What is gsm and what has it got to do with T-shirts?


Have you noticed that all Feelwear product descriptions include merino weight expressed in gsm? Perhaps you haven’t paid that much attention to it but gsm is actually pretty important.

What is gsm in merino?

GSM stands for grams per square meter. Fabric gsm means weight of one square meter fabric in grams (also known as gm/m2.) Ounce per square yard (oz/sq2) is the imperial measurement which is also commonly used.

GSM value depends on the type of raw materials (wool, silk, etc.) used and on the amount of raw fabric that has gone into making the fabrics. Generally, the thicker the fabric the higher the gsm value. And lower gsm means a thinner fabric.

What is a good weight to consider?

If you want a premium quality T-shirt then a 160-200 gsm item is generally at the very top end of a T-shirt weight and should suitable for you. Thus, a low micron, low weight (100-150 gsm) fabric is best suited for underwear. All merino products made from 160-200 gsm merino will be well suited to worn next to the skin as all year-round basics, but for hot summer weather we recommend shirts from lightweight merino (e.g. T-shirts made from 160 gsm or merino silk blend). Merino wool has unique thermal qualities which keep you warm in winter and cool in summer and that’s why merino is always a good choice. Merino fabric also offers a high degree of UV protection. Read more about the benefits of merino here: 4 reasons to wear merino wool.

Merino is the finest and softest wool there is. No matter whether your shirt is made of 160 or 200 gsm merino, it will still feel soft against your skin – none of that scratchy feeling usually associated with wool. Also, as merino is highly breathable than those thicker T-shirts of around 200 gsm, are perfect for the rather cool summer evenings here in the North and could be worn in the winter period.

If you are looking for a cheaper T-shirt that might not get worn more than a few times, then a 100-110 gsm T-shirt is more than fine. However, you won’t be finding any of these here as all our T-shirts start from 160 gsm and are guaranteed to last. 

Example of 195 gsm women's boatneck in black merino. Perfect for office wear. Example of 230 gsm men's turtleneck in black merino. Perfect for winter wear.
Womens 195 gsm shirt by Feelwear Mens 230 gsm turtleneck by Feelwear

Does the higher weight effect the price?

Yes, of course. Heavier fabrics mean that more raw materials have been used to weave the fabric into its finished state, ready for cutting and sewing. Therefore, it also means higher price for both the fabric and garments. But the quality is worth it.

What if there is no gsm indication? 

All Feelwear products include information about gsm. See it under product specification. In case you are buying from somewhere else then the seller might not know the gsm or they don’t want you to know. In any case, it’s better to ask!

In general, you should always expect a seller to know the fabric weights.

We hope that this makes choosing your perfect T-shirt easier for you. If you have any other questions, then let us know here.

Meanwhile, you can also look at what gsm we have available. See here.

See Feelwear product range here ->