Did you know – a t shirt of higher GSM is not necessarily of better quality?
Almost every time I talk to clients to help them choose a t shirt, this question pops up. Five minutes into the conversation, they ask me – “So what is the GSM of this t shirt?”
For quite some time now, to differentiate their product from competition, t shirt vendors have used this “GSM” term. The general belief is that higher the GSM, better the quality of the t shirt. That, unfortunately is not true.
GSM or Grams per Square Meter is just the weight of the fabric of the t shirt. Simply put, if you cut out one square meter of the fabric and record its weight in grams, you will get the GSM of the fabric.
Then why is GSM important while you make the purchase?
When you are comparing t shirts made of exactly the same material (for example 25% polyester and 75% cotton), GSM also tells you the thickness of the t shirt. However, this doesn’t hold good when you are comparing t shirts made of different material.
It’s like this. Say you have one square foot of wood of one inch thickness and a piece of iron of exactly the same dimensions. Even though their thickness is exactly the same, their weights are completely different. Owing to the higher density of iron, the same volume of wood weighs lesser.
When you look at the fabric of a t shirt, we need to first understand the composition of the material it is made of. Polyester is a lighter material than natural fibers like cotton. So a certain GSM of a polyester t shirt is thicker than a cotton t shirt of the same GSM.
If you want to use the t shirt in winter, and say you have an option between 240 GSM polyester t shirt and 240 GSM cotton t shirt, take the polyester one because that will keep you warmer. Or buy something which has a higher % of polyester mix (eg. 40% polyester and 60% cotton). If you prefer one fabric over the other (I like cotton), you can always choose the fabric of higher GSM.
Hope that helps. If you still need help choosing the right t shirt for your needs, you can always feel free to ping us at firstname.lastname@example.org.