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Product

Description

Where to Buy?

Product

Jerzees 21MR Sports Performance T-Shirt

Description

Best Overall

Where to Buy?

Product

Next Level Triblend T- shirt

Description

The Comfort King

Where to Buy?

Product

Gildan Performance T- shirt

Description

The Summer Bestie

Where to Buy?

Product

Bella Canvas Triblend

Description

Great Comfort, But Not Recommended for Sublimation

Where to Buy?

Best Sublimation Printers

Best Overall

Jerzees 21MR Sports Performance T-Shirt

The Comfort King

Next Level Triblend T- shirt

The Summer Bestie

Gildan Performance T- shirt

Great Comfort, But Not Recommended for Sublimation

Bella Canvas Triblend

Are you dreaming of creating stunning sublimated shirts? And so you ask: “What shirts are best for sublimation?” To avoid issues such faded colors or damage during the wash, it is crucial that you select the right materials. This guide cuts through the noise to highlight top shirt choices for vivid and durable sublimation prints. Expect to find specifics on fabrics and styles that promise not just quality, but also comfort.

Before we get into the review, lets discuss why you should rely on my review? Well, my website offers a world of resources on the sublimation craft, and I bring to you products that are well-researched. Where tests have been performed on the shirts, I have highlighted those in my review.

Sneak Peek into the Top-Performing Shirts for Sublimation

As adventurers in the land of sublimation printing, we’re always on the hunt for the crème de la crème of the best shirts. To answer what material is used for making sublimation shirts, the best shirts for sublimation are those which have high polyester content (preferably 100%), although a blend of polyester and cotton shirts can also work.

In my opinion, the best shirt for sublimation is the Jerzees 21MR Sports Performance t-shirt, which you can find here. I began with a summary of my top recommendations in the table above. Following is a detailed review of each of these products.

Gildan Performance T-Shirt – The Summer Bestie

Sublimation shirt in front of a heat press machine in workroom

So here is my first pick from the list – Gildan Men’s 100% Polyester Performance T-shirt. You can view the t-shirt here.

The t-shirt is manufactured from 100% polyester.

This shirt was tested as part of a sublimation test on a number of shirts. After lint rolling, the shirt was pressed at 400 degrees for 60 seconds, followed by a second press for 60 seconds. Being 100% polyester, the results came out really vibrant and beautiful, and even after washing, the designs were great given the fabric composition.

Pros:

  • This t-shirt boasts a number of success stories in regards to its comfort and quality
  • Its moisture wicking capabilities will keep you cool and dry – this t-shirt is a great option for hot summer days
  • Paper indent during sublimation process is unlikely
  • Produces great sublimation results and does well in the wash
  • Affordable t-shirt that provides a great value for your money

Cons:

  • Potential slight fading of colors
  • Feel is not as great as the 100% polyester Jerzees option, or any of the non-100% polyester options

In the sea of sublimation shirts, the Gildan Performance t-shirt stands as your best friend on a hot summer’s day. Its 100% polyester material makes it a great choice for sublimation, in addition to keeping you cool and comfortable, especially in warmer weather.

Overall, this shirt is definitely a good choice for sublimation, with great designs and success in the wash.

Now its time for my quantitative assessment against key factors:

  • Print Quality: 4.5/5
  • Wash Results: 4.5/5
  • Feel: 4/5

Cricut T-shirt – The Ultimate Choice

Workroom features shirt for sublimation in front of printer

No discussion on shirts for sublimation can be complete without this one – the Cricut T-Shirt Blank, Crew Neck, which you can find here.

These crew-neck t-shirts are suitable to be used with with infusible ink transfer sheets, pens and markers. You can purchase them in a number of styles and sizes. You can read my article on the use of infusible ink pens on paper for sublimation. Its time for us to move to the pros and cons!

Pros:

  • Most affordable choice on my list of recommendations
  • Great number of sublimation success stories, with vibrant results
  • Unlikely to shrink or lose colors during the wash
  • Offer a high level of comfort and softness to the skin

Cons:

  • There might be issues with size and fit

So now let us take a step back and take a look at Cricut shirts from a bird’s eye view. Are these shirts best for sublimation? My conclusion: absolutely. Not only are they offered at a great price, they boast a high level of quality and comfort and feel great to the skin. Moreover, they produce great results when sublimated, and are not likely to face issues in the wash. To avoid issues with size and fit, I would recommend you pay attention when selecting the size and fit at time of purchase.

