Looking for the BEST Shirts for Sublimation that are NOT 100% polyester? We’ve got you covered with 8 awesome and comfortable sublimation shirts that aren’t entirely poly, using sublimation dyes that result in vibrant designs!
This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive a small commission from these sales at no additional cost to you. Thank you to Heat Transfer Warehouse for providing me with all of the shirts that I used in this post!
The Best Shirts for Sublimation
When making sublimation t-shirts, the gold standard is to use shirts that are made from 100% polyester fabric. Since sublimation ink will ONLY bond with the polyester fibers in the fabric, using 100% polyester will give you the brightest and most vivid colors possible with your sublimation transfers.
However, some people just don’t love the feeling of 100% poly against their skin, or maybe it’s not easy to find 100% polyester shirts in your area. So, one of the top sublimation questions we get asked is…
Can I Sublimate on Shirts That Are Not 100% Polyester?
YES! The good news is that you absolutely CAN sublimate on shirts that have less than a 100% polyester count, and today, I’m going to share a few of my favorite non-100% poly sublimation shirt options with you!
Learn More About Sublimation:
The Best Sublimation Shirts That Aren’t 100% Polyester
Watch the video above for all of the details, and keep reading for more information and direct links to all of the different shirts!
The Best Shirts for Sublimation: Our Top 8 Picks!
The shirts that I’m going to be using today range from 50% polyester to 95% polyester, so I’m going to run a few side-by-side comparisons so you can see how the different poly count gives us some different results with our sublimation design.
I didn’t want to use exactly the same images and designs for all of the shirts here, but I did stick to the same color palette so that it will be easier for us to compare the color intensity and saturation between the different shirts.
You can find all of these designs in my Happiness is Homemade shop – they’re actually listed under the SVG files section of the shop, but each of the file bundles also contains a PNG image that’s perfect for sublimation. (Note that I did re-color a few of the designs for this post for color comparison’s sake.)
The following shirts are our favorite picks for sublimation printing on fabric that is NOT 100% polyester. The sublimation shirts are listed in no particular order as each one has its own benefits, and there are certain situations that may require one particular style over another.
At 95% polyester, this is the closest shirt on my list to a full 100% polyester t-shirt, and that means that the sublimation ink is going to infuse with 95% of the fibers for a bright, saturated image transfer.
The high polyester content of the Sport-Tek Ultimate Performance Shirt guarantees that everything will come out really dark, bold, and highly saturated.
The spandex in the shirt adds a touch of stretch, so it’s perfect for people who want a high-performance shirt that’s also stylish and flattering. It’s available in white and several other light colors that would work great with sublimation, and it also comes in a unisex version with a more relaxed fit that’s available in both short and long sleeves options.
Bella+Canvas Unisex Poly-Cotton Tee (Marble White)
This next shirt looks a little different than your traditional white shirt, but it produces some REALLY cool results!
This is a Bella+Canvas Unisex Poly-Cotton Tee in Marble White, and it’s made up of 91% polyester and 9% Airlume combed cotton, making it super soft and comfortable.
The higher polyester content results in vibrant, long-lasting, high quality prints, and the marbled coloring lends some really cool effects to the finished print.
Remember, sublimation ink is transparent, so it is going to pick up and show the color of the shirt or other substrate underneath it. The result here is SUPER cool! It has sort of a vintage vibe to it, but the print is still totally bright, crisp, and high quality!
The white marble Bella+Canvas Poly-Cotton Tee is one of my favorites because not only do the prints look super cool, but it’s also one of the most AMAZING feeling shirts EVER! The Airlume combed cotton adds a touch of luxury to the feel, and even though it has a high poly content, it really feels more like a t-shirt and less like an athletic shirt.
With its vibrant colors AND a bit of a vintage effect from the marbling, this shirt is a great choice for those who value bright print quality, along with style and comfort! This is definitely your best option if you want that retro character, but still want highly pigmented and beautiful designs.
If you’re looking for a classic t-shirt, you’re going to love the Port & Company Performance Tee! This shirt is made from a 65/35 poly-cotton blend, making it a great option for both print quality and comfort.
At only 65% polyester, you will notice that the print does start to lose just a LITTLE bit of color saturation and vibrancy, but overall, the look is still quite bright and clean – this is definitely my top choice for shirts in this polyester range, and it always produces great results!
The colors on this shirt look fantastic despite not being 100% polyester, and the 65% poly content is still high enough to ensure that your prints will remain colorful and long-lasting.
Plus, the higher cotton fibers content in this shirt gives it a soft and breathable feel, so it feels the most like traditional cotton t-shirts out of everything on our list today. It definitely has that soft cotton feel! If you were hoping to sublimate on cotton shirts, I highly recommend that you check out this cotton-poly blend shirt!
