Top 5 Best Shirts for Sublimation with Quality and Durability

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Sublimation printing has become increasingly popular for producing vibrant, full-color designs on various items, particularly clothing. This printing process involves turning a solid directly into a gas without passing through the liquid phase, allowing the ink to fuse with the fabric effectively for a long-lasting print. Shirts intended for sublimation need to be suitable for the method to ensure the quality and durability of the print.

To achieve the best results with sublimation printing, the choice of shirt is critical. The fabric should predominantly be composed of polyester or a polyester blend, as sublimation ink does not adhere well to natural fibers like cotton. A high polyester content allows for the most vivid and sharp print results. Additionally, the color of the shirt is imperative; white or very light-colored shirts are preferred as they serve as a blank canvas ensuring the true colors of the design come through.

When selecting shirts for sublimation, it’s also essential to consider the weight and weave of the fabric. A tight weave provides a smooth surface that can enhance the detail of the print. The weight of the fabric may affect the feel of the shirt as well as the quality of the print, with lighter materials often yielding a more comfortable feel, especially in warm climates.

In our thorough research and practical testing, we’ve examined various shirt options to determine which are best suited for high-quality sublimation printing. We focused on fabric composition, color, weight, and weave, along with overall build quality to identify shirts that not only accept sublimation ink well but also offer comfort and longevity.

Top Shirts for Sublimation

In our search for the best shirts suitable for sublimation, we’ve paid close attention to quality and material to ensure vibrant and long-lasting prints. We understand the importance of a smooth, clean surface that can handle the heat transfer process. Our selected shirts not only meet these criteria but also offer comfort and style for personal or commercial use.

1. Cricut Crew Neck XL

If you’re into sublimation, grabbing one of these shirts should definitely be on your to-do list.


  • The colors really jump off the fabric after sublimation.
  • It fits snugly and enhances the look of our shoulders and torso.
  • The canvas fabric retains its softness even after machine washing.


  • Some may find they need to order a size up for the perfect fit.
  • Not suitable for tie-dyeing, only sublimation.
  • The shirt’s sizing can run small which may not suit everyone.

Stepping out with a freshly sublimated design on this Cricut Men’s T-Shirt, the results are vibrant. The colors stand out in a way that brings our artwork to life. It’s especially satisfying to see how clear and vivid the images appear after pressing.

The shirt’s overall fit is impressive, as it sits comfortably and roomy on a frame like ours, 5’9 and 200 lbs, without any tightness. This aspect makes it more than just a sublimation blank; it’s stylish enough to wear casually.

After multiple washes, we’re pleased with how well the fabric holds up. The care instructions are straightforward, and the shirt comes out of the laundry just as soft as before. It’s a reliable blank that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for functionality.

2. ComfortBlend T-Shirts

If you’re searching for a reliable shirt for sublimation, this Hanes pack is a strong choice for its comfort and printability.


  • Holds up well after multiple washes
  • Maintains shape and fit over time
  • Balanced price point for the quality provided


  • May fit tighter around chest and waist for some
  • Presence of tags despite being advertised as tagless
  • Length may come up short for taller individuals

After trying out these Hanes shirts for a recent sublimation project, we were quite satisfied with the results. The fabric held the ink exceptionally well, which is key for a sharp and vibrant finish. We’ve also noticed that even after several washes, the colors stay true without any noticeable fading, and the shirts don’t shrink much, which is a common issue with other brands.

Comfort is another highlight. While wearing them throughout the day, we experienced a soft feel and appreciated the breathable quality of the material, especially in humid conditions. This kind of comfort is crucial when you’re working long hours on your sublimation projects.

We’ve to admit, though, we encountered a few downsides. The fit was a bit snug for our liking in certain areas, particularly around the chest, which might be something to consider if you prefer a looser fit. Despite the product being advertised as tagless, we found tags on our shirts, which was a minor irritation. Lastly, for anyone who’s tall, the length might be shorter than expected.

Through our use, the Hanes ComfortBlend T-Shirts proved to be a dependable option for sublimation projects. They balance cost and quality effectively, making them a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to create custom apparel.

3. Gildan Performance T-Shirt

For sublimation enthusiasts seeking comfort and value, these shirts are a reliable choice.


  • Holds color well after sublimation
  • Comfortable for everyday wear
  • Excellent value for a 2-pack


  • Sizing may run smaller than expected
  • Material is on the thinner side
  • Only received one shirt in some orders

Sublimation printing on these Gildan Men’s Moisture Wicking Polyester T-Shirts yields vibrant colors that pop. We noticed the 100% polyester fabric retains the dye well, presenting a clear, crisp image that doesn’t fade easily even after multiple washes. The moisture-wicking aspect is an added bonus, keeping us dry and comfortable throughout the day.

As someone with an active lifestyle, I appreciate the breathability of these shirts. Whether layering them under other garments or wearing them standalone on a jog, the lightweight material feels almost like a second skin. The care is simple too; just toss them in the machine wash without worrying about deterioration.

However, it’s important to note the sizing can be tricky. Our experience suggests opting for a size larger than you normally would, as they tend to be snug, especially after washing. As much as we love the softness, the fabric is somewhat thin, which could be a concern for those seeking a thicker shirt for protection from elements like the sun. Lastly, a few of us encountered an issue with the pack count; expecting two shirts as advertised but receiving only one. This discrepancy is something to watch out for when ordering.

