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Whether you have just started your custom t-shirt business or you have been going at it for some time, you want to be sure you’re buying the most high quality blanks you can get.
You can’t just use any kind of blank that happens to be at hand, especially with sublimation. There are reasons for this and we’ll discuss them today.
So, let’s get right into it.
In a sea of products (that all look the same), it’s hard to know what’s what.
You can spend days searching the internet for the perfect blanks and end up even MORE confused and lost than before.
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a few hints and tips that may make your search for sublimation blanks a little bit easier.
The first and one of the most important things to look out for is the material from which t-shirt blanks are made out of.
That is, is it made up of 100% polyester or a blend of other materials?
I’m bringing this to your attention because as you’ll read later on sublimation bonds ONLY to polyesters.
The higher the polyester count, the more vivid the colors of your print will appear.
So, it’s best to aim for 100% polyester.
But, more about that in a moment, let’s talk about colors next.
Next most important thing to note with sublimation blanks is color.
Although technically you can sublimate on dark and black shirts, we do not recommend doing so because results of your prints will vary a ton.
With sublimation printing, the inks becomes a vapor. Then, it dyes your substrate when it’s heat applied to it.
Because the sublimation process entails the dyes mixing in with the colors of the shirt you are printing on, dark colored shirts will never have the same consistent results.
Think of it like taking a colored marker and scribbling it onto a dark t-shirt. You’re not going to be able to see the color as well, right? Well that’s kind of the same concept with sublimation.
So in order to avoid that, most sublimation professionals stick to light or white colors.
UV Protection isn’t necessary for sublimation printing but having this option can really set your business apart from others.
While getting a little bit of sun is healthy, too much can seriously damage your skin. That’s why we wear sunscreen, right?
This is where UV-protected clothing comes in handy. And, now, rather than wearing sunscreen, you can just wear a t-shirt. What a relief! And it’s all thanks to the sun-resistant fabric from which the cloth is made of.
So, look for t-shirt blanks that have been treated with ultraviolet protection, like the Vapor Apparel line we’ll talk about more shortly.
As I briefly touched on before, not every t-shirt blank is good for sublimation. There are ‘’rules’’ you have to follow if you want your work to turn out as a hit rather than a flop. So, let’s take a closer look.
The first rule is don’t use cotton! Sublimation doesn’t work well with cotton clothes because the ink does not adhere to natural fibers.
Although there are some experimental results and methods that suggest otherwise, it’s still experimental, and experts are still finding out the perfect solution.
If you’re curious about what would happen if you were to sublimate on a cotton t-shirt, your design would not adhere to the garment. But if it did, it would wash out just as quickly.
We know you can sublimate on white and light colored polyester coated blanks, but why can’t you print on dark items?
We spoke about this a bit earlier, but since it’s one of the rules of sublimation we’ll briefly go over it again.
In short, sublimation is a dye process so a sublimation printer can’t print white. The inks in the print also mix with the dyes of the shirt you’re printing on, so you won’t get the same bright and vibrant prints on dark colored clothing that you would get with light or white.
With any kind of printing, you want to rely on consistent prints for your customers. If not, then you are just wasting time and resources.
This is why we recommend sticking to what works best with sublimation, light or white colored substrates.
Here’s what else you need to know before you go out and buy sublimation blanks in bulk. It’s subjective and debatable, of course, but I would say it’s a good starting point. So, here it is:
Price Range – Most likely, one of the most important factors in your search for a new shirt will be the price. If you were to but ‘’this’’ shirt, will you be able to sell it at a high enough price to make a profit? That’s the thought process you want to go through before hitting the ‘’buy’’ button.
Feel – Remember, customers are no different from you and me. They too like to wear clothes that make them feel comfortable. So, make it your mission to keep in stock only the best of blanks, ones that are comfortable, easy, and in a light material that feels like heaven on the skin.
Fit – All bodies come in different shapes and sizes, and it’s important your blanks match their physicality. In other words, you need to keep different fits of t-shirts for customers to choose from.
Also, you can learn more about our ”buying tips” by watching the video below.
Now that you know what kind of sublimation shirt blanks you’re looking for, the next step is to figure out which brand to go with.
Vapor Apparel is our all-time favorite, and we have only good things to say about this brand.
We’ve been recommending it for several years and not once has it failed us. You can count on it for your most important projects!
What makes it different from other brands is eco-conscious design. They’ve come together to engineer the perfect fabric for outdoor and indoor activities.
You can wear one while the weather is still warm, or you can even wear one once the weather gets chillier. All you have to do is pick a shirt you like.
Plus, on top of most of this brand’s t-shirts and blanks being UPF50+, they also are all sublimation certified. You’ll never go wrong with buying a Vapor Apparel blank.
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