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50/50 shirts for sublimation

33535 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  dirtysqueegee
I bought some 50/50 shirts. I also bought a spray to spay on the shirts so I can sublimate on them. I spayed the shirt pressed it for 5 seconds and pressed the image at 375 for 30 seconds like the instructions say on the bottle. My images come out looking dull and washed out. Is there any other choices i can do or do I need to spay it more, less. Heat press longer or is there any kind of paper I can use instead of spray?
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Hi Jimmy,

50/50 is not the best choice for dye-sub. If you will add a bit more spray the image will look a little brighter, but the sprayed area will have a rough, cardboard feel and if you stretch the fabric the image will appear cracked.
After a couple of washes the design will look dull and washed out. Unless you need to print a promo shirt that will be thrown away after a couple of hours - I suggest you'll consider some other options.
Fabrics with compositions of 65% poly/35% cotton or 70/30 will work much better for dye-sub.
My personal favourite is 100% polyester PERFORMANCE fabric (with moisture management and temperature control) - some of it actually looks and feels like cotton. Have you checked out the link "Dye Sublimation Info" on the left?

I have posted some pictures at this thread comparing the printing results on 50/50 and 100% poly http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showthread.php?t=4773

There is a transfer fabric that will let you print on 50/50 and cotton - it's 100% polyester - you have to place it between a t-shirt and your design and press it. The transfer will fuse into the shirt fabric and will look like a patch.
I've done some experiments with this method - I'll try to take some pictures and post them a bit later.

Oh and 30 sec. is not enough in most cases. Try to hold it for 50-60 instead.
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Here are some examples of using dye-sub on cotton.

1st case is done on 95% cotton/5% lycra long sleeve T.
I used some golden 3D fabric paint to make the artwork look...umm...deliberately outlined because the transfer fabric is thicker, slightly raised and the edge looked unfinished.
Potentially, there are a few ways to spice-up this type of printing - to overlock it with contrast colour, "frame" it with rinestones, fabric paint or ribbon, etc.

2nd case is on a denim shirt.
The transfer fabric is very stretchy and coud be tricky to cut if your design is anything but rectangle - so the process is a bit fiddly. I had to cut out the rose on the transfer paper as close as I can and then place it onto the transfer fabric and try and cut it too without moving and smudging the print. It was a challenge. The print looks porous but that could be fixed by adding more ink (as I found out after this experiment).

Hope it helps
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Try the hanes shirts made for Dye-Sub and the new Vapor apparel gear.

Nice work Tania! Doing cotton seems to be a bit of a headache.
Thanks for all the info everyone. I bought a whole package to begin my sublimation busines. I want to be able to sell my good 100% polyester shirts (Vapor & Soft Link) i also what to be able to sell custom imprint shirts for a cheaper price. Some kind of shirt that feels better than your regular transfer but not better than sublimation. I could offer two different choice to people. A more expensive but top qualaty shirt (sublimation) and a less expensive less quality shirt. My package came with the 50/50 shirts and just want to know how to make them imprint okay. Do you guys know where i can find the fabrics with compositions of 65% poly/35% cotton or 70/30?
Yep...they are right above your post and the 50/50 shirts wont get you super quality results with dye sub if you understand how the process actually works. You already know those 50/50 shirts arent great. I think there is a spray you can apply to get better results but it has some bogus characteristics on its own. I dont think dye- sub is a better quality shirt over say screenprint or plastisol transfers because of its limitations with dark fabrics.
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