What is a Slub Tee?

As an apparel brand owner, I am always on the lookout for a special style of t-shirt for the right design. Many brand designers are looking for something unique to add to their collection. This is where I came across slub tees.

In this article, we’re going to explore what slub tee shirts are, why they are popular, and what you should expect to see if you buy one of these tee shirts.

​What Is A Slub Tee?

A slub tee is made from slub cotton, which is a type of fabric that has a vintage texture. The fabric is lumpy by design. They have no discernable pattern. The cotton is twisted while being made, creating irregular bumps. This makes the shirt look great without being ironed, and makes it comfortable and airy, because it will not cling to the body.

While slub cotton is a slightly lumpy kind of cotton, it does have a unique and pleasing texture. The fabric is generally lightweight, with a soft feel. It feels airy when worn, because of the texturing, making it a comfortable option for all sorts of situations.

Some uniform fabrics make use of slub cotton, and it can also be found in polyester blends, mixed with man-made fibers to take advantage of different fabric properties. You can buy slub tees in 100 percent cotton or a range of blends, depending on what you want the shirt for. 

​How Is Slub Fabric Made?

Slub fabric is made by twisting the cotton fibers as they are woven into yarn. The twists are made deliberately irregular to cause bumpy, unpredictable texturing on the fabric. Originally, these twists were accidental and would be undone or cut out of the fabric, but gradually, their appeal has increased, and now twists are deliberately added.

Once the threads have been woven into yarn, the yarn can be used to create shirts, bags, or other items, just like standard cotton. If it is mixed with other fibers, it will have alternative properties, but it is generally airy and comfortable.

There are two ways of making slub cotton, and they will create quite different appearances. Firstly, you get random slubs, which have no clear pattern and which have lumpier areas and flatter areas. This creates a natural, casual appearance that many people find attractive and it is the commonest method for creating slub t-shirts.

In some cases, people use engineered slubs. This involves putting the slubs at an equal distance apart when weaving the yarn, and this can be used to make noticeable patterns within the material. The angle of the twist and the distance of the slubs will alter how the pattern appears.

Slubs that are formed a short distance apart will look less natural, but can be used to make patterns that are visible within the fabric. Spacing them out will make less obvious patterns, but will create a more natural look overall.

​Why Do Customers Like Slub Shirts?

There are quite a few advantages associated with slub shirts, including:

  • They look great and can offer a retro or vintage vibe, depending on how they are manufactured
  • They have a lot more personality and look a lot more unique than standard cotton tee shirts
  • They tend to be more comfortable than standard cotton, because they don’t cling to the body the way that smooth or brushed cotton does
  • They are often cooler than standard cotton, for the same reason
  • They are soft and comfortable, like other cotton shirts
  • They are not more expensive than other cotton shirts, despite having a more attractive experience
  • They are wonderfully casual, which appeals to a lot of individuals for a variety of circumstances
  • They never need to be ironed, because they are not designed to be flat, and they will not look creased the way that standard cotton will

As you can see, people like slub fabric for a wide range of reasons. It is not generally used for formal occasions, because the fabric looks natural, rather than tidy.

​Are There Any Drawbacks To Slub Fabric?

Of course, no fabric is without drawbacks, and slub has some downsides too. These are not major, but because the yarn is thicker in places, some people find slub cotton too thick. The overall weight of the shirt will be slightly increased compared with a shirt woven from standard cotton, because the shirt contains more fabric and is bumpier.

Additionally, some people find that slub fabric tee shirts shrink more significantly than standard cotton tee shirts when washed. This can again be explained by the presence of the extra fabric. If the additional fibers are pulled in by the heat, there will be more contraction.

These issues can be minimized through careful manufacture, but you should make sure that you like slub shirts before you purchase one made in this style. If you find that the extra weight – slight though it is – bothers you, you may need to choose a standard cotton shirt or one made from another kind of fabric.

​Conclusion

Slub tee shirts are made of a specific kind of fabric, generally slub cotton. This is cotton that has been woven imperfectly, creating thinner and thicker areas throughout the yarn. Slub cotton is lightweight, doesn’t crease, and looks great, making it a popular choice for many different shirt manufacturers.

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Bryan E. Robinson is the owner of TshirtGrowth. He has sold t-shirts since 2006 through dropshipping, screen printing, vinyl printing, DTG, Print on Demand, and more. Bryan has created his own t-shirt designs through Photoshop, Canva, and other platforms, as well as worked with freelancers to create many of his designs. Besides t-shirts, Bryan has 18 years of experience in online marketing with eCommerce, B2B SaaS, B2C products, and more.