What is a Middleweight T-Shirt?

Paulina Kulczycki

Let’s talk about t-shirts, baby! But this time not about the special heavyweight ones or the ultralight summer tees. No, this time we want to talk about the most basic among the basics, the midweight tee. By the way, did you even know there was such a thing as a middleweight t-shirt? And what GSM and traits should you be keeping an eye on? At SANVT, we’ll tell you all you need to know to find a perfect essential for those in-between seasons.

Environmentally conscious buyers are paying more attention than ever to the quality of their products. After all, in the era of fast fashion and disposable clothing, true sustainability means quality that lasts a lifetime. And when we talk quality, it's not just about the type and quality of the fabric but also about the GSM – that's grams per square meter. And while heavy fabrics are popular in winter, light fabrics naturally shine in summer. But what about the basic tee made from midweight fabrics for transitional seasons? What is a middleweight t-shirt, and how can we tell if it's good or poor quality? Can we dismiss middleweight t-shirts as boring and irrelevant, or should we recognise them as essential and timeless basics for every season?

What is a middleweight T-Shirt SANVT white t-shirt

Fabric GSM

Before we explain the features of a top-notch midweight tee, let's get familiar with what midweight even means. And for that we need to know all about GSM. The fabric’s GSM determines the fabric's grams per square meter, indicating its density and weight. And of course, different materials yield different GSMs. For example, silk is much lighter per square meter than cotton. But even cotton fabrics can vary significantly in their GSMs. The game-changer here is the weave and density of the fabric, in simpler terms, how tightly those cotton fibres are woven. The general opinion is that a midweight cotton tee should weigh around 130-155 g/m² but, in our humble opinion, that is even less than what a lightweight t-shirt should weigh! We recommend going for a midweight tee with a GSM of 170-185 g/m². To us, that’s the sweet spot for a truly high quality product.

But the GSM doesn’t only determine weight; it also determines how the tee feels, fits, and whether or not the material is see-through and durable. As a rule of thumb, heavier and tightly woven cotton tends to be sturdier and longer lasting than the lighter counterparts. But the quality and length of the cotton fibre matter too. For an absolute premium product, consider a t-shirt made from ELS cotton: Extra Long Staple, a rare variety making up less than 1% of the planet's cotton production. So a top-tier midweight tee isn't just about a GSM of 170-185 g/m², it's also about high-quality craftsmanship from premium materials – preferably ethically and sustainably produced, of course.

What is a middleweight T-Shirt SANVT off white t-shirt

Middleweight T-Shirts

Midweight tees with a GSM of 170-185 g/m² are the ultimate all-season essentials: light enough for summer, yet with a tad more substance and a structured flair compared to the lighter summer tees. They're robust and durable, yet more breathable than the usual heavyweight winter tees. We believe that middleweight t-shirts are an absolute must have in every wardrobe – they serve us not just for transitional seasons but as the foundation for any minimalist style composition, year-round!

Curious about the differences between lightweight and heavyweight tees? Read more here.

What is a middleweight T-Shirt SANVT black t-shirt

The Perfect T-Shirt by SANVT

At SANVT, we're advocates for a basic capsule wardrobe. We firmly believe that if everyone reduced their fashion consumption and built a minimalist wardrobe of timeless, fair and sustainable premium essentials, we could significantly slow down the fashion industry’s ferocious appetite for resources and its growing pressure on climate. And that exactly is our mission! We've specialised in creating perfect basics, crafted with passion and transparency, and refining every essential down to the very last detail.

The Perfect T-Shirt by SANVT – with a GSM of 185 g/m² – is handcrafted in Portugal from 100% Extra Long Staple (ELS) cotton. Our ELS cotton fibres measure a whopping 37mm, which is over 50% longer than the usual run-of-the-mill cotton fibres. It's also the secret for the incredible softness of our tees. But there's more: our cotton fibres are not just longer but also 45% more robust than ordinary cotton. So, our midweight jersey fabric isn't just softer; it's tougher than the competition, maintaining its shape even after countless washes. And let's talk fit: with SANVT’s customisable size system, you can choose not only the width but also the length, with over 21 size combinations to choose a fit that looks flawless!

And the cherry on top? Our premium tee isn't just ethically produced, it's also carbon-neutral. The CO2 emission tag on our tee is a mere 3,4 kilograms, entirely offset by the Bergwaldprojekt e.V. Oberallgäu. A high-quality, timeless product that's environmentally conscious, fair and versatile. Simply put: the ultimate basic amongst the basics.

What is a middleweight T-Shirt SANVT dark green t-shirt

What’s a Middleweight T-Shirt: The Verdict

To wrap it up, a midweight tee is a product in the 130-185 g/m² GSM range. For a better quality and feel, we highly recommend choosing your middleweight t-shirt in the 170-185 g/m² sweet spot. To make sure that your midweight tee is also of high quality, thus lasting longer, pay attention not only to the fabric density but also to the length of the cotton fibres. Opt for premium cotton, ideally made from the rare ELS cotton for that perfect blend of softness and durability. A middleweight t-shirt like The Perfect T-Shirt by SANVT is undoubtedly the perfect essential for every season. With this ideal weight, summer season can come!

Photos by Aziz Lem, Jannik MadsenBola OdusinaChris Fraas

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