None of my reviews are complete before a quantitative analysis, based on decision making factors:

  • Print Quality: 5/5
  • Fabric Comfort: 4.8/5
  • Ability to withstand the wash: 4.8/5
  • Size and fit: 3.5/5
  • Affordability: 5/5

Bella Canvas Tri-Blend T-Shirt

A sublimation workroom features two polyester shirts and a printer

Here’s to the next item I will discuss from my list – the Bella Canvas Perfect Tri-Blend Fashionable T-Shirt. You can view this item here.

The Bella Canvas Tri-Blend T-Shirt is made from 50% polyester.

I will first highlight the results of the sublimation and wash test. The test is the same as that performed above for the Gildan t-shirt. In terms of pressing the sublimation design, there was ink seepage and colors were more subdued than the other t-shirts on this list. After the wash, the Bella Canvas Tri-Blend looked good, though having a more vintage wash feeling. In terms of feel, this shirt performed the best.

Pros:

  • Renowned for quality and soft feel on the skin. Best feel compared to other shirts on this list.
  • High level of comfort to the wearer
  • Does a pretty decent job in the wash despite low polyester content

Cons:

  • Low polyester content – resulted in ink seepage and subdued colors
  • Risk of shrinkage in the wash

Overall, it is recommended that your shirts for sublimation should have at least 65% polyester. I decided to include a discussion on these t-shirts as they do come up under the discussion of sublimation shirts, however, I would not really recommend you use these tri blend shirts to be used for sublimation due to their low polyester content. While these shirts excel in the realm of comfort and feel given the cotton material, and offer a good combination of quality and price, they might not really suited to your sublimation projects.

Lets take a look at my quantitative ratings for this t-shirt:

  • Print Quality: 3.5/5
  • Feel: 5/5
  • Wash Results: 4/5

Jerzees 21MR Sport Performance T-Shirt – Best Overall

Several polyester shirts on display in a sublimation workroom

The next pick on my list is the Jerzees 21MR Sports Performance T-Shirt, which you can view here.

The t-shirt boasts 100% polyester fibers materials, and is found in a wide array of colors, including a white shirt. Let us examine some of the upsides and downsides of the t-shirt.

Let us first take a look at the test results – the test is same as that which was performed on the t-shirts above. The sublimation results were the best overall, being very bright and vibrant. After the wash, the Jerzees t-shirt still looked fantastic, while at the same time having a really great, soft feel.

Pros:

  • Ideal for sublimation with vibrant, long-lasting prints
  • Offers a high level of comfort to the wearer
  • Does a great job in the wash

The Jerzees shirt is definitely a great choice for sublimation. It combines the best of both worlds – 100% polyester makes it great for sublimation, while offering a nice and comfortable feel at the same time.

I will now move on to my quantitative assessment:

  • Print Quality: 4.7/5
  • Feel: 4.5/5
  • Wash Results: 4.5/5

Next Level Triblend – The Comfort King

Sublimation shirt blanks and printer in a workroom

So now we move on to the next shirt on my list – the Next Level Triblend T-shirt, which you can view here.

This shirt is manufactured from 65% polyester content.

I will begin by highlighting the results of tests performed on this shirt – the tests are the same as the t-shirts above. The sublimation results are pretty good though perhaps a bit subdued. After the wash, this t-shirt looked great – it has a good balance. It has a great feel, similar to the Bella Canvas, while having a higher polyester content, making it easier to hold on to dye.

Pros:

  • Provides pretty good results despite not being a 100% polyester shirt
  • Does a decent job in the wash
  • Soft and comfortable

Cons:

  • Colors likely more subdued than 100% polyester shirts

Overall, the Next Level Triblend is a great non-100% polyester option for sublimation. Comfortable and soft, it has a reasonable polyester content to support sublimation. I recommend this to those looking for a really comfortable shirt and are willing to compromise somewhat on the sublimation results.