If activewear is your jam, you’ll love the Sport-Tek Ladies Tri-Blend Raglan Tee! This shirt features a 75/13/12 blend of polyester, cotton, and rayon jersey, which offers excellent moisture-wicking properties that make it perfect for active wear!
It is available in a white color option, but I wanted to show off just how well some of these lighter colors take the sublimation ink as well. This here is the Grey Heather color, and as you can see, the print still really pops!
Don’t forget about all of these other great light-colored shirt options when you’re making your next sublimation tee!
With its stylish scoop neck and raglan sleeves, paired with its impressive print results, this Sport-Tek Tri-Blend Raglan Tee is a great choice for those who want a functional and fashionable piece of activewear.
Next up, we have the District Women’s Perfect Tri Rocker Tank, which I totally love! The high neckline is super stylish, and it creates a perfect canvas for sublimation prints!
This tank top boasts a 50/25/25 blend of polyester, combed cotton, and rayon, and the mix of fabrics creates a soft, lightweight feel, while the lower polyester count gives its prints a more vintage appearance.
Personally, I’m a HUGE fan of the faded vintage look, so I can’t get enough of this tank top style!
I do want to note, however, that these tri-blend fabrics are more heat-sensitive, so you will want to lower the heat press temperature a bit for these tank tops, and do some testing with your settings to avoid any potential scorching.
There are so many things that I LOVE about the Rocker Tank! The unique neckline and the curved hemline are so stylish, and it looks flattering on lots of different body types! This is definitely a fantastic option for people who want a trendy, comfortable tank with a vintage-style print finish.
Speaking of the District brand, they also have a super awesome, suuuper soft raglan tee that also makes my favorites list!
Like the Rocker Tank, the District Perfect Tri ¾ Sleeve Raglan is a 50/25/25 mix of polyester, combed cotton, and rayon, so you’ll want to use less heat on the more delicate fabric blend. The lower heat plus the lower polyester count will result in your transfers having more of that faded, retro look to them…which I think is kind of a perfect look for a raglan tee, don’t you think?
One of my favorite things about the District Perfect Tri 3/4 Sleeve Raglan tee is its color-blocked sleeves. Available in lots of different sleeve-and-body color combinations, they add visual interest that creates a perfect canvas for your designs to really pop and stand out!
Available in both a semi-fitted women’s design and an athletic-inspired unisex version, this raglan shirt is an excellent addition to your “Best Shirts” list!
Last but not least, we have the Bella Canvas Women’s Triblend T-Shirt. This shirt is SUPER popular, and for good reason! The 50/25/25 blend of polyester, Airlume cotton, and rayon feels seriously dreamy against your skin!
The tri-blend fabric provides an ultra-soft and comfortable feel, and the lower polyester count lends to a vintage-style print finish that adds a touch of character to your designs. Perfect for creating faux retro looks and vintage flashback tees!
Plus, it comes in TONS of different colors, so you’re sure to find something perfect for you!
It’s also available in a unisex version with a more relaxed silhouette that’s equally as great and just as popular!
These Bella Canvas Tri Blend shirts are my main go-to shirts for both sublimation and when I’m using heat-transfer vinyl. It’s a really versatile option for people who want an all-around shirt that’s great for sublimation as well as other applications. These two shirts are my top choices for creating vintage-inspired t-shirt designs and they’re always a fan favorite, too!
So, there you have it! My top eight shirts to use for sublimation printing that are NOT 100% polyester. Did you even know there were so many great options out there?
A big thanks again to Heat Transfer Warehouse for providing me with the shirts used in this post and video – be sure to hop to their site and check out all of their awesome shirts and other sublimation blanks!
Remember, for best results, always choose the best materials and type of shirt for your specific sublimation project and the look that you desire to achieve.
If you have favorite sublimation shirts that didn’t make it onto my list today, feel free to let me know about them in the comments! Happy sublimating!
Check Out These Other Sublimation Ideas!
- HTVRONT Auto Heat Press Review + Setup
- The Best Shirts for Sublimation – That Aren’t 100% Polyester!
- What is Sublimation Printing?
- Free Printable Sublimation Log & Notes Record
- Infusible Ink Mugs with the Cricut Mug Press
- DIY Custom Photo Puzzles
- How to Convert an Epson EcoTank to a Sublimation Printer
- How to Use the Cricut Mug Press
Pin The Best Sublimation T-Shirts for Later!
Heidi Kundin has captivated the hearts of millions with her colorful and inspiring approach to crafting, celebrations, and family fun. With over 15 years of experience, Heidi’s website has become a must-visit destination for those seeking quick and easy creative ideas and last-minute solutions. Her warm personality shines through her posts, inviting readers to join her on a creative journey that’s fun, rewarding, and achievable.