4. Joe’s USA DRI-EQUIP Tee

If you engage in sports or any activity that leaves you sweating, this tee is the perfect gear to keep you comfortably dry.


  • Moisture-wicking fabric keeps you dry during intense activities
  • Roomy fit allows for excellent mobility
  • Durable and retains shape after washing


  • May not flatter those who prefer a snug fit
  • Some users reported minor durability issues over time
  • Limited style and design – strictly functional

From personal experience, the Joe’s USA DRI-EQUIP Tee has been a reliable companion during our rigorous workout sessions. Its moisture-wicking ability is impressive, readily soaking up sweat and making it ideal for those high-intensity moments. True to description, the lightweight polyester feels soft and comfortably stretchy without being restrictive.

Every time we’ve worn it, the shirt has maintained its shape and quality, making it a mainstay in our athletic lineup. Plus, it’s a breeze to clean, standing up well to regular machine washing without any noticeable wear. Its performance-driven design prioritizes function, making sure you stay focused on your training rather than on your attire.

The roomy fit highlighted in the product’s description isn’t just for show—it’s integral to keeping us unconstrained as we move. However, it’s important to keep in mind that while the fit works well for action, it’s not designed to enhance physique, so it’s best worn for what it’s meant for: sport and active use. Despite coming across a couple of remarks about minor issues with durability, we’ve yet to face anything that would deter us from making this a recommended purchase for anyone in need of an all-sport training tee.

5. Bella Canvas Tri-Blend Tee

For a mix of comfort and style in sublimation projects, this tee won’t disappoint.


  • Exceptionally comfortable with a soft texture
  • Maintains shape and design after multiple washes
  • Unisex sizing caters to a wide audience


  • Slightly translucent material can be an issue for some
  • May not be suitable for cold weather as fabric is quite light
  • Limited opacity reduces versatility

Recently, we got our hands on the Bella Canvas Tri-Blend Tee and were impressed by how soft it felt. Despite numerous machine washes, it holds the color and shape remarkably well. Whether you’re running errands or crafting personalized tees, this shirt fits comfortably, retaining its stylish modern cut.

We appreciated the thought behind the unisex sizing. It broadened the spectrum of customers we could cater to with our sublimation designs. The polyester blend facilitated a clean and vibrant transfer of images, which is a huge plus for any sublimation enthusiast.

On the downside, we noticed the fabric was a bit thinner than expected; the white variant, in particular, may require an undershirt for those seeking more coverage. As for its lightweight build, it’s perfect for spring and fall, but layering might be needed in cooler weather.

Overall, the Bella Canvas Tri-Blend Tee served us well, offering a good printing surface for sublimation and proving to be a comfortable wear.

Buying Guide

Fabric Quality

When we select shirts for sublimation, the quality of the fabric is paramount. We look for a high polyester content, as this ensures vibrant colors and clear images post-printing. Ideally, a 100% polyester shirt facilitates optimal ink absorption and longevity of the design.

Weave and Texture

The weave of the fabric impacts the sublimation process. A tightly woven texture generally provides a better surface for the ink to transfer onto, leading to sharper images. We should aim for a smooth finish, as this will reflect in the quality of the printed design.

Shirt Color

Preferred ColorsReasons
White or LightEnhances image visibility and color accuracy

Sublimation works best on white or very light-colored shirts. We avoid darker fabrics because they can prevent the true colors of the sublimation ink from showing through.

Sizing and Fit

We should consider the sizing options available to ensure they meet our needs. The fit of the shirt affects the end result, as sublimation designs can stretch and distort on a poorly fitted garment.

Price Point

While we often equate price with quality, we should seek a balance between affordability and the features we require. We determine our budget and assess whether the shirt’s price aligns with its quality and suitability for sublimation.

Customer Feedback

Before making a final decision, we review customer feedback to gauge the shirt’s performance in real-life sublimation projects. This can offer practical insights into the shirt’s print quality and durability after washing.

By considering these features, we can effectively choose the best shirts for our sublimation needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we cover some common inquiries regarding the best shirts for sublimation to assist in making well-informed decisions for your printing needs.

What are the top fabric choices for high-quality sublimation printing?

For high-quality sublimation prints, 100% polyester shirts are superior. This material’s properties allow for maximum color vibrancy and longevity of the print.

Which brands offer the best shirts for achieving vibrant sublimation prints?

Brands like Gildan, Jerzees, and Vapor Apparel are known for producing excellent shirts tailored for sublimation. They use high-quality fabrics that provide a smooth surface for vivid prints.

Can you achieve successful sublimation prints on a blend of polyester and cotton?

Sublimation on a polyester-cotton blend is possible, but the polyester content should be higher for the best results. However, the print might be less vibrant, and the colors can fade over time compared to 100% polyester.

What are the recommended shirt types from Bella Canvas for sublimation techniques?

Bella Canvas offers specific poly-cotton blend shirts that are suitable for sublimation printing. Their 3001CVC shirts have a higher polyester content that makes them a good choice for a soft feel with decent print quality.

How do 100% polyester t-shirts compare to blended fabrics for sublimation?

100% polyester t-shirts result in the brightest, most vivid sublimation prints and are most durable in terms of washability. Blended fabrics may result in a more vintage look, with prints not as sharp or colorful.

Where can one find high-rated shirts for sublimation available on online marketplaces?

High-rated shirts for sublimation are widely available on platforms such as Amazon, Heat Press Nation and eBay. Searching these sites will yield numerous options with customer reviews helping guide the best choices.

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