The first step for a successful sublimation printing is finding the best shirts for sublimation. It not only ensures that the end product is of good quality, but also improves the precision of your design.
But how exactly do you find the best options for sublimation t-shirt printing? Well, we have put together the ultimate guide featuring everything you’d ever need to know. Think of it as an informative buyer guide.
Let’s dive in!
What are the best fabric combinations for sublimation?
Can you use any fabric for sublimation? Not really.
You need to choose a fabric that is capable of absorbing the dye, and natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or silk are not very good at that. So, you need to pick fabrics that are made out of synthetic fibers as they are the ones that will give you the best results.
But why is that? Sublimation ink is a water-based dye and during the sublimation printing process, the ink is converted into gas by applying heat and pressure. These gas molecules bond well with man-made fibers, thus transferring the designs permanently.
But when it comes to natural fibers? The bonding is neither strong nor permanent. Moreover, the dye will also wash away very easily, so it is best to steer clear from them.
Among synthetic fabrics, polyester and polyester blends are the best for sublimation printing. 100% polyester t-shirts will give you the highest quality results. Apart from this, polyester blends such as poly-cotton are also excellent!
As a general rule of thumb, the fabric should contain at least 50% polyester to ensure that the design transfers completely to the material. However, unless you want a faded vintage look, you should go for blends that have a higher quantity of polyester. The best blend is one that contains 65% polyester and 35% cotton.
Other man-made fibers such as nylon, rayon, spandex, and lycra also work well with sublimation printing. But they can be burnt easily, so it’s best to test the process on the fabrics beforehand!
Let’s compare polyester and poly-cotton blends, the two best fabrics for sublimation printing.
|100% Polyester||Poly-cotton blends|
|Highest quality sublimation transfers||Chances for uneven or light transfers|
|Prone to pilling and can be bit uncomfortable as a long-time wearable||More comfortable than 100% polyester|
|Best for vibrant color quality||Best for a faded vintage look|
|Moisture wicking properties make it a great choice for athleisure||More breathable than 100% polyester, so they are preferred for everyday use|
Now that you know which fabric combinations are the best, it’s time to take a look at the brands that sell some of the best shirts for sublimation!
Which brands offer the best shirts for sublimation?
When it comes to sublimation, you need to choose blank t-shirts so that your designs are visible. Here are some of the top t-shirt brands that sell both 100% polyester and poly-cotton blends for you to choose from!
- Bella + Canvas
- Next Level
- A4 Apparel
Which are the best shirt colors for sublimation?
Light-colored shirts such as white, gray, or pastel colors are the best for sublimation. Of course, you can sublimate on darker colored shirts, but the designs won’t show up well and the colors may also look different. So, the lighter the shirt color, the more vibrant your design will be.
Sublimation ink is transparent. Moreover, your printer cannot print the color white. and if you have gaps in your designs, the base color of your blank shirt will show up there. So, if you need certain parts of your design to remain white, you should opt for a white shirt.
Where to find blank t-shirts for sublimation?
As a business, it makes sense for you to buy sublimation blanks wholesale as this will help you reduce your costs. Here are some of the places that sell the best t-shirt blanks for sublimation.
Amazon is a popular online marketplace, so it is one of our top choices. You will find several wholesale vendors here and can have your picks of brands including top names such as Gildan and Hanes.
Plus you can sign up on Amazon Business for free and get wholesale bulk discount, but this would need you to have a USA registered business. The platform’s easy return policy as well as access to buyer reviews makes the entire process smooth.
ShirtSpace is a 100% US-based company that offers a wide variety of blanks in various colors at affordable prices. They feature several leading brands such as A4 apparel, Gildan, Bayside USA, Hanes, and Jerzees.
The wholesaler has a very satisfied customer base which is evident from their rating of 4.8/5 on Trustpilot. They have drop-shipping options means no minimum orders, and a free 45-day return policy. Most of their orders ship on the same day, so you can expect a speedy delivery.
Royal Apparel sells clothing in different categories including unisex and kids. They also have a sustainable collection where you can purchase eco-friendly t-shirts. For the best deals, set up a free wholesale account.
You get free shipping for orders over $250 and a 30-day return policy. Their quality is excellent and the t-shirts are really soft. They also offer custom labeling!
#4 Jiffy Shirts
Jiffy Shirts has a consumer rating of 4.78 on SiteJabber and a 4.9 on Trustpilot. It is a reputed wholesaler of blank t-shirts that are perfect for sublimation. They offer both blended as well 100% polyester blanks in several colors.
They stock all the leading brands and give you the option of choosing between four thickness categories. The t-shirts are super soft and don’t have an unnatural sheen to them.
You get free shipping on orders over $59 and a 100-day free return policy!
#5 Blank Apparel
Blank Apparel is a clothing manufacturer that sells the best shirts for sublimation for under $2! You can choose from several leading clothing brands such as Gildan, Jerzees, and Fruit of the Loom.
The quality is excellent for sublimation and you get a wide range of colors to choose from. They also have a 30-day return policy.
In this article, we have covered everything you need to know about choosing the best shirts for sublimation – right from which fabric and color you need to choose to the best brands and where you can buy their products in bulk.
Before you choose a vendor, make sure you check their reviews and read their FAQs carefully.