Best T-Shirts For Sublimation

Best T-Shirts for Sublimation 2024: Custom T-Shirts for Designers

Sublimation printing is a remarkable technique by which designs of any complexity can be imprinted onto an array of surfaces, with it being the most common technique for printing onto t-shirts and other items of clothing. However, not every fabric is suitable for sublimation printing, so it’s important for any business looking to create merchandise to choose the best t-shirts for sublimation printing. To ensure high-quality gifts for friends, coworkers or customers; invest in one of these top sets of t-shirts.

We’ve put together our recommendations based on several factors, straddling different budget ranges and different purposes. From a one-off experiment in sublimation for beginners to outfitting your entire workforce, these are the top t-shirts for you to add your designs to.

Gildan DryBlend T-Shirt
  • Best variety of sizes, colors, and multi-pack options
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CALCA Mug Tumblers Press
  • Unisex Polyester crew neck shirts available in multiple sizes
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F2C Heat Press Combo 5 in 1
  • Start printing on a range of sizes
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What makes a good t-shirt for sublimation?

There are an array of materials one can use for sublimation, but there are certain qualities that ensure a consistent quality of sublimation. It is most effectively done on 100% polyester fabrics, where the chemical bonding process of sublimation is most effective. The higher the percentage of polyester, the more durable the design.

Alternatively, designers have the option of sublimating onto cotton or even niche vinyl fabrics, though the process can be more involved and results can vary. For a vintage look, we recommend a cotton-polyester blend that will allow the design to tastefully fade over time.

We’ve followed these material guidelines for our choices today, ensuring that the materials are not only affordable but have sufficient concentration of polyester to allow the sublimated design to take hold.

Best T-Shirts for Sublimation: Gildan DryBlend T-Shirt Multipack

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  • Climate-friendly t-shirt design
  • Classic fit for loose comfort
  • Taped neck and shoulders for comfort and durability
  • Potential shrinkage

Constructed from a balanced blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester, the Gildan DryBlend multipacks of t-shirts are a comfortable and suitable t-shirt collection for sublimation printing. The blended materials allow for a soft and breathable feel whilst also being a reliable canvas for your designs. With a tapered neck and shoulders in a classic fit, these t-shirts will match most body shapes without issue.

However, that may vary: the Gildan t-shirts are vulnerable to shrinkage if they aren’t correctly prepared, so we recommend ironing them briefly to minimize the wasted shirts or sublimation issues. Should you do so, you’ll be left with some comfortable and affordable t-shirts, all ideal for printing even the most complex of designs onto.

Best V-Neck T-Shirts for Sublimation: Cricut V-Neck T-Shirt

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  • High-quality shirt designed for sublimation printing
  • Compatible with Infusible Ink transfers for vibrant and durable designs
  • Thin material

Cricut are a highly-regarded brand in the world of sublimation, providing everything from tumbler heat presses to t-shirts. Their range of v-neck t-shirts are affordable and compatible with infusible ink, ideal for sublimation. The mix of materials used in manufacturing makes for long-lasting, wash-proof designs; and Cricut have ensured that these t-shirts are comfortable and true-to-size.

However, in order to facilitate the ease of sublimation, the t-shirts are very thin. This means that whilst your designs will take quickly and look fantastic, the shirts don’t offer as much protection from the elements as we would’ve liked. Unfortunately, it comes with the territory; and is a compromise we’re willing to allow for affordable and easy-to-sublimate v-neck t-shirts.

Best Round-Neck T-Shirts for Sublimation: Next Level 6200 Poly/Cotton T-Shirt

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  • Wide color variety
  • 35% combed ring-spun cotton
  • Crew-neck can be uncomfortable

With a 65% polyester fabric and 35% ring-spun cotton, Next Level’s 6200 crew-neck t-shirts are comfortable and stylish, whilst allowing for easy embossing of sublimation-printed designs. Boasting an array of color options from light to dark, what sets these t-shirts apart from the others on our list is their pre-laundered design, minimizing the risk of shrinkage when adding the design. The side-seamed design makes for a comfortable and flattering fit.

We do have a slight issue with the neckline on these t-shirts, as even on a larger size it can be uncomfortably restricting – we’re extra-thankful that these shirts aren’t capable of shrinking when we’re wearing them. Other than that, these are easily the top round-neck t-shirts for sublimation on the market.

Best Sublimation T-Shirt for Businesses: Sublivie Unisex

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  • 100% polyester
  • Low unit cost
  • Unisex
  • Thin

When it comes to sublimation printing accuracy, the Sublivie range of unisex t-shirts are the best bet. Made from 100% polyester, these shirts make the ideal canvas for transferring your designs. With each t-shirt being cheap to buy and available in large quantities, they are ideal for businesses of any size to mass-produce sublimated t-shirts.

Unfortunately, the thin-material curse also strikes these t-shirts – consider maybe sublimating onto a hoodie or sweatshirt while you’re at it, as you may need it. Aside from this, these unisex t-shirts are ideal for high-volume printing of business merchandise!

Best Budget T-Shirt for Sublimation: ORJ 5PCS

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  • Multi-size pack
  • 100% polyester
  • Exceptional value
  • Larger than standard size
  • Only in white.

If you are an artist looking to turn your designs into a small business, keep the initial costs down with these ORJ 5-packs of t-shirts. Comfortable and breathable in sizes from Small to 2XL (U.S), these are ideal for both getting to grips with sublimation printing and turning over a profit with these 100% polyester shirts. Simple, lightweight and affordable; there’s a lot to like about these budget sublimation t-shirts.

That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to dislike, however. Although they allege to be U.S standard sizes, we found the t-shirts to be a little larger than average – perhaps to pre-empt shrinkage in the sublimation process. We’d rather they be oversized than undersized, however, and these polyester t-shirts are still a viable budget option for sublimation newcomers and journeymen alike.

Features and Considerations

If this is your first look into sublimation printing on t-shirts, consider the following factors for your project:


As mentioned above, material does play a key role in the ease of sublimation. 100% polyester t-shirts are the best for long-lasting designs, but cotton and vinyl are both viable options – though bear in mind the design could wash out.


It goes without saying that you don’t need to bulk-buy t-shirts for a one-time experiment in sublimation printing, but having some spare t-shirts is certainly helpful. We recommend buying one or two more t-shirts than you actually need, to avoid any issues. If nothing goes wrong, you’ll have some spares for your next sublimation print.


Though white is the best option for allowing your sublimation designs to stand out, you can print onto t-shirts of any color should you wish. However, darker shades are harder to print onto.


A well-fitted t-shirt has its place, though for some branded merchandise a looser fit may be preferable. A baggy t-shirt can be ideal for physical work or sports activities. Additionally, bear in mind the potential for your t-shirts to shrink if they aren’t correctly prepared.

In Summary

That concludes our ranking of the best t-shirts for sublimation, across different styles and price ranges. Each offers its own benefits and drawbacks, so we leave it up to you which to choose for your business or gifts.

If you’re looking for inspiration, why not check out some free sublimation designs with our handy guide?

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