Outside of undergarments, t-shirts and polos are staple clothing items for everyone from small children to adults.  Importing t-shirts and polos from China are ideal products – easy to source, ship, low investment and high profit.

If  blank t-shirts and polos are something you are interested in selling, you need the basics on how to import them from China.

You have come to the right place!

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know for importing t-shirts and polos.

We are going to cover all of the topics you need to make the best decisions for you and your shirt sourcing needs.  This will include:

  • Which blank t-shirts and blank polo shirts are the most profitable?
  • What blank t-shirts and blank polo shirts carry the least risk?
  • How can I import blank t-shirts and blank polo shirts from China with the most peace of mind?

We are going to cover this and a few other things.  Get settled, and get ready to read!

Why choose China for wholesale blank t-shirts and blank polos over other Asian countries?

The simple answer: China is the world’s largest clothing manufacturer.

Note: To expand on that, certain Asian countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam are producing clothing thanks to the trade war. Recognize: Those shirts are going to be on the low-end from raw materials to manufacturing. High-end manufacturing is still found in China.
Warning: If your goal is to be on the same level as your competition, you probably want to spend $2.00 – $3.00 per blank t-shirt and polo. This will give you thin profit margins, mediocre (at best) products and never ending line of customer complaints.

The exceptionally wealthy will drop hundreds to thousands on a t-shirt and not blink an eye.  The rest of the world, your target customer, want that quality of a luxury brand shirt without the luxury brand cost.

This is where you need to focus your attention, capital and business plan.  Wholesale blank t-shirts and polos from the same manufacturer as a luxury name brand.  Your customer gets the same quality t-shirt for pennies on the dollar of a luxury equivalent.


Who would have interest in bulk blank t-shirts and polos?

If selling high quality t-shirt blanks and polo blanks are in your business plan, you should consider making bulk purchases of blank t-shirts and polos.  There are always local customers around – companies looking for uniform shirts, local sports teams, businesses looking for high quality blank t-shirts for advertising, gifts, schools, church groups, clubs, college organizations and gyms.

A high quality blank t-shirt or polo is something that everyone wants and uses.  Customization allows for unlimited choices for your customers.

This is why bulk t-shirt and polo blanks make sense.  This way all of your shirts share the same batch and order.  All of your t-shirts and polos will be the same – no differences with the colors.  For a business owner, this makes perfect sense for employee uniforms.  There is always a uniform shirt on hand for a new employee that looks like all of the other employee shirts.

If this is not something you are looking to do, selling custom t-shirts on Etsy is a great idea.


What styles of blank T-shirts and polos are always popular and fashionable?

The most common sizes are the adult sizes ranging from S, small, to 3XL, triple extra large.  It is rare for children to wear custom t-shirts and polos since they grow out of them so quickly.  Sizes outside of the normal ones have low demand and difficult to find decent suppliers of high-end shirts.


What to consider when choosing wholesale blank t-shirts and blank polos?

If you are new to the wholesale business, finding the highest quality blank t-shirts and polo shirts is like finding the needle in the haystack.

Navigating the material stats, sales pitches and looking for the best deals can lead to real headaches.

Instead, we are going to focus on the things that matter – materials, machinery and labor.

The fabric of a high quality t-shirt blank or polo blank is the most important element of consideration.  There are more fabric types than you can imagine.

The material makes a difference in your wholesale t-shirt blanks and polo blanks in two ways:

  • The position of your product – don’t expect to charge a premium price for a cheap shirt.
  • The material of your product – this affects how the shirt feels when worn.

So, what information do you need when sourcing wholesale blank t-shirts and polos?

There are two considerations in shirts: count and weight.

Know the count of t-shirt and polo shirt blanks

Count is the length of yarn in one gram or ounce.  The longer the length of yarn, the finer the yarn.  The measurement is S.

Anything over 40S is considered a high thread count and a high quality t-shirt or polo.

The source of our wholesale bulk t-shirts and polos uses an 80S double sided mercerized cotton for warm weather shirts.  This count is normally associated with luxury, high-end brands.


Know the weight of t-shirt and polo shirt blanks

Weight is not the physical weight of a shirt, like our shirts weight 50 grams or 1.75 ounces.  Weight in clothing means the thickness of the specific fabric used in manufacturing.

In the textile industry, there are two units of weight used:

  • Fabric per square meter – G/m2 in China and the majority of Europe (GSM)
  • Fabric per square yard – Oz/yd2 for the U.S. and U.K. (OYS)
Note:You can easily convert GSM to OYS. Divide the GSM by 33.906. To convert OYS to GSM, multiply OYS by 33.906.

The average weight of a blank t-shirt is between 150 GSM (4.41 OYS) to 200 GSM (5.89 OYS).  Shirts manufactured below 150 are less durable and lower quality.

Let your target audience, and not your personal choices, drive wholesale t-shirt weights.  If your marketing strategy is colder weather and older customers, a heavyweight blank t-shirt is the optimal choice.  Conversely, a lightweight, moisture wicking high quality t-shirt is more appropriate to younger audiences and lots of warm weather.

Learn the details of high quality t-shirts and polos

“The devil is in the details” is a common saying.  This means problems are often deep and require careful consideration.

For a high quality t-shirt or polo blank, it must have the following criteria:

  • Neckline has hidden seams and no visible topstitching
  • Hemming strip behind the collar, preventing stretching and deforming
  • Stitches should be fine and neat – luxury standard is four stitches per cm.
  • Staining will not destroy the fabrics
  • No fading after repeated washes
  • More than 100 different color options
  • High end production equipment
  • Workers devote twice the time on t-shirts than other, similar products

Related: Sourcing Nova offers product inspection and testing of all sourced products – including t-shirt blanks and polo blanks


Woven vs. knitted fabric in bulk t-shirts and polos

Woven fabric is made with two or more sets of yarns interwoven at 90 degree angles for warp and weft.

