The 21 Best Colors for Dye Sublimation Shirt Printing

21 Sublimation Certified Color Shirts from Vapor Apparel

When you select apparel to customize with dye sublimation, the shirt color matters in more ways than one. Other than picking a color you like, you need to be sure the shirt color provides a good background for your graphic design and will provide the best color output for your artwork. What does that really mean? Below, we dive into the best colors for sublimation shirt printing, the sublimation process, our award-winning UPF 50+ solar fabric, and more.

What Does Sublimation-Certified Mean?


When a garment color is Sublimation-Certified, it means that when it’s sublimated, it will show a full spectrum of ink (excluding white). The exception is if you’re printing on a white shirt. (More about this below.) 

Sublimation Certified Icon


We offer 21 Sublimation-Certified Colors across several styles. Our catalog makes it easy to see which Sublimation-Certified colors are available for each garment. Just look for the color wheel icon.  


Without this icon, screen printing is recommended as the best method of decoration. Direct-to-film transfer is also an option. 


Have questions? Contact us for more info! 


21 Best Colors for Sublimation Shirt Printing

Sublimation Certified Palette

Our 21 Sublimation-Certified Shirt Colors include a rainbow of hues ranging from soft neutrals to eye-catching pastels.


Color options vary depending on the fabric you select, either Solar or SpunSoft. Check out our color range, including: 


Alpine Spruce, Arctic Blue, Ash Heather, Athletic Grey, Blizzard Blue, Catmint, Citrus, Columbia Blue, November White, White, Pale Yellow, Pearl Grey, Pink Blossom, Pretty Pink, Sage, Sand, Sandbar, Seagrass, Steel, Tan, and Water Blue.


Check Out Our Dye Sublimation Video

To see what our Dye Sublimation Printing looks on different color shirts, check out our How To video on Instagram!



Do We Have More Shirt Colors?  

YES. Absolutely. But only the ones listed above meet Sublimation Certified Criteria. 


A great example of our complete color offering is on the M700 Men's Solar Long Sleeve. CHECK OUT THE COLORS HERE.


Some of the following shirt colors can still be sublimated (with dark ink), but Screen Printing or Direct-to-Film transfers are recommended: Carbon, Black, Navy, Royal Blue, Olive Branch, Mars Red, Safety Orange, Salmon, OD Green, Safety Yellow, Thistle, Slate, and Mossy Oak Patterns.


So, What If My Artwork Has White in It? 

If you want the white in your artwork to come through as white, select a white shirt. Easy as that!  


Otherwise, any white areas in your artwork will essentially be blank or transparent spaces and will come through as the shirt color. See the U.S. Flag graphics below. 


White Shirt versus Blue Shirt

For an easy example, if your graphic design is a U.S. Flag with red, white, and blue, the white will come through as white on a white shirt – of course.  


But if you use an Arctic Blue Shirt like in the sample above, the white will come through as light blue.  


If you select a Pink Blossom Shirt, the white on the flag will come through as pink. If you select Pale Yellow Shirt, the white in the flag will come through as yellow, and so on.

What If I Really Want White Ink on a Dark Shirt?  

We can easily Screen Print or use a Direct-to-Film Transfer printing process instead of sublimation. Those are both great options and work well on darker shirts.  

What Is Dye Sublimation?

Technically, dye sublimation is going from a solid to a gas without going into the liquid phase. This process can only be done on 100% polyester.

Check out our blog on the FAQs about Dye Sublimation for more info.

All About Our Award-Winning Solar Fabric

Our Solar Fabric does it all. It's lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, When it comes to technical fabrics

Our Solar Technical Fabric has also won the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association's Product of the Year Award in the Finished Textile category.

Vapor Apparel Is Your One-Stop Shop for Customization

If you don't have time or the means to sublimation shirts yourself, we can help! We have an in-house team that can help take your graphic design or logo and and turn it into a wearable walking billboard for your company or event.

We also offer Private Label services, which is perfect if you have your own brand.

Have questions about our sublimation-certified fabrics or our customization services? Contact us!





FAQs About Dye Sublimation from Vapor Apparel