fabric for sublimation

Best Fabric for Sublimation Printing | Choose the Right One

When you’re looking to create a garment that is customized for a specific person, there are a few fabrics you can use to print your design. However, not all fabrics are suitable for sublimation, and you need to know which ones before making your purchase. In this article, we’ll explain the different types of fabric for sublimation and give you a few tips on choosing the right one for your project.

Fabrics for Sublimation Printing

There are six main types of fabrics that can be sublimated: polyester, Cotton, Nylon, Rayon, Spandex, Acrylic, and Lycra.

1. Polyester

Polyester is a type of synthetic fabric and is often used for athletic wear or clothing that needs to be resistant to damage. It’s a comfortable fabric polyester, but it doesn’t sublimate very well, so don’t expect high-quality prints from polyester fabrics.

fabric for sublimation

2. Cotton

Printing cotton fabric is similar to printing polyester method of printing, but not quite the same. Poly-cotton blends are sublimation-friendly, and sublimation heat transfer ink works best on cotton fabrics. Cotton has a breathable quality that makes it suitable for clothes of all kinds (especially warm weather garments), so you can always go with cotton print blended materials if you like that type of fabric next time around.

fabric for sublimation

3. Rayon

Rayon fabric sublimation printing ink is the best sublimation-friendly type of its kind. (Some heat transfer ink may work for cotton and polyester blends, but not all of them, just make sure to test it before printing anything.) Rayon is probably one of the best fabric type in general when you’re printing from a printer that works well with these types of prints.

fabric for sublimation

4. Lycra

There are three sublimation printing options for Lycra, and all of them work best with cotton fabric. Sublimation ink is only compatible with rayon fabric, while dye-sublimation printer ink works best on spandex (and polyester). Don’t be afraid to use lycra printing if lycra staples or closures need to go on that garment. It’s the perfect material choice as heat-pressed seams look better when they’re made of lycra fabric.

fabric for sublimation

5. Spandex

Spandex fabric printing is slightly different from printing with other types of fabric. With spandex, sublimation ink will adhere to the natural fibers in the fabric, so you don’t need to worry about heat-transfer ink not working on spandex. However, dye-sublimation printer ink may still work if you want to use spandex for a heat press garment.

fabric for sublimation

6. Acrylic

Acrylic fabric printing is not sublimation-friendly, and heat transfer ink will not work on acrylic fabric design. Furthermore, dye-sublimation printer ink may still be able to print if you use a sublimation printer that works with acrylic.

fabric for sublimation

Fabrics not Suitable for Sublimation!

Some fabrics, like polyester and cotton blend fabric, are not sublimation-friendly. In fact, heat transfer ink may not even work on these types of compression fabrics. For example, if you’re printing with a dye-sublimation printer ink type of printer, or if you want to make a heat press garment from spandex or lycra fabric, be sure to test the ink before printing anything significant. If the printer ink doesn’t work, your sublimation garment may not be of excellent quality.

Learn How to sublimate the dark color shirts.


What kind of ink should I use to print on my sublimation fabric?

There are two main types of ink that you can use for sublimation printing: dye-sublimation printer ink and heat transfer printer ink. Both of these inks work best on different custom fabric types, so be sure to test the ink before printing anything significant.

How do you prepare your sublimation fabrics for printing?

Before printing your design, you’ll need to make sure that the fabric is clean and free of any debris. You can then heat press or sublimate print the fabric using the correct ink type.

What shirt material is best for sublimation?

The sublimation chemical process requires polyester. Hence the best cotton shirt for sublimation is 100% polyester or those with a high poly/cotton ratio, as previously stated. The brighter and more long-lasting the bright colors will be when you use higher polyester.


Many fabrics can’t be sublimated, but fortunately, many fabrics can be sublimated. By understanding the different fabrics that are suitable for sublimation printing, you’ll be able to create high-quality prints that will last long. In addition, make sure to check out our other blogs for more information about sublimation printing. Finally, we’ll keep you updated on the latest trends and developments in this field so that you can make the best decisions for your sublimation business.

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