With technology advancing day by day, sublimation printing on shirts has become a very profitable business. Moreover, it is very cheap and easy to start. You can do it sitting at home with ease.
Now, when you have stepped into the business of sublimating shirts, you will be wondering about the best t-shirts possible for sublimation printing.
Do not worry, and you can quickly get your hands on some of the best shirts available for sublimation in the market. All that matters is the blend and composition of the shirt. As long as you have covered it, you can find yourself the best t-shirts available for sublimation.
What are the best shirts for sublimation in 2022?
The best shirts for sublimation are made up of at least 65% polyester. This is necessary to embed the sublimation ink permanently on the shirt, and polymers are vital and abundant in polyester. An ideal shirt for sublimation would be a 100% polyester shirt.
Further ahead in this article, you will get familiar with the best polyester shirt composition and the best brands that produce shirts ideal for sublimation orienting. So, read till the end to learn about them.
Features that make a shirt best for sublimation
Various factors and characteristics of a shirt make it vital and the best shirt to sublimate on. The shirts lacking these characteristics can not be said to have the ability to be sublimated. These features that make a shirt best for sublimation include;
The durability of the shirt:
The durability of a shirt is of foremost importance in making a shirt best for sublimation printing. Without the shirt’s durability, no sublimation print design can last long. Eventually, the design will start to fade and form cracks in it.
That is why you should always choose a shirt with outstanding durability and a high amount of polymers.
The wearability of the shirt:
The wearability of the best tees for sublimation also plays a vital role in making a shirt ideal for sublimation printing. If you do not wish to wear a shirt, imprinting a design on it will waste time and money.
Mostly polyester shirts stick to wet skin and are irritating to wear. So, that is why always choose a shirt with more wearability than others.
If there are such types of shirts available, you will not have to spend money repeatedly to buy new shirts for sublimation with every change in environment. So, keep this point in mind.
Best Shirts for Sublimation printing
When you are ready for sublimation printing and are equipped with all the things like sublimation printer, sublimation ink, and sublimation paper etc, then you should pay attention to the composition of the best sublimation t-shirts. The best t-shirts available for sublimation in the market fall into two categories. These categories are;
The 100% polyester shirts for sublimation are considered to be the ideal shirts for sublimation printing. This is because the polymers in these shirts can open their pores as soon as they are exposed to a certain amount of heat.
It allows the sublimation ink to embed in the shirt’s fabric perfectly. Their pores quickly close when they are cooled, imprinting the design firmly on the shirt. Some of the best polyester shirts that you can get for yourself include;
A4 Sublimation shirts:
It is the best 100% polyester shirt available on online markets like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc. Although they are a little costly, they can bring out the full potential of printing.
It can also enhance the visual quality of your design on the shirt. But, it is not preferred because it often gets stuck to wet skin and hinders breathing.
Jerzees M21 are also good shirts to use for sublimation printing. Their composition is also 100% polyester, but they have the property of not getting stuck with wet skin. They are often called sweatshirts because they act as heat insulators and are cotton-like.
Next level shirts:
Although the blend and composition of these shirts is a mixture of polyester and cotton, they have a dye sublimation capability on par with 100% polyester shirts. They are made up of 65% polyester and 35% cotton.
Their only downfall is that they often get stuck to the skin and irritate them. Otherwise, they are the ideal shirts for dye-sublimation printers.
Shirts with a composition of polyester blends are also perfect for sublimation printing. But, there is a necessity for at least 65 polyester shirts for sublimation involved in the blend of the shirts. This is because the amount of polyester below this amount will decrease the durability and quality of the sublimation print on the shirt.
Bella Canvas shirts:
Bella canvas shirts for sublimation are also included in the best t-shirts for sublimation. Their properties are very resembling polyester shirts. The only difference is that they have polyester, rayon, cotton, etc., in their blend.
Bella canvas shirts are supposed to be one of the best sublimation shirts because of the durability of the prints on them. On the other hand, the quality is not as good as polyester shirts. The major types of Bella Canvas shirts include;
Bella Canvas flowy:
Bella Canvas flowy is one of the best t-shirts for sublimation because its composition is 65% polyester and 35% viscose. These two materials can firmly adhere the sublimation ink to the shirt. Moreover, they are much more easily found than other polyester shirts.
Bella Canvas slub:
Bella Canvas slub is a shirt that comprises 50% polyester, 37.5% cotton, and 12.5% rayon. The designs on these shirts are more exposed to the risk of fading, but they show very excellent quality embedded designs.
