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Hi crafty friends! Can you tell that I am really loving sublimation yet? I definitely am, and bleached shirts are so fun and trendy! It’s also the best way to use your sublimation transfers on black shirts along with all the other darker colors.
So today I have a giant stack of shirts that I’ve tested for bleaching and sublimation. I will tell you all my thoughts on them and show which shirts are the best shirts for bleaching and sublimation.
If you’re looking for how-to bleach shirts for sublimation, check out this post where I show you Two Easy Ways to Bleach Shirts for Sublimation! You’ll learn the whole bleaching process from start to finish.
White shirts with a 100 Percent Polyester Count will give you the best sublimation transfer you can get. So I started with this white shirt so we can compare it with the sublimation transfers of the poly blend colored shirts.
If you like this design, learn how to make custom designs in this blog post: Sublimation Design in Cricut Design Space!
Best Sublimation Shirts for Bleaching Video
Watch the video below to see me review different styles of t-shirts for bleaching and sublimation.
Gildan G640 Soft Style
First up on our list is the Gildan G640 Soft Style in heather purple. This one is 65% polyester and 35% cotton. This shirt bleached and sublimated very well.
Heather colors tend to have a higher polyester count, but always make sure you check the polyester/cotton ratio for the specific color you want to get.
As the name suggests, the feel of this shirt is super soft. And, the higher count of polyester gives us a great transfer. Bonus, it’s a great price and lower than some of the others.
Next is the Gildan G800. The color is heather sport royal and the blend is 65% polyester/35% cotton. The sublimation looks great, but the bleaching didn’t come out super white like you may want.
That was definitely my fault because I was rushing. But as you can see, the bleached area around the sublimation design looks great.
So don’t rush the bleaching process. If you can, do it on a sunny day for the best results.(and it will go much quicker)
The feel of this shirt is not as soft as the Gildan G640 Softstyle. If you’re a bit of a t-shirt snob, this one feels cheaper to me. Overall though, for the price, this shirt works very well for bleaching and sublimation.
Now we’ll look at the Jerzees 29M in heather black. This shirt is 50% polyester and 50% cotton. With darker colors like this you’ll need to be extra cautious to allow the bleach enough time to activate.
As you can see though, this shirt took the bleach well. The sublimation is a little faded when compared to a 100% polyester shirt, but to me it just gives it a retro look. Overall, this shirt worked well.
Again, this was one of the cheaper shirts, but definitely a solid option.
Bella Canvas 3001CVC
Next on the list is Bella Canvas 3001CVC in heather sage. This blend is 50% polyester/50% cotton, but this brand definitely had some specific colors that were not the same blend. Always double-check the polyester content! The color of the shirt will make a difference in the polyester count.
This shirt is gorgeous and took bleach and sublimation very well. It is a little higher of a price point than some of our other shirts, but it’s softer than even the Gildan Softstyle and lighter in weight. Great for summer!
George (Walmart Brand)
I wanted to be sure to show you at least one shirt that you can run to the store to buy when you’re pressed for time and can’t order online. So, I went to Walmart and got a George brand t-shirt. I don’t have an exact model number for you, but the blend on the tag says 65% polyester/35% cotton.
This shirt was a lighter color, so it took sublimation well. However, I ended up bleaching this shirt twice and it just did not take the bleach well.
So, since this shirt had a good price, I give it a thumbs up for sublimation (lighter colors only), but a thumbs down for bleaching.
Next Level 6010
Next up is the Next Level 6010 in vintage navy with a blend of 50% polyester, 25% rayon, and 25% cotton. Even with the darker color, these tri-blend shirts bleached and sublimated very well.
I first came across this shirt at Hobby Lobby, so you may be able to check your local store to find this one too!
The price of this shirt is a little bit higher, but it’s such a great shirt. The weight and feel are well worth the price! They are incredibly soft, and I would highly recommend them (it’s my favorite shirt with a just right poly blend)!
Bella Canvas 3413C
My last shirt is the Bella Canvas 3413C. The blend is 50% polyester, 25% rayon, and 25% cotton. When I tried to bleach this shirt, I thought that maybe someone was playing a trick on me and watching me through a hidden camera.
I bleached and bleached and bleached this shirt, but the color did not fade at all! I ended up trying 2 different colors of the same shirt, one in athletic gray and another in golden yellow, but the result was the same.
Luckily, the sublimation came out great since these were lighter colors. But if the bleached effect is what you’re going for, this is not the shirt for you.
My Top 3 Picks & Final Thoughts
Whew! That was a lot of shirts. Overall, I would say that most of these did really well for sublimation. A couple were not so great for bleaching, but still good shirts.
One important thing about every single one of these shirts that you MUST remember is to check the polyester count! Sometimes a description will have the blend listed but then have a different blend for specific colors. I can’t say it enough – always double check!
Any shirt with less than a 50% polyester blend will probably not sublimate well. The 50% blends will give you a nice faded look, but if you go much lower you’ll start to lose quality.
My personal top 3 favorite shirts would be:
- Next Level 6010 Tri-Blend – Found Here
- Bella Canvas 3001CV – Found Here
- Gildan G640 Softstyle – Found Here
More than just bleaching and sublimating well, these shirts all had a great quality feel to them. They were super soft, had a lighter, breathable fabric, and a looser neckline that’s not quite so high (you won’t feel like you’re choking!). These are a bit more expensive than others, but the luxurious feel is well worth it for me.
So now you know what to look for if you want to start bleaching and sublimating shirts. I hope this list helps you. Happy Crafting!
You will Also Like:
- Learn the Entire Process for Bleaching Shirts from Start to Finish
- Get Started With Sublimation Printing – Everything You Need to Know
- Create Your own designs for Sublimation in Cricut Design Space
Chris Butler has helped thousands of crafters learn how to use their Cricut machine without feeling overwhelmed. She is a best selling author and an up and coming designer. For fun Chris enjoys designing SVG Files, hanging out with her family (preferably at the lake), traveling, and volunteering at her church. She is a wife and mom of two crazy fun kids.