Quantitative ratings:

  • Print Quality: 4.2/5
  • Feel: 4.9/5
  • Wash Results: 4.2/5

The Ultimate T-Shirt Pick for Sublimation

So now that we’ve gone through the detailed reviews, its time for a decision – what, after all, is the best choice? Let me summarize the findings of the test results that I discussed above for you. In terms of the vibrancy of colors from pressing the sublimation designs, the Jerzees 100% t-shirt performed the best, followed by the Gildan 100% polyester, the Next Level 65% polyester Triblend and then the Bella Canvas Triblend. In terms of wash results, Gildan and Jerzees 100% polyester were best, followed by the Next Level 65% polyester and then the 50% polyester Bella Canvas Triblend. In terms of feel, the Bella Canvas was the winner, followed by the Next Level Triblend, the Jerzees and then Gildan.

I would recommend the Next Level Triblend to those who are in the search for a high level of comfort while willing to compromise a bit on the color vibrancy due to lower than 100% polyester content. You can find this t-shirt here. Overall, I believe the Jerzees 21MR Sports Performance t-shirt is the best shirt for sublimation on this list – it combines a good level of comfort and feel with vibrant designs and great performance in the wash. You can find the t-shirt here.

Navigating the World of Sublimation Shirts – A Comprehensive Guide

Sublimation shirt in front of printer in workroom

Embarking on the journey of sublimation printing is akin to exploring a new frontier in the realm of custom apparel. But the path to perfect prints is not just about choosing a design; it’s also about selecting the right shirt as your canvas, using a reliable sublimation printer, and understanding sublimation transfers. The world of sublimation shirts is vast and varied, and navigating it requires a keen eye for detail and an understanding of the subtle nuances that affect the end result.

Wearability is a cornerstone of the ideal sublimation shirt. It’s not just about how the print looks but also how the shirt feels when worn. Comfort is paramount, and factors like moisture resistance and fabric quality significantly influence the wearer’s experience and the longevity of the print. Moreover, as we become more conscious consumers, eco-friendliness has emerged as an essential consideration. Sublimation printing, with its minimal production waste and adaptable process, offers a greener alternative to traditional printing methods.

Maintaining the quality of a sublimation shirt also comes down to care. Proper laundering and handling can drastically extend the life of both the fabric and the print, ensuring that your favorite shirt remains a favorite for years to come. Whether you’re a business owner looking for promotional wear or an artist expressing yourself through fashion, understanding these factors will guide you to the perfect shirt for your sublimation needs.

Summary

Workroom features heat press machine with sublimation shirt blanks

We’ve journeyed through a world where fabric meets fantasy, exploring the best shirts for sublimation printing that 2024 has to offer. Each shirt has its stage to shine, catering to a spectrum of styles, needs, and preferences. The key to unlocking the full potential of sublimation lies not only in the design but in choosing the right shirt that embodies durability, comfort, and quality.

As you stand at the crossroads of creativity and innovation, remember that the shirt you choose is more than just a garment; it’s a canvas for your imagination. Embrace the colors, the textures, the possibilities—and let your designs take flight on the wings of sublimation printing. May your prints be vibrant, your shirts be comfortable, and your style be timeless. Don’t miss our guide on choosing suitable sweatshirts and hoodies for sublimation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What shirt material is best for sublimation?

The best shirt material for sublimation is polyester, as it has the ability to hold and retain vibrant colors, making it ideal for the sublimation process. A blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton can also be used for sublimation.

Can you sublimate on 50 cotton 50 polyester?

Yes, you can sublimate on a 50% cotton/50% polyester blend, but keep in mind that the colors may not be as vibrant as they would be on 100% polyester. After washing, the fabric may have a faded look.

Can you use Gildan shirts for sublimation?

Yes, Gildan shirts can be used for sublimation, especially the 100% polyester ones with wicking and antimicrobial properties. It’s important to check the polyester/cotton ratio for specific colors to ensure successful sublimation.

What is the best brand of shirt to sublimate on?

Among best brands of shirts to sublimate on are Jerzees and Next Level. Their shirts are perfect for sublimation printing due to their polyester content. Make sure you select the correct shirt from these brands.

How do I ensure my sublimation prints last longer?

To ensure your sublimation prints last longer, use 100% polyester fabric, pre-wash the shirts, and follow specific washing instructions such as using cold water and air drying. This will help maintain the quality of your prints for a longer time.