Decode A Shirt’s Weight Before Starting A Shirt Business

By calculating “how much does a shirt weigh“, you can reduce shipping costs and choose the suitable fabric for your shirts.

To open a clothing shop, you will need to handle many tasks to make your store professional and attract customers. You need to prepare facilities such as shelves, racks, hangers, mirrors, or mannequins (ignore these if your shop sells online only). There are some other considerations about reducing shipping costs by determining “how much does a shirt weigh” you need to consider. 

Also, when knowing how to calculate “how much does a shirt weigh” and understanding the parameters measuring the weight of shirts, you can choose the appropriate fabric for your shirts, avoiding the production of 12 oz cotton T-shirts that no one will probably buy.

Weight Of Shirt

How To Calculate Fabric Weight?

Fabric weight plays a vital role in finding the suitable material and ensuring the garment’s highest quality. It also affects the total number of products you need to order.

Read It First Before Starting A Shirt Business
Read it first before starting a shirt business – Source:

Suppose you buy fabric by weight, and the material has more weight per unit length than another fabric. The total length of the thick fabric you will get will be shorter than that of the thin fabric. This situation can cause fabric-shortage problems should you not calculate carefully.

In contrast, if you have excess fabric, the total fabric weight will increase. Hence, the shipping costs may increase, exceeding your budget when purchasing fabric.

How To Calculate Fabric Weight?
An increase in shipping costs may affect your budget – Source:

Hence, this article will introduce some of the most common fabric weight measurements, how to convert units, and weight fabric with specialized tools.

Most Common Fabric Weight Measurements

Gsm (g/m²)

Gram per square meter is the weight of the fabric per unit area. GSM is the most commonly used unit of measurement worldwide.

Gram Per Ruler (g/y)

The gram per yard is the fabric weight per unit of length (one yard is about 0.91 meters). This unit of measure is more commonly used in factories.

Oz Per Square Meter (oz/yd²)

Ounces per square meter is the fabric’s weight per unit area (one yard is about 0.91 meter). This unit of measure is common in the UK, US, Liberia, and Myanmar.

The lower the Oz number is, the softer and more flexible the fabric.

How To Calculate The Fabric Weight?

Use A Precision Digital Scale And Fabric Circle Cutter

A fabric circle cutter is a prevalent tool in the textile industry for fabric weight checking. Using a fabric circle cutter is the most accurate method if your fabric is large enough for one cut.

Use A Precision Digital Scale And Fabric Circle Cutter
A fabric circle cutter is a prevalent tool in the textile industry – Source:

If we balance it in grams, we calculate the fabric weight by (the weight of the fabric in grams) x 100 = gsm

Use Simple Tools At The Office

If your fabric sample is less than 10 x 10 cm or you do not have a fabric circle cutter, you can use stationery – familiar tools found on a desk to check the fabric weight: rulers and pens! However, it is best to have an accurate digital scale for higher accuracy.

First, draw a rectangle on the canvas with the pen and use a ruler to get the correct angles.

Second, cut the rectangle out of the piece of canvas you have drawn. Then measure the width and length of the rectangle in cm and calculate the area in (cm²) = (width) x (length). Write it down on paper.

Use Simple Tools At The Office
You can use the familiar stationery to check the fabric weight – Source:

Third, weigh the rectangular fabric patterns with a precise digital scale. Write the weight in grams.

The following formula calculates the fabric weight:

(fabric weight (g / m²)) = 10,000 ÷ (rectangular piece of fabric (cm²)) x (weight of sample piece (g))

The final step is converting the fabric weight to your desired unit using the formulas above!

How Much Does A Shirt Weigh?

In fact, you do not always need an accurate figure on the shirt’s weight and have tools available to measure. Referring to the following data sheet can save your time in determining the weight of the shirt.

how much does a shirt weigh
How much does a shirt weigh? – Source:

How Much Does A Hoodie Weigh?

Distributing hoodies is a popular way for many T-shirt stores to expand their business because this is a popular and trending product line.

Referring to the following data sheet can help you in determining the right fabric for this fashion item line.

How Much Does A Hoodie Weigh?
How much does a hoodie weigh? – Source:

How Much Does Each Type of Fabric Weigh?

We list these fabrics from lightweight to heavyweight.


Neoprene. Source:

1 gsm to 5 gsm

0.03 oz. to 0.17 oz.


Silk. Source:

20 gsm to 28 gsm

0.7 oz. to 1 oz.


Cotton. Source:

85 gsm to 170 gsm

3 oz. to 6 oz.


Polyester. Source:

60 gsm to 300 gsm

2 oz. to 10.5 oz.

Jersey Cloth

Jersey Cloth
Jersey Cloth. Source:

140 gsm to 280 gsm

5 oz. to 10 oz.


Canvas. Source:

110 gsm to 340 gsm

4 oz. to 12 oz.


Fleece. Source:

198 gsm to 397 gsm

7 oz. to 14 oz.


Velvet. Source:

255 gsm to 567 gsm

9 oz. to 20 oz.


Wool. Source:

340 gsm to 600 gsm

12 oz. to 21 oz.


Denim. Source:

141 gsm to 907 gsm

5 oz. to 32 oz.

Additional Factors To Consider When Calculating Shipping Cost

When you start a shirt business, minimizing the shipping cost requires more effort than just calculating “how much does a shirt weigh”.