Knitted fabric uses knitting needs to form loops of raw material and yarn, connecting them into knitted fabrics with strings.

Warning: Cheaper t-shirt manufacturers will not tell you, but their shirts are made with woven fabric. It is the cheaper of the two ways to manufacture.
Tip: Pure cotton t-shirts of woven fabric lack elasticity and wrinkle easily. These problems are minimized with knitted fabric.


Fit – Quality matters with bulk t-shirts and polos

There is no argument – high quality t-shirts and polo shirts fit better, accent the figure and are more comfortable to wear.

Note: The high quality t-shirt and polo manufacturers are going to have designers on staff who work on fit and nothing more. A cheap factory is not going to spend the money or time on this level of detail.

Do not expect to Google up a pattern that will work for all body types and t-shirt and polo types unless you are an experienced fashion designer.

Tip:Our manufacturers have worked with world class brands for many years.  They have a substantial library of designs and styles.  This will reduce your costs from samples and designs.


Choose the right blank t-shirt and polo for your project

A blank t-shirt or blank polo is an open canvas.

You or your customers can design anything they want on the shirt.

This means a great way to express style or advertise a business.

Don’t immediately jump up, and place an order just yet.  There are still a few more considerations to make.

Note: Size and style affect t-shirt and polo fabric weight.  The design approach needs consideration.  Matching the right shirt to the right design and printing technique matters.

Customization can be embroidery, screen printing and tie-dyeing.  Each different customization has its own set of criteria.

Tell us your specific needs, and we will communicate those to the manufacturer.

This will provide the best possible solution for your shirt business.


Common Quality Issues with Blank T-Shirts and Blank Polo Shirts

It has happened to all of us.  You put a cheap t-shirt into the washer and dryer only to have it come out smaller, faded or both.

The shirt does not breathe well when worn and sticks after heavy sweat.

Lint and staining prove to be an issue.

These are common issues with any shirt.

Tip: One often overlooked factor is the fabric retraction.  Raw fabric coming to the manufacturer is stretched on rolls.  Quality manufacturers will allow 48 – 72 hours of time for the fabric to return to its normal size before cutting.  Smaller clothing makers skip this step because of work space or extra time expense.
Warning: All fabrics have shrink potential.  It is important to decide when the fabric will shrink – before or after manufacturing.


How to find the best suppliers of wholesale blank t-shirts and blank polo shirts?

You can start with Alibaba and customer reviews.  The problem are the buyers and their evaluations.  Buyers may understand the supplier’s attitude but know nothing about the technical strengths of the manufacturing process.

The most common solution is to find a list of suppliers, narrow them down and pick.

Sourcing Nova works differently.  In fact, we approach this in the completely opposite direction.

We start finding out the manufacturers of the specific niche – shirts in this case.

Note: We want the one percent manufacturers. Specifically, we want the high quality blank t-shirt and blank polo manufacturers of the following world-class brands: Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Bugatchi and Arnold Palmer to start.
Tip: These brands know more about selecting bulk t-shirt and polo manufacturers than we do.  We want nothing more than the absolute best of the best.

This means the manufacturer we select for wholesale t-shirts and polos has the appropriate factors we need: sufficient capacity, work experience and production equipment to meet the most discerning needs of high-end consumers.

Smaller garment manufacturers use simple, older model sewing machines.  The factories Sourcing Nova works with have top-of-the-line professional equipment that is often computer assisted.


How to bulk order blank t-shirts and blank polo shirts from China?

Make sure you have done your due research.

Know your customer base and their wants.

A better manufacturer wants to work with better buyers.  If you are not 100 percent sure on what to do, reach out to us at Sourcing Nova.  Our support team will ask you some basic questions and get a product requirements document together for you.

Related: What is a product requirements document – learn about it at this helpful piece.

Warning: If you do not have a clear product request and are only interested in the lowest possible price, the manufacturers of better brands will ignore you and your requests.

Supplier perception is a real thing, and you really should understand where you stand with them.


Know specific sizes of individual brands

What is a large in one brand may be an extra-large in another.  The brand suppliers we work create high quality t-shirts and polos Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, Bugatchi and Arnold Palmer, have accurate size charts on their websites outlining their sizes.  If a customer shares measurements with you, you can help them make an accurate decision on shirt size.

Tip: Sourcing Nova can order samples of both blank t-shirts and polos in various sizes. You can then get friends to try them on, give you feedback and recommendations before placing an order.


Choose the right shipping method for wholesale t-shirts and polos

Sea freight is best for bulk blank t-shirts and polos and most cost-effective.  Sourcing Nova has a 5,000 square meter warehouse in Shenzhen as well as third-party logistic services.


Bringing it all together

Wholesale bulk t-shirts and polos from China is a very lucrative business opportunity.  You need to stand up and away from the closest competition. This means:

  • Finding the best manufacturers of top-quality products in China;
  • Understanding the fabric choices of t-shirts and polos;
  • Know the sizing charts as accurately as possible;
  • Be able to note solid craftsmanship in the final product.

This is quite a bit for you to grasp and comprehend.  Sourcing Nova is here to help bridge that understanding and source the best possible blank t-shirts and polos available.  We work with luxury class manufacturers and are willing to answer questions from our clientele.


Final thoughts

Now, we want to know what you think.  What is important to consider when importing blank t-shirts and polos from China?  Did we miss anything?  Let us know with a message below.