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if this was done using sublimation, the whole shirt would be sublimated. you would use a white shirt and sublimate the entire shirt. If that shirt was done using sublimation, you should be able to tell by looking at the underside of the shirt, it would be white (doesn't appear that way in the photo). If the garment is 100% cotton then i highly doubt it's sublimation (sublimation only works with poly fibres).
 

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sublimation is intended for white ground, the process uses the white ground to create the different light tones of colour. if you use a coloured ground, that ground colour will effect the ink colours. Sublimation only uses Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black process inks, there is no white ink.
so with that in mind, you could do sublimation on a coloured ground, as long as you are aware that it will effect the colours/image. if you did sublimation on a black shirt you most probably wouldn't see any image at all.
 

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The Mountain does these kinds of shirts as a mainstay of their product line. They are not sublimated.
TheMountain shirts are simulated process using waterbased inks (probably with a discharged under base, not sure about that part). If i was making that shirt in the OPs original post, this is the route i'd go, altho id use regular plastisol inks (mainly because i've yet to find a local printer as skilled as theMountain at printing high detail with waterbased inks)
 
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