The post office will weigh the entire package, including packaging materials, documents, and even the package itself to get the overall weight, then decide shipping cost. 

Using lightweight packaging materials such as plastic mail bags rather than boxes is ideal for ship shirts shipping; these bags are lightweight, waterproof, and inexpensive. With this cover material, the garments will maintain their quality and minimize the extra weight. 

Additional Factors to Consider When Calculating Shipping Cost
Plastic mail bags are lightweight, waterproof, and inexpensive – Source:

In addition to selecting suitable packing materials, you can reduce shipping costs by negotiating because all shipping companies offer pricing discounts depending on the number of merchandise. So when partnering with a regular shipping company, negotiate a better shipping price!

Being a virtual manager in the Covid-19 situation? Try our tips to increase the efficiency of your business team.

3 Popular Different Fiber/Material Types Of Shirt


Cotton is the most popular garment material. This material can be knit, woven with different thicknesses, smoothness, and weights, so manufacturers can use it to make almost any garment. Cotton is the most popular material because it is suitable for nearly all shapes and adapted to all types of weather environments.

Cotton fabric is a synthetic fabric, of which the primary material is cotton fiber with many natural materials combined with chemicals. Each type of fabric has a different percentage of cotton fibers.

For example:

  • 100% cotton is the fabric using 100% cotton fiber material and some chemicals to make the fabric more durable and softer.
  • 80% cotton means the remaining 20% can be nylon, or other synthetic fibers, making high gloss fabric.
Cotton is the most popular garment material – Source:

One downside of 100% cotton fabrics is the high cost, so it is not really popular. To overcome this, people use cotton mixed with Spandex yarn to make the fabric softer, and lower the price.


Polyester fabric is a synthetic fiber fabric derived primarily from coal, air, and petroleum. With excellent form retention and high anti-wrinkle, this fabric is the choice of many clothing manufacturers.

Another advantage of Polyester fabric includes the easy-clean feature, as this material does not absorb dirt and resists wrinkles, making the cleaning procedure easy. You can freely choose the washing methods without worrying that they will affect the fabric’s quality.

Polyester fabric is also easy to add various colors. During the manufacturing process, people often add some chemicals to help the fabric adhere better. Besides, this fabric is also highly water, fire, dust, and antibacterial resistant

As synthesized from low-cost materials with the production process with the help of machinery, the polyester fabric price is meager.

Polyester fabric is easy to dye with various colors – Source:

However, this fabric often causes an airless and unpleasant sensation. Due to its high thickness and poor absorbency, the Polyester material is not suitable for summer wear. Therefore, people often combine fabrics with other cooling materials to overcome this disadvantage.

Also, as a synthetic chemical fabric, the decomposition of Polyester is very slow. The Polyester fabric production process also emits many toxic gases and substances, causing significant damage to the environment.

Spandex (Also Known As Elastane, Lycra, Or Elastane)

Spandex is the material having the highest elasticity of the fabrics available on the market today. With outstanding elasticity, they can withstand tremendous pressure and tension but still not breaking or stretching. According to a practical study, fabrics like these can withstand a force of 500% of their original length but remain unharmed.

Soft, light, but durable and supple are the first impressions this fabric gives you. After many washing times, the material will not appear coarse, ruffled, or lumpy.

Although it is a synthetic fabric, Spandex is less irritating to the skin than other fabrics. Spandex will not stick to the body like wool or some other winter fabrics, avoiding causing discomfort to the wearer.

How Much Does A Shirt Weigh?
Manufacturers often mix Spandex with other materials – Source: newyorkcustomlabels

However, Spandex has many limitations.

Spandex’s absorbency is not appreciated because it often causes discomfort for the wearer. Therefore, manufacturers often mix it with some other materials to  overcome this limitation.

Moreover, after a long time, if not properly preserved, unattractive yellow stains will appear.

Like most synthetic fabrics, Spandex is still not biodegradable. Besides, the recovery and recycling capacity of this fabric is also quite limited.

Spandex can endure pulls of external force, but the fabric will sag, wrinkle or denature if it meets high temperature. Fabrics made from Spandex fiber will also quickly deteriorate when exposed to detergents, especially those with a high PH.

What Is The Right Shirt For Your Target Customers? – How Much Does A Shirt Weigh?

Keep in mind to choose a shirt material that suits your brand’s target customer. For instance, older men favor thick cotton shirts, while women prefer lighter-weighted ones, and younger consumers choose lightweight blends.

Besides the client’s gender and age, pay attention to the weather suitability. For example, for short-sleeved summer t-shirts, choose sweat-absorbing cotton, rendering a cool feeling. In contrast, use a thick fabric for sweaters and hoodies.

What Is The Right Shirt For Your Target Customers?
Pay attention to the weather suitability when choosing a shirt material – Source: aspenprojectplay

We wish your business to achieve significant revenue and profit. If you want to know how to make an income of $70,000 a year or even a 6-figure salary from this business, read our related articles in the Career Advice section to find out more. All useful information on JobandEdu is free and updated for you.

Emma Anderson

Emma Anderson is a career consultant and freelance writer for JobandEdu by night. Layla assists students, and new hires in determining a suitable career path and walk them through the application process. She decides to pursue writing since she thinks everyone should have access to information about potential careers, such as the application process and the company's culture. She's into writing, driving her with stuff that interests her in all her good reads.