The Best Shirts For Sublimation (Blends & Materials!)

Sublimation printing uses heat to fuse fabric and ink. Sublimation printing is gaining popularity because it allows designers to print full color images that will not crack or peel onto garments and other surfaces. 

Although this unique printing process offers many advantages, it is not the only one. other printing stylesSublimation printing can only be used on certain fabrics.

So which shirts are best for sublimation?

Generally, shirts made from polyester or a polyester blend are the best choice, and the higher the percentage of polyester, the better results you’ll get.

That said, it’s important to know what kind of fabrics to avoid, too. 

What is Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation printing uses heat to fuse designs and images to fabrics.

Before we explain which sublimation materials and blends offer the best results, let’s take a quick look at the basics of sublimation printing.

Sublimation printing is the process of printing a digital design onto a special type of paper called sublimation.

After placing the order, sublimation paper Place the shirt on top in the desired spot. A sublimation printer heats the shirt, and the paper to the correct temperature, turning the ink into gasoline. 

After the temperature drops, the ink becomes a solid and can be fused onto the shirt fabric.

Controlled heat and pressure combine to fuse gaseous dye to the surface of fabric items such as a shirt or hoodie.

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The Advantages of Sublimation Printering

Sublimation printing produces bolder, more lasting results than other printing methods.

Sublimation printing is a more permanent method of printing designs than any other.

Sublimation printing allows for designs to be incorporated to clothing and are less likely to fade. 

Since the printing process can occur quickly and allows for plenty of detail, it’s very popular with T-shirt businesses looking to create bold and colorful designs.

Sublimation printing also allows you to print large designs onto clothing. You can print from seams to seam across the entire outer layer of a shirt.

This practice is so common that sublimation printing is sometimes referred to as ‘All Over Printing’ in the T-shirt printing industry. You can even use sublimation printing. sublimation printing on mugs!

Sublimation printing is a great way to print large, intricate designs that won’t crack, peel or fade.

Sublimation printing has its downfalls, however.

The Problem with Sublimation Printers

Sublimation printing doesn’t work well on colored fabrics. Sublimation printing is best done in white or other neutral colors.

Unfortunately, a sublimation printer Only certain fabrics work. Printing on shirts must be done with polyester or another synthetic fiber.

WARNING: These materials will cause the shirt to not stick properly and will result in dull, faded designs.

Sublimation printing should only be done on white fabrics. This means that any part of the shirt that is not exposed to the gaseous should be kept away from the gaseous. sublimation ink It will remain white.

Keep this in mind Unintentional white spots may occur if the shirt gets slightly wrinkled or folded during sublimation.

Simple explanation: Sublimation printing will work well on white shirts made with synthetic materials and blends, but not on 100% cotton.

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The Best Shirts For Sublimation Printing

Polyester blends and other synthetic materials are the best shirts for sublimation.

Now that you know a little bit more about sublimation printing, let’s take a look at some of the best shirts for sublimation.

1. Shirts made from Polyester Blends (Best to use)

For sublimation printing, shirt made from polyester or polyester blends is the best choice. Sublimation dyes and inks will form the strongest bonds to polyester molecules.

This will make the printed polyester shirt less prone to fading and also ensure that the design is crisp and colorful. 

It goes without saying that a 100% polyester shirt isn’t very practical.

The material They would be uncomfortable and susceptible to peeling after washing. That is why shirts made with a polyester blend are the best option for sublimation.

With that said, you’ll need a blend that contains a high percentage of polyester if you want the best results.

We recommend that polyester blends contain at least 5%. Minimum 40% polyester fiber. A higher concentration of polyester would allow for greater detail and crisper colors.

2. Shirts made from Lycra, Nylon, and Other Synthetic Materials 

Shirts made of other materials synthetic blends This is also great for sublimation printing.

The sublimation process is effective if the shirt contains high amounts of nylon, lycra or spandex.

Just make sure you’re using man-made material for your sublimation projects rather than a shirt made mostly of natural fibers, as these types of shirts often fade prematurely. 

3. 100% Cotton Shirts (Least Long-lasting Option)

It’s possible to use sublimation printing on a cotton shirt or garment, but you have to make sure that you use the right types of dyes. To ensure that the ink adheres to the shirt properly, you may need to apply a pretreatment.

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A cotton-poly blend that contains a reasonable amount of the synthetic materials above will work.

Just remember that there’s a very high probability that the shirt will fade Blends with high levels of polyester or other synthetic materials are much more efficient.

Some sublimation projects can be made from a blend of cotton and polyester, but they are not always the best. colors will be somewhat faded. The shirt will only be sublimated if it is made of half the fibers.

Printing on a garment that’s a cotton blend means that you lose some of the color you would get by printing on a shirt that was made from a fabric with a higher polyester percentage.

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