What Does Singles Mean in T-shirts?

Have you ever come across the term “singles” in relation to t-shirts and felt very confused by what the person is talking about? This is an odd phrase to see and you aren’t alone in being puzzled. It’s worth finding out, however, especially if you sell t-shirts because this has to do with t-shirt quality.

The term “singles” refers to the weight of the thread that has been used to make the shirt, and the number tells you how soft the t-shirt is likely to be. The more singles there are, the more knitted the fabric is, so lower quality shirts will have a lower singles number than a high-quality shirts.

What Does Singles Mean In T-Shirts?

The term “singles” is used to refer to the quality level of the shirt, and it tells you how soft the shirt is and how nice it will feel. If you have come across the different thread counts in bedsheets, you will already be familiar with this concept. A higher count equals a higher quality sheet.

It is important to note that the count does not tell you how much the shirt will weigh. Many people assume that a higher count means that the shirt will be heavier, but this is not necessarily the case. It’s possible to have a heavy t-shirt that has a low singles count and does not feel particularly nice when you wear it.

The term specifically refers to the diameter of the yarn, and this is determined by how many times the fiber has been twisted into shape. The higher the number, the finer the thread is, and this is generally considered a good thing – although it does come at a higher cost.

singles tshirt
Source: redbubble.com

T-shirts with a high singles count tend to wear much better than those with a low count. They will keep their color and their shape for longer, and should not get a fuzzy look or wear thin too quickly. It’s often worth paying the extra because it results in improved wearability and ensures that your clothes will last.

Of course, this isn’t the only factor that you should pay attention to when you are choosing a shirt. You also need to look at things like how the seams have been made, which materials have been used, and how the yarn has been spun. For example, ring-spun cotton is softer and nicer, but costs more, while carded cotton is rougher and cheaper.

Paying attention to the singles number is important when you are choosing a shirt, but you should look at other factors too.

What Does 40 Singles Mean In T-Shirts?

singles mean in t-shirts
Source: gubbacci.com

The term “40 singles” is one that you should look out for when choosing a t-shirt, because the high numbers denote a higher quality and a nicer feeling shirt. The higher the number, the finer the thread, and the tighter the resulting weave.

40 is generally considered high, although you can get shirts of even higher quality. For most people, 40 is perfectly sufficient for making sure that the shirt feels nice and lasts well.

What Does 32 Singles Mean In T-Shirts?

32 singles
Source: gubbacci.com

You may also see the term “32 singles” at times, and this is a slightly lower quality shirt than the 40 mentioned above. It will generally be a bit cheaper as a result, especially if it is carded cotton, but it may not last quite as well. You might find that the colors fade, it loses its shape, or it feels a bit rougher.

Overall, however, 32 singles are still reasonably high and should be okay for most shirts. If you drop to lower numbers, such as 18 or 20 singles, you might find that the fabric feels uncomfortable or starts to stretch out of shape quickly. In general, you should avoid buying shirts that are below 20 singles and look for those above 30.

What Is Special About A Single Stitch T-Shirt?

You will generally only see single stitch t-shirts if you buy vintage clothing because this is fairly uncommon in today’s world; almost all modern shirts have a double stitch. This term refers to the way that the hems, cuffs, and shoulders of the t-shirt were finished, and means that only one row of stitching was used, rather than two.

The double row of stitching means that the garment should wear better, as there is less pressure on each row of stitching. However, many people prefer the single stitch option for a number of reasons. Firstly, it hangs differently, so the shirt is more clearly visible as vintage.

Secondly, it is often softer and more comfortable. Many people choose single-stitch t-shirts for sleeping shirts, and you will find that they are much floppier and less likely to crease.

Thirdly, the hems will be less obvious on a single stitch shirt. They can be almost invisible, whereas, on modern t-shirts, the hems are very visible – especially around the shoulders.

singles mean in t-shirts

You may find that you are more aware of the hems, particularly with a new shirt, where the fabric hasn’t had time to soften. If you like a smooth look without visible stitching, a single stitch t-shirt is more likely to fit the bill.

Although there are some modern manufacturers that use the single stitch to replicate the vintage look, most shirts that have this kind of hem will have been made before 1999. There’s a big market for this style of clothing, so be aware of this if you care strongly about the comfiness of your clothes, and you’re always on the lookout for the softest and nicest t-shirts.

These shirts are getting increasingly difficult to find, which has added to the overall cost. A high single count, single stitch t-shirt could be surprisingly expensive!


If you’re looking for really comfy clothing, the two factors to look out for are the single count and whether the shirt uses a single stitch approach to hemming. If you are buying modern shirts, you may only be able to opt for a high single count, but the higher it is, the comfier the t-shirt will be and the longer it should last!