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Complete Guide To Polo Styles, Materials and Fabric Types

A suit and tie isn’t always the most appropriate attire for most businesses. On the other hand, T-shirts certainly don’t bespeak professionalism. Nothing says business casual like a polo. Polos are the chameleon of the business shirt world, equally at home meeting clients at a café and delivering a presentation to the Board of Directors. That might be a stretch. Still, there are many situations where a polo is appropriate. And almost as many choices for polo materials at DFC Screen Printing.

In fact, the choices might seem a little overwhelming. Take the cotton options, for instance. Who knew there are so many kinds? To help you weigh the options, we thought it appropriate to give a crash course in the different polo materials.

50-50 Blend Polo

50/50 Blend

This blend of polyester and cotton combines the best of these two popular materials.  50/50 blend has the durability and breathability of polyester working in harmony with the softness and excellent printing qualities of cotton. This is a good choice for active people and occupations.

 100% Cotton Polo

100% Cotton

Cotton is perhaps the most ubiquitous fabric in the U.S. It’s extremely comfortable, easy to print on, both digitally and via screen printing.


100% Egyptian Cotton Polo 


100% Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton has long staples(an industry word for fibers), some as long as 2 inches. Long staples means finer and stronger yarn, and a softer fabric. It’s possible to find Egyptian cotton grown in other parts of the world, but only the native Egyptian cotton has that distinctive feel. When looking at any Egyptian cotton products, look for thread counts of 200 and higher.



Peruvian Tanguis Combed Cotton Polo

100% Peruvian Tanguis Combed Cotton

Don’t be frightened by the fancy name of this fabric. Cotton has been cultivated on the central coast of Peru for thousands of years, and is now an important part of the robust textile market of the country. Peruvian Tanguis cotton makes extremely uniform yarn, which is important for clothing manufacturers. What is important to you is that it is a very soft fabric that takes dye gracefully, with very little dye migration.



Ringspun Cotton Polo

Ringspun Cotton

Ringspinning cotton is an additional step in the yarn making process. Ringspinning the cotton thins the cotton yarn and exposes more of the short fibers that cause the binding of the yarn, which are respun. The result is a stronger, tighter cotton yarn. 10 points to ringspinning for also being softer than un-ringspun cotton. The more the cotton is ringspun, the softer it gets. A ringspun cotton garment of the same size as a normal cotton garment is lighter, more durable, and softer.


Organic Cotton Polo


The term organic is everywhere, including your clothes. Organic cotton is just like inorganic cotton, differing only in agricultural practices. Organic cotton is grown from non-genetically modified plants without the use of pesticides. Customers who want to reduce their ecological footprint or avoid the potential of residual agricultural chemicals irritating their skin should consider buying organic cotton.



Pique Cotton Polo

Pique Cotton

Pique cotton comes is made from ordinary cotton, but has a different texture, resulting from a specific weaving process. Pique cotton is a classic material for polos, and many people associate polos with that fabric. 


Peruvian Pima Polo


Peruvian Pima cotton

Peruvian Pima cotton is billed as the softest cotton in the world. The hand harvested fiber isn’t subject to the stresses of machine harvesting and the extra long staple leads to an extra fine yarn. The Peruvian word for this fabric is gamuza, which translates to suede.



Long-staple Peruvian Pima cotton interlock

Interlock knitting uses two simultaneous ply knits to create a thicker fabric. The softness of Pima cotton with interlock knitting makes for a durable and soft fabric. 





Poly Wicking Polo


100% Polyester - Moisture Wicking

Polyester is the most common moisture wicking fabric on the market. Hydrophobic fibers and capillary action move sweat moisture away from your skin, where it can evaporate, rather than conduct heat. Or cold, which is generally a larger concern. Some polyester shirts contain a small percentage of nylon. 



Wrinkle Free Knit Polo



Wrinkle-free knit


Wrinkle-free knit. Three words that sound like a dream to the laundry disabled people in the world. But it seems that these clothes are actually designed for people on the go; business people on the road or travelers who have no access to an iron. This material is a polyester/spandex blend. Just pull it out of your suitcase, put it on, and you’re ready to go.

As you decide which material to use for your polos, some of these distinctions seem narrow, even academic. There may be no larger difference between Egyptian cotton and Peruvian Pima cotton than your preference. Give us a call to help you sort through the fine details and find the right shirt for your job.



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