What is GSM | GSM in Textile Industry

People must hear about 50-50 T-shirts or an 80-20 T-shirt, which simply shows the ratio of cotton and polyester i.e 50%cotton & 50% Polyester same with 80-20 (80%cotton,20%Polyester). Apart from this, there is a GSM listed on a fabric, does anyone think about, that what does its mean. Well! That’s just a weight of a fabric.

GSM has some acronyms as well, so it's important to know about that also.GSM also is known as gm/2: Grams Per Square Meter and metric measurement of the weight of the fabric. On some clothing items, imperial weight is been marked i.e(OZ or oz/yd2 = ounces per yard squared).

All the above terms are stating the measurements of weight, specifically the fabric weight in case of clothing.

For eg: 2 T-shirts are listed with the measurement: T-shirt 1: 185GSM, T-shirt-2: 5.5oz.  outcome of these are basically the same: 5.5oz = 185gsm

You can compare the conversion of OZ & GSM by using the following calculation

5.5oz x 33.906 = 185.48gsm , 185gsm / 33.906 = 5.45oz

Round Neck Tee

So, the important question arises here is “What is a good GSM”

Well, this will completely depend upon one's requirements and needs. Like in the case of almost all the garments it is based on the fabric weight. If a user wants to use a heavy quality T-shirt then it should be around 180-200gsm, and these items are generally at a very top scale in the weight of a T-shirt, similarly, if the user wants a nic lightweight summerish Tee 130-150gsm could be good enough. And in the same manner, if the user’s need is just a promotional T-shirt, it can cost cheap with 100-110GSM which the user may use a few times.

In the exact similar manner, it works for Hoodies and Sweatshirts. For winter collection it can choose up to 300-400GSM and the same for the summer it may decrease to 200-250gsm.

Does a thicker T-shirt / Hoodie is of better quality and long-lasting?

It really depends on a user, that how you want your garment would be !! If you use your garment on a regular basis then definitely it is recommended to go with thicker or heavyweight or good gsm quality. And if the user wants to use that garment occasionally then it can be 130-150 gsm Tee’s that could be lasted for a year...

As for quality, it is a broad term that always comes from an individual perspective. A designer t-shirt can cost $ 40, but its weight is only 130 g and the unbranded t-shirt costs between 20$ and 190 g.
But in general, the higher the weight of the fabric, which most people assume as of superior quality.

“Higher the Weight, highest the price”, is that so?

Yes; no doubt the higher the weight, the more material is ready to be cut and sewing for fabric weaving

What if there is no fabric weight on the list, that I am looking at?

To be honest, there is no reason for the manufacturer or if looking it up in a catalog not to include the fabric weight of their clothing (especially if it’s a t-shirt, hoodie or sweatshirt) so in this situation, it’s either the seller does not know or they do not want you to know?

If you look at a T-shirt, hoodie, or sweatshirt, the GSM will not be listed anywhere. Ask the seller or the manufacturer. If they do not know or do not answer, this would personally trigger a red flag.
Though if we summarize this, GSM is a fabric weight of any clothing item.