Whether you are into t-shirt printing or customizing a fabric or starting a fashion label, GSM is the technical term used to differentiate a piece of fabric. Do not get this mixed up. GSM is NOT an indicator of fabric quality, and when it comes to t-shirts, GSM indicates the style of fabric. 


The Term GSM:

GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter. If you were to cut a square of fabric one meter by one meter and proceed to weigh it, the weight reflected would be Grams per Square Meter. It is the metrics that establishes the weight of a fabric.


The higher the GSM, the denser the fabric.


Lower GSM t-shirts:

·       Knitted more loosely

·       They would range between 120-150 gsm

·       They would feel: more light weighted, breathable

·       Usually done for: sportswear, summer outfits (to keep one’s body warm)

·       Would loose its shape more easily when washed


Higher GSM t-shirts:

·       Knitted more tightly

·       They would range between 250-400 gsm

·       They would feel: thicker

·       Usually done for: long sleeve t-shirts or hoodies and sweaters

·       More durable and does not lose its shape easily when washed


Thus, this term will help you to choose a desired fabric that is well suited for a certain occasion or even weather in a country. In addition, this same rule applies to towels and other linen materials as well.


To Determine GSM From Ounce Per Square Yard (oz/yd2)

The fastest way to convert GSM to oz/yd2 is simply to divide GSM by 33.906.

And to determine GSM from oz/yd2, simply do the reverse and multiple by 33.906.


Does GSM Affect Pricing?

Even though it is mentioned that GSM is not a clear indicator of quality, however there is almost a direct correlation between GSM and price. Usually, the higher the GSM, the higher the price. The reason is because a higher GSM would require more raw materials of that quality to weave the fabrics together to make the piece of fabric. Thus, if by default, you are already choosing a high quality material, naturally the higher the GSM, the higher the price you would need to pay for.


That is why it is common to see a 300gsm shirt to be priced as more expensive compared to a 120gsm t-shirt (excluding branding price point). In addition, as mentioned above, a heavier fabric is also expected to last longer than a lighter fabric; which would be able to withstand the constant wear and tear or washing done to it.

General Fabric Weight Application:

General Fabric Weight Application chart guide measurements

How Fabric Weight Correlates To Fabric Application

·       Thickness: the heavier the weight, the thicker the fabric

·       Sturdiness: the heavier the weight and fabric, the sturdier the fabric

·       Comfort: the heavier the weight, it means that the fabric will be stiffer, and could mean that the less comfortable it will be to put the fabric on (therefore, getting a mid-weight fabric would be a good compromise)