the really bumpy ones.
  • Color - Lighter colors show off prints better than dark ones.
  • Handfeel - Firmer fabrics keep prints sharp; super soft ones might blur them a bit.

Choose the fabric based on how you're planning to print on the hoodie for the best look.

By thinking about these things—how tough the fabric is, how it feels, and how it'll handle printing—you can pick the best one for your custom hoodies. It's all about finding the right mix for what you need, whether it's for a clothing brand, a special embroidery design, or just something comfy to wear.

Printing Technique Compatibility

Let's talk about which hoodie materials work best with different ways to put designs on them, like screen printing, direct-to-garment (DTG), and dye sublimation.

Printing Technique Cotton Polyester Fleece Blends
Screen Printing Good Average Good Best
DTG Average Poor Good Good
Dye Sublimation Poor Best Average Good

Screen Printing

Screen printing is a popular way to add cool designs to hoodies. It works really well on cotton, fleece, and especially on a mix of cotton and polyester. These fabrics let the design show up clear and sharp.

Cotton is great for this because the ink sticks well to it. Fleece is also good, but polyester by itself can be a bit tricky. Mixing fabrics together usually gives the best results.

DTG Printing

DTG printing is like using a big inkjet printer for clothes. It's best on soft, high-quality cotton because the ink blends into the fabric really well.

Fleece and mixed fabrics are also pretty good for DTG. Polyester is tougher because the ink doesn't stick as easily. So, DTG might not look as good on 100% polyester hoodies.

Dye Sublimation

Dye sublimation is a fancy way to put designs on hoodies that makes them last a long time and look really bright. It works by turning ink into gas that sticks to the fabric.

Polyester is the best for this because the ink fuses well with the material. Cotton and fleece are harder to work with since they don't have the right coating, but you can treat them to make it work. Blends are a nice in-between option.

Casual Wear

For everyday wear, a mix of cotton and polyester (like 50/50) is a great choice for hoodies. This combo gives you the comfort of cotton with the strength and easy care of polyester.

These mixed fabric hoodies are good for printing designs on them. They work well with screen printing, DTG printing, and even dye sublimation. The smooth surface helps make the designs look sharp and stay nice even after washing.

Why cotton/poly hoodies are good for casual wear:

  • They're comfy and let your skin breathe.
  • They last a long time even if you wear them a lot.
  • They keep their shape and don't shrink much.
  • The designs on them don't crack or fade easily.
  • They're easy to wash and dry.

Look for a cotton/poly hoodie that's not too light or heavy. About 7 oz/yd2 is just right for both comfort and durability.

Athletic Wear

For sports or exercise, hoodies made mostly of polyester are best. They move sweat away from your skin to help you stay dry and comfortable.

Polyester mixed with nylon or a bit of spandex is good for moving around because it stretches and keeps you cool.

Good fabric choices for sports hoodies include:

  • 100% polyester
  • Polyester/spandex mixes
  • Polyester/nylon mixes

These materials are also pretty good for putting designs on. Sublimation is a great method because it makes the design part of the fabric, so it lasts a long time.

For sports hoodies, the focus is on keeping you dry, comfortable, and able to move freely, more than how soft the hoodie is.

Outdoor Wear

For outdoor activities like hiking, you'll want a hoodie that can handle weather and wear. Look for mixes that are tough and can repel water.

Good options for outdoor hoodies are:

  • Cotton/polyester that's been treated to repel water
  • Fleece polyester with a water-resistant outer layer
  • Polyester/spandex mixes that wick away moisture

These materials are strong against wear and tear, block wind and water, and keep you warm thanks to the polyester.

When adding designs to outdoor hoodies, screen printing or sublimation are good choices for lasting quality.

Choose fabrics for outdoor hoodies based on how well they protect you from weather and how long they'll last, not just on how they feel or look with a design.


Case Studies

This part of the guide shares stories about how choosing the right hoodie fabric made a big difference for different groups.

Local Coffee Shop's Anniversary Hoodies

Oak Street Coffee Shop wanted special hoodies for their 5th anniversary. They picked a mix of cotton and polyester with a soft fleece inside. This mix kept the hoodies soft but also strong enough to not get ruined easily.

They chose dye sublimation for printing, which means the colorful logo they added doesn't fade even after many washes. People love wearing these hoodies because they're comfy and still look great.

College Basketball Team's Fan Hoodies

A university needed tough hoodies for basketball fans. They went with a thick cotton/poly blend that could handle a lot of wear. The hoodies had extra stitching to make them even stronger.

They used screen printing for a big, bright team logo. This method worked well on the sturdy fabric, making the hoodies a hit with fans who wear them a lot, showing their team pride.

Youth Soccer League's Sponsor Hoodies

A soccer league needed affordable, quality hoodies for the summer. They chose a light cotton/poly blend that's cool and handles sweat well. The mix also meant the hoodies could take a bit of rough play without getting damaged.

For the sponsor logos, they used direct-to-garment (DTG) print. This allowed for clear logos at a good price, making it easier to give out hoodies that kids and parents liked for the hot game days.


Picking the right material for hoodies you want to print on is super important for getting them to look and feel good. Here's a simple breakdown of what to remember:

  • Cotton/poly blends are a good middle ground. They're comfy, tough, and make prints look nice. Aim for a half-and-half mix, go for smooth textures, and choose a middle-of-the-road thickness.
  • Polyester fabrics are best for sporty hoodies because they keep you dry. Adding a bit of spandex or nylon gives them stretch. Using sublimation printing means the design really sticks to the fabric.
  • Treated cotton/poly blends are great for outdoor hoodies because they can handle water better and last longer while keeping the print intact. Adding fleece or wool inside makes them warm. Focus on how well they stand up to weather, not just how soft they are.
  • Heavier blends, like 80/20 cotton/poly, are good for hoodies that need to last, like for fans of a team. Strong stitching helps them not tear. Screen printing works well for big, colorful logos.
  • Lightweight cotton/poly is cool and comfortable for giveaways, perfect for kids in the summer. They help with sweat and don't get ruined easily. DTG printing is a good, budget-friendly way to add logos.

Choosing the right material depends on what you need the hoodie for, whether it's staying comfy, performing well, or making sure the print lasts. Try out different materials to find the perfect blend, weight, texture, and build for your custom hoodies.

What is the best material to print on hoodies?

Cotton jersey and fleece are both great for hoodies because they feel soft, keep you warm, and hold their shape well. However, jersey fabric might start to pill (get little balls on the surface) easier than others.

Customization options: Jersey is good for adding designs with DTG printing or embroidery because it's smooth.

What is the highest quality fabric for hoodies?

The best fabrics for hoodies are cotton, polyester, or a mix of both. Polyester is strong and helps keep you dry, while cotton is soft and lets your skin breathe. Using both together gives you a hoodie that lasts longer and can stand up to water and wear better. Hoodies should be made from materials that are comfy, warm, and stretchy.

What makes a high quality hoodie?

A good quality hoodie should have:

  • Soft, warm, and long-lasting fabric
  • Thick enough so it's not see-through
  • Seams that are stitched flat and smooth
  • A hood that's soft inside and doesn't mess up your hair

What is the best print for hoodies?

The top ways to put designs on hoodies are:

  • Screen printing: This is great for clear, colorful designs on smooth materials. It works well on cotton, polyester blends, and fleece.
  • DTG printing: This method uses special printers to put detailed images on hoodies. It's best on soft cotton because the ink mixes into the fabric really well.

Both methods are good for making unique pullovers, zip-ups, and other types of hoodies.

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