Sublimation Printing on Poly Blend T-Shirts


Posted by AllDayShirts on to Printing Techniques.

The dye sublimation market is expected to reach $15310.96 million by 2026. T-shirt sublimation is so popular because it produces a rich colored design that doesn't crack, peel, or fade like other t-shirt printing design methods. 

Many prefer to use polyester exclusively for t-shirt sublimation printing because the synthetic fibers work well with the dye. But did you know that it is also possible to print designs on polyester blends?

Using poly blends for t-shirt sublimation printing has many benefits that we will cover in this guide. 

If you are interested in finding out more about sublimation on poly blends, keep reading for more information.

Why Should You Choose Sublimation Printing?

Other standard t-shirt printing methods simply place an image on a heat transfer paper that adheres to the top layer of the shirt. This layer is prone to quickly fading, peeling, or cracking from washing and exposure to sunlight.

As previously mentioned, sublimation t-shirt printing provides images that have a more vibrant design and coloring. Sublimation t-shirt printing uses a dye transfer method that actually sticks to the fibers of the t-shirt. 

The design becomes part of the t-shirt fabric. This means it will last longer and will be less likely to fade over time. Sublimation adheres better to synthetic fabrics such as polyester.

It shows off bigger or more complex logos or designs with a higher-quality looking print. Sublimation is also good for designs that cover the whole shirt front and back, such as a repeating pattern of polka dots or stripes. 

Sublimation is often a more affordable option, in most cases, for printing when compared to other types of shirt printing. Particularly screen printing, direct-to-garment, and computer-aided design (CAD) cut vinyl methods.

While it may not be as cheap as heat press transfers, the extra expense for sublimation t-shirt printing is seen as an acceptable cost when you factor in the overall longevity of the design. 

The Difference Between 100% Polyester and Poly Blend T-Shirts

Unlike 100% cotton shirts, 100% Polyester shirts are durable and won't wrinkle or shrink when they are washed. They are odor-resistant and dry quicker than traditional cotton shirts. 100% polyester is lightweight and drapes well with its silky texture, it won't stretch out like cotton.

There are some downsides to 100% polyester shirts. They are made of synthetic fabric that can irritate the skin of those with fabric sensitivities. 100% polyester shirts can be clingy and they have less breathability. Poly blends are also more durable.

Poly blends allow for breathability and are more comfortable. There is less shrinkage and wrinkling as compared to 100% cotton. Poly blends drape better than cotton or 100% polyester, though they may still cling and cause skin irritations in some individuals.

Sublimation Printing on Poly Blends

Sublimation on poly blends can create a faded effect because the dye doesn't permeate into the cotton portion of the shirt as much as the polyester fibers.

However, this creates a vintage fade look that is becoming increasingly more popular in fashion today. If you are going for an intentionally weathered or faded vintage appearance for your t-shirt. 

Cotton by itself will not hold onto the design. It will rub off or wash off the first time it is cleaned. Therefore, a blend is recommended.

sublimation Tri-blend

Common Fabric Poly Blends Used on T-Shirts

There are several types of poly blends that are used on t-shirts for printing. Combining fabric contents together creates a more durable and comfortable shirt overall. These are some of the most common t-shirt blends.

  • 50/50 cotton-poly blend: 50% cotton 50% polyester
  • Tri-blend: typically 50% cotton 25% polyester 25% rayon
  • Chief Value Cotton (CVC): 60% cotton 40% polyester
  • 65/35 cotton-poly blend: 65% polyester 35% cotton

Cotton-poly blends combine the softness of cotton with the durability of polyester. They are a lighter-weight alternative to heavier 100% cotton t-shirts. 

Recommended Poly Blend T-Shirts for Sublimation 

Generally speaking, the higher the polyester content the better for sublimation printing. A 65% polyester 35% cotton blend would be one of the most ideal poly blends for t-shirt sublimation.

Here are some of our recommended poly blend t-shirts for sublimation. 

3650 Unisex Poly-Cotton Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Bella Canvas Poly Blend

The 6 marble colors of this Unisex Poly-Cotton Short-Sleeve T-Shirt are 91% polyester 9% Airlume ring-spun cotton blend. This makes them perfect for sublimation shirt printing.

6200 Unisex Poly-Cotton Crew


The 6200 Unisex Poly-Cotton Crew is available in 18 colors. Standard white t-shirts start at $6.99 wholesale to size XL. 

It combines the silky feel of polyester with the comfort of cotton. Yet, this shirt is a combed ring-spun 40 singles cotton blend. Lightweight 3.5 oz construction with high durability. It is the best shirt type for screen printing, vinyl printing, and sublimation. 

Just keep in mind it will look more faded, but if the design you want to use has a retro or vintage style, this shirt will be the best of the poly blends for t-shirt sublimation.

5030 Women's Next Level Festival Scoop

In the same vein as the Unisex Poly-Cotton Crew, this Women's Next Level Festival t-shirt is a more feminine women's cut. It is made from 65% polyester and 35% cotton. It features a scoop neck. 

It is available in 12 colors. 

N5080 Women's Festival Cali Crop

65% polyester and 35% ring-spun cotton give this Women's Festival Cali Crop t-shirt a soft yet durable feel. Arch cut hem provides peek-a-boo belly button style for a flirtatious vibe. 

From Next Level. This shirt is great for all types of image transfer except for the direct-to-garment method.

Women's Festival Tanks

There are two Women's Festival Tanks you can choose from.

If you want something more laid-back style and fit, go with the 5033 Women's Festival Tank from Next Level. With a lower-cut neckline, it comes in 12 different colors. 

If you want something more structured, then the 5013 Women's Festival Muscle Tank is for you. Also from Next Level, this tank has a higher neckline. It also comes in 12 colors.

Both tanks are 65% polyester and 35% cotton.

Wholesale Quality Poly Blends for T-Shirt Sublimation

Now that you know more about poly blends for t-shirt sublimation, maybe you're looking to print a design on a t-shirt for an upcoming school or business function? Or you're organizing a charity event of some kind and need a lot of custom logo t-shirts. has got you covered. We have a large variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, children's apparel, and more. We are a second-generation U.S.-based owned and operated business.

Check out our other blogs like How to Choose the Best Fonts for T-shirt Designs. Or if you're ready, place your order today at 

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