Get to Know Next Level Apparel’s Signature Fabrics

Next Level Apparel didn’t become a promo apparel superstar for their styles alone. As all distributors familiar with selling wearables know, the fabric garments are made from is just as important as the cut and fit for successful promotions and happy clients.

This is where Next Level Apparel really shines. What began as one “Founding Fabric” has evolved into a collection of signature fabric blends, each geared for specific cuts, decoration techniques and client needs. Get to know each of Next Level’s signature fabrics below to better educate your clients and sell them on all the stellar qualities they each possess.

100% Combed Ring-Spun Cotton
Ideal decoration: Screen-printing, heat transfer, discharge, DTG
Popular apparel styles: Unisex Cotton Crew (3600)Women’s Boyfriend Tee (3900)Cotton Raglan Tee (3650)

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Next Level’s oh-so-soft cotton fabric is the go-to for many of their most popular styles, and it’s now available in a wide range of colors. It took some time to reach this level of cotton perfection, though. When it comes to the measurement for fabric weight, keep in mind that the higher number, the finer the thread and tighter the weave (sort of like thread counts for bedsheets). Next Level’s original cotton fabric was 40/35 single, which ended up being too fine and sheer for optimal printing, especially for unisex styles. On the other hand, the industry standard was 30/32 single, which Next Level felt was too scratchy and not a high enough thread count to reach the quality level they were seeking.

Now, they’re proud to create garments with their new 100% cotton 32 single, which is the best of both worlds: super soft, but sturdy and not see-through. Even better, Next Level combs all of their cotton and it’s ring-spun to remove even more impurities so brands can get the most accurate prints. Your clients will also appreciate this cotton fabric’s stretch and natural bounce, which can be seen at a microscopic level: The fibers have an accordion structure, creating a comfortable T-shirt that won’t lose its shape.

CVC 60% Cotton / 40% Polyester
Ideal decoration: 
Screen-printing, heat transfer, DTG
Popular apparel styles: Unisex CVC Crew (6210)Women’s CVC Deep V (6640)Youth CVC Crew (3312)

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You’ll find that most suppliers in the industry use a 50/50 cotton/polyester blend for their CVC fabrics. Two problems Next Level noticed with this ratio is that it allows for too much gray to show through on fabrics, and the high polyester count makes it difficult to print on top of. To correct these challenges, Next Level instead opts for a 60/40 cotton/polyester blend to allow for more of cotton’s natural softness and color richness to come through, and less of polyester’s decoration obstacles. It’s the best of both worlds! 

Tri-Blend 50% Polyester 25% Cotton 25% Rayon
Ideal decoration: Screen-printing
Popular apparel styles: 
Tri-Blend Crew (6010)Women’s Tri-Blend Racerback Tank (6733)Men’s Tri-Blend Long-Sleeve Henley (6072)

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Next Level’s tri-blend fabric is their softest, as it’s made from the most premium fibers you can get below silk. That’s thanks to the 25% rayon, which gives it that silky smooth hand feel your clients and consumers can’t get enough of. Combined with 50% polyester and 25% combed ring-spun cotton, garments made from this fabric will have great hanger appeal and drape the nicest of all Next Level fabrics. You’ll also find an expansive color offering including top trends like heathers, bold jewel tones and vintage shades.

It’s worth noting that many in the industry use only 12-13% rayon in their tri-blends to keep costs down. Next Level, however, didn’t want to cut corners – they want their customers to invest in tri-blend garments that will last for a lifetime.

Sueded 60% Cotton 40% Polyester
Ideal decoration: Screen-printing, heat transfer
Popular apparel styles: Sueded Crew (6410)Sueded Zip Hoody (6491)Unisex Sueded V (6440)

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Next Level’s sueded collection is made from super soft, buttery fabric with a unique, brushed finish that feels almost like the skin on a peach. Not only is this velvety feel impressive, but the sueded fabric also prints like a dream. That’s because it uses a proprietary weave to allow for tighter knits, which ultimately provides more printing versatility. Its processed structure also results in a softness very similar to flannel, but without the unfortunate pilling flannel is usually known for. The end result? A completely one-of-a-kind fabric that will help your clients get noticed and remembered.

Ideal 60% Cotton 40% Polyester
Ideal decoration: 
Screen-printing, heat transfer
Popular apparel styles: 
Women’s Ideal Racerback Tank (1533)Women’s Ideal V (1540)Women’s Ideal Crop Tee (1580)

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Have clients with limited budgets, yet don’t want to compromise on quality? Give this price-conscious fabric collection a try. This fabric blend gives the best of both worlds: price-conscious apparel from a premium brand. This fabric is soft and lightweight, making it cheaper to produce. However, don’t think you’ll have to sacrifice wearability for those extra savings. Next Level even offers retail-approved feminine cuts in this fabric for women’s apparel as well.

65% Polyester / 35% Cotton
Ideal decoration: 
Sublimation, screen-printing, heat transfer
Popular apparel styles: Poly/Cotton Crew (6200)Women’s Festival Scoop (5030)Women’s Festival Muscle Tank (5013)

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Last but not least, meet Next Level’s founding fabric. This is their most lightweight and breathable fabric, which you can now find highlighted in Next Level’s festival collection, embodying easy, breezy lifestyle wear. If your clients want full-color sublimation decoration, this is the fabric collection you should recommend. The Festival Collection also features garments in trendy, retail-approved cuts that can be worn from day to night, resulting in promo apparel with mass appeal.