Decorated Apparel Market


To find the distribution of the decorated apparel market by material type.

Early Findings

  • According to one printing company, at least 20 fabric types can be used for decoration. These include typical fabrics like cotton, polyester and jersey and less-known ones like knits, twill and sueded fleece. However, nothing in this article states which types are the most common across the industry.
  • This market research report from Radiant Insights claims to discuss the market by material, but not enough information was available in the free preview to gain any useful insights for these Early Findings.
  • As per previous years, the market is still being largely driven by graphic t-shirts. Cotton is traditionally the most common material used for making t-shirts, so it stands to reason that cotton overall would have a large market share in the decorated apparel industry.
  • This infographic shows that other common decorated apparel types are bags, hats, sweatshirts, polos and sports apparel.
  • (Baseball) hats are usually made from wool, wool blend or sometimes cotton blend. Polyester is becoming more popular, as it is cheaper.
  • Sweatshirts are usually made from polyester or a poly-cotton blend.
  • Polos are usually made from pique or jersey material. Pique is usually cotton or poly-cotton, whereas jersey is usually wool, cotton or synthetic.
  • Sports apparel can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton, microfiber (a type of polyester), spandex, synthetic, bamboo, Gore-Tex, polyester, nylon and neoprene.
  • It seems that the most popular material types used for decorated apparel are going to be polyester (and its various derivatives and sub-types), cotton and wool.


  • We found some proprietary research from one of our data partners which may be helpful:
  • Global Decorated Apparel Market — By Printing Technique, By Product Type, By Region, By Country: Trends, Opportunities and Forecasts (Azoth Analytics, $1,800)
  • If you'd like us to purchase this report on your behalf, just let us know!

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.
Our Early Findings triangulated some possible candidates for the most common materials used in the decorated apparel industry. We were unable to find any publicly available data giving exact breakdowns or percentages. We propose continuing down this research path to explore further, and possibly triangulate, the estimated market share held by certain materials in the industry. We propose trying to find market research which gives a breakdown of the market share of the decorated apparel market by garment (t-shirts, hats, polos, and so on) and then from there, we can find or triangulate further the rough ratio of materials used to manufacture those garment types. If this research path is not possible, we will keep digging to describe as close as possible how the market is segmented by material type.
Alternatively, we can also dig into finding 2-3 key trends in the global decorated apparel market. For each, we would describe the trend, what makes it a trend and 1-2 companies exemplifying the trend.