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How well do 50/50 shirts work for dye-sub?

12922 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  binki
Do I need at least a 65% poly blend or will 50/50 work for dye submlimation for shirts? Is there a performance difference?

How much should I expect to pay for a 5.6oz T in 65% poly or better blend? Assume case pricing but not in the 1000's of shirts at a time.
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Since dye sublimation depends on the poly to bond, the higher % will give you better results. Hanes makes a shirt with an outer polyshell and 100% cotton liner specifically for sublimation printing. If you do a dye sublimation search on the net you are gonna find them pretty quick. I think a 50/50 shirt will work but the higher count poly shirts we net better results.
Thanks for the info. I am interested in the performance of the 50/50 since it is much less expensive than higher poly% that I have found so far.
Hi Binki!

I'll try to attach some pictures to showcase the difference.

On 100% poly shirts the design will be very vivid and vibrant and will last as long as the garment itself.

The design on 50/50 t-shirt will look washed off and faded even before the 1st wash.

As mentioned many times on the forums, there are Hanes 50/50 t-shirts - 100% poyester outer layer and 100% cotton inside. The disadvantage (from my point of view) is that they are too thick, they pill and make you sweat.

Textile industry is rapidly adapting to active life-style and technological changes - there are now stain-repelling, anti-wrinkle, moisture-wicking, odour-resistant, temperature-controlling (etc., etc.,...) fabrics on the market.
Most of them are man-made (synthetic), the rest are coated for enhanced performance. To top it off - there is polyester that looks and feels like cotton, polyester that feels like second skin... polyester that defies the definition of polyster.

If you choose dye-sublimation as your preferred decorating method because you want to deliver full-colour PERMANENT designs (no minimum order, no set-up fees, photo-quality prints - you know?) - you shouldn't be compromising it with the quality of your t-shirt.
Like our mum's and dad's told us (me, anyway) - if you choose to do something - do it properly or don't waste you time.

How you will market your shirts - is a different story all together...

Best of luck!


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Forgot to specify:
on the left (faded Sonic): 50/50 t-shirt, never washed.
on the right (brighter Sonic) - cotton-looking polyester t-shirt, worn by 10-year-old boy (!) for a year and washed more than 50 times.

Thanks for the 411. That is the comparison that I was looking for.
Is it true that 100 % polyester shirts are more uncomfortable in hot weather than cotton ?
And, won't pigmented inks print on any shirt, last extra long time and still look good ?
taurusndixie said:
Is it true that 100 % polyester shirts are more uncomfortable in hot weather than cotton ?

It used to be that way.

If you Google "performance fabrics" or "performance fabrics for sublimation" you will see some dramatic changes.

I'm using 100% performance t-shirts made with Intera yarn - the fabric is changed on the molecular level to provide permanent moisture-wicking properties and temperature control.

Follow the link for some technical info on fabric:

Here are some articles about t-shirts made of it:


So far my biggest orders were for casual and active wear in hottest parts of Australia and from adventure races, gyms and sporting organisations.

Sorry, can't comment on pigmented inks - I'm yet to experiment with this decorating method myself.
We are concerned about comfort of the full poly shirts and the poly outside/cotton inside shirts. I will try some of these myself as it is hot as all get-out here also.
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