You've got a mixture of fibers and fabrics listed. The fibers you have listed are: cotton, wool, rayon, polyester, nylon, acrylic, acetate, hemp, jute, silk and mohair (not "morhair"). Each of these can be made into a variety of fabrics -- for instance cotton can be made into denim, shirting, bark cloth, cheesecloth, corduroy, and velvet. Cotton denim makes pretty good pants and shirts, but it's not something you want to use for underwear in most cases... <g> There are no "best fabrics" or "best fibers", just ones appropriate for certain purposes and not others.
Your other question, the difference between the Walmart, Macy's and Versace tee shirts, may be "not much", but chances are there are some differences. In general, underwear t-shirts are made of a single knit called "jersey", while more upscale t-shirts are often made of a double knit called "interlock", which is heavier and tends to look more luxurious. With the cotton fibers used for fabrics, there are various grades, with long fibered cottons like Pima, Supima, Sea Island, and Egyptian cottons sort of top of the heap for what you find on labels. The cotton can be processed in various ways; for knits, the yarns can be spun either on a high speed spinner, or they can be spun with a lower speed spinner called a "ring spinner" that's been around for awhile. Ringspun cotton yarns are generally considered to be higher quality. Then there's the whole question of processing... words you'll sometimes see in ads include "mercerized" (which is a way of soaking cotton fibers in a base to make the fibers plump, shiny, silky and better able to take up dye), "pak-knit", which makes the fabric less likely to shrink, and other processing. Each processing step adds some cost to the finished fabric, so Walmart may be buying shirts made of non-mercerized, non-premium (shorter fiber) cottons, while Macys may be buying shirts of longer fibered cottons with some of the better processing), and you'd think Versace would be buying long fibered, mercerized, pak-knit fabrics, but quite often you're paying for the name, not the fabric.
The other way to economize with a commodity item like a t-shirt is in how it's cut and sewn. Cheaper t-shirts are often made of tubular knits, have very little shaping (important in women's shirts), and are cut to make use of every last scrap of fabric. Upscale shirts may be better cut, with side seams (so they don't try to climb up your front and down your back); more attention is paid to cutting the fabric on grain and resting the fabric before it's cut -- again, these are more expensive processes.
Personally, I like LL Bean's line of "carefree unshrinkable t-shirts" for men's t-shirts that are fit to be seen in public with, at a decent price. They're wrinkle resistant, stain resistant, don't shrink much if at all (and don't seem to do reverse shrinkage either*), and they don't fade. Decent quality medium weight jersey knits. Every sample I've seen so far has been cut on grain so they don't want to twist around the body during wear.
*reverse shrinkage: http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/pop-quiz-why-do-knits-get-larger/ (be sure to read Stuart Anderson's comments) http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/pop-quiz-why-do-knits-get-larger-pt-2/ and http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/pop-quiz-why-do-knits-get-larger-pt-3/
50 years of sewing
· 7 years ago