Sometimes it can be overwhelming to look at a bunch of seemingly-similar tees and decide which to go with. One of the most important indicators of quality, and one that a lot of people don’t notice off the bat, is the construction of the tee. There are two types of construction: Side Seam and Tubular. In this video, we go through all the reasons you’ll want to stick with side seamed tees and stay away from tubular.


Side-Seamed Tees VS. Tubular Tees

Why Do Tubular Tees Exist? 

First off, the reason tubular tees exist is because they are cheap to make and require less sewing. Imagine a tube of fabric. Tubular tees are made by slicing into the tube to create a circular piece of fabric, then the arms and neck are sewn on and you have a T-shirt. At BELLA+CANVAS, we decided early on, never to make a tubular tee because we never wanted to compromise the fit of the garment.

It’s All in the Fit

When you compare a tubular T-shirt to one that is side-seamed, there are obvious reasons for its inferior fit. Since human bodies are not the shape of a tube, a tubular tee won’t fit well. Just think: Have you ever seen a tubular T-shirt in a retail store? No, and you never will, because retail customers don’t want to wear a tubular fitting tee.

On tubular T-shirts, the armholes are not tailored and the neck openings are generic and the front is exactly the same as the back. This means you’ll get a more generic fit, verses the way we specifically grade our side-seamed tees for every body type in our size range. Another negative for producing tubular T-shirts is that certain tube sizes are not available due to the lack of machine cylinder sizes, so you may notice strange jumps between sizes, for example a disproportionate jump from a large to an extra large. Side-seams are especially critical for unisex tees intended to be worn by women due to their curves.

What is Torquing? 

And finally, one of the biggest issues with tubular tees is torquing. This happens particularly when you wash the shirt and the garment begins to twist. Side seams help to hold the structure of the garment and keeps that big bold chest print front and center where it’s supposed to be.

What’s the Difference When Printing? 

Side seam construction is also better when it comes to printing. The side seams act as guidelines when lining up the tee on the pallet, and lead to a faster print with more consistent placement. So for you printers out there, it’s advantageous to steer your customers into a side seamed tee.

Let us know if you have any questions about this in the comments below!