Bella Canvas tri-blend:
This type of Bella Canvas shirt has more cotton and rayon than its Slub type. Its composition includes 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon. They make it easier for the breathing process and are very soft.
Moreover, due to the less amount of cotton and higher amount of rayon, the final product of sublimation prints turns out to be exceptionally well prepared.
Cotton shirts are not as effective as polyester shirts for the dye sublimation printing process. But, they give excellent quality of the imprinted design on the shirt. The vibrance and clarity are unmatched in the field of dye sublimation printing.
The only problem is the incompatibility of sublimation ink with a cotton shirt. Still, you can solve this issue by using some of the several pre-treatments available in the market for your sublimation ink.
These are currently the best available blank shirts for sublimation dyes printing. If you want to increase the effectiveness of sublimation prints on shirts, you will have to increase the number of polymers as much as you can for a firm and durable design.
For the color quality of the design, you should always try to increase the amount of cotton and rayon in the shirt. But, make sure to keep the amount of rayon comparatively high compared to the amount of cotton. By doing this, you can even make your own best t-shirts for dye sublimation dyes printing sitting at home.
How to take care of sublimation shirts?
After you are done with sublimating your shirt, it is time for you to take utmost care of it to make it last a much longer time for sublimation transfers.
There are several steps you should follow to keep your sublimated shirt safe from damage and to keep its design intact for a much longer time. These steps include;
- Never wash your shirt with hot water. This is because the water temperature will open up the pores of the shirt, releasing the sublimation ink and ruining the design.
- If you use washing chemicals for your laundry, use them in small amounts for sublimated shirts. If you use them in high amounts, they will react with the sublimation ink disorienting the imprint.
- Do not wash colored and white shirts together. This is because if any of the colors dissolve in water, it will undoubtedly mix up with the molecules of other shirts.
- It would help if you always preferred hanging the washed sublimated shirts for drying purposes instead of machines because machines expose the ink of the shirts to the danger of disconnecting.
- Refrain from using chemicals like bleaches for removing slight stains from the sublimated t-shirts.
- Do not use hangers made of metals to hang the sublimated t-shirts because the metal’s outer layer will probably react with the chemicals of sublimated ink. So, always use wooden or plastic hangers.
- Never get your sublimated shirts dry cleaned because it will lessen the amount of ink in the shirt, releasing some of it from the t-shirt.
- Keep your sublimated shirts in a cool and dry place to avoid any dysfunction of sublimation ink in the design of the sublimated shirts.
Following these steps, you can keep your sublimated t-shirt away from the danger of fading, cracking, ghosting, etc., increasing the run time of the sublimated shirt to great extents.
What material shirt is best for sublimation?
A t-shirt with 100% polyester will probably work best for sublimation printing. The more polymer is in a t-shirt. More durable and high-quality designs will be embedded in the shirt. Otherwise, you can also use shirts with a high poly-cotton ratio.
Remember, polyester and polymers are the keys to producing durable and suitable designs on shirts.
What color shirts work best for sublimation printing?
White-colored shirts are supposed to be the best color for sublimation printing. They are considered up for the job because no additional colors can hinder the imprinted design. Their plain and clean surface allows the sublimation prints to be embedded more effectively and turn out to be attractive. The best Gildan shirts for sublimation also have good colors.
Can you sublimate on a Gray shirt?
You can do sublimation on a grey t-shirt, but it will not turn out to be as practical and attractive as other shirts. This is due to the darker surface of the shirt, and the designs imprinted on it look a bit greenish, ruining the print and the t-shirt itself. So, it is not recommended to do sublimation printing on Grey shirts.
Why does my sublimation on t-shirts look faded?
The sublimation prints on a t-shirt look somewhat faded and disoriented because of the effect of abnormal temperature and pressure provided by the apparatus. Another reason could be the composition of the t-shirt.
If there are multiple components in a t-shirt with polyester less than 60%, the prints will fade because there are no abundant polymers on shirts on which the sublimation ink can adhere.
Why is my sublimation not vibrant?
One of the primary reasons for the sublimation print being not vibrant is the design being imprinted on the wrong side of the sublimation paper, making the print look a little faded and with non-vibrant colors.
To avoid such situations, almost all the sublimation papers come with a watermark to designate the place and side of the sublimation paper for the print.
If you are a beginner in the field of sublimation printing, then you should give a 100% polyester t-shirt a try for sublimation. Even so, the choice of shirt is entirely up to you once you know about the main features required and the best t-shirts available for /sublimation printing.