So you’ve heard of this printing technique called sublimation, and you’d like to offer it to your customers, but aren’t sure where to start. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll give you all the information you need to get started, and show you how to take advantage of a growing interest in this popular printing technique.
Great question—it’s really quite fascinating. Sublimation uses inks that start out in a solid state, get rapidly heated into a gas, and then bond with the applied surface on a molecular level. Once cooled, it results in a long-lasting, sturdy print since the ink literally embeds itself into the material.
For clothes, sublimation works best with light-colored fabrics that are at least partial polyester blends, or polymer-coated surfaces. That said, sublimation printing can be applied to other materials like metal, glass, and ceramic.
If you’d like to learn more about sublimation printing, check out this in-depth article: What is Sublimation Printing and How Does it Work? Your Questions Answered.
Because of it’s versatility, print-on-demand sublimation printing enables businesses to offer their customers an incredibly wide array of personalized products: t-shirts, shoes, coffee mugs, water bottles, keychains, towels, etc. This is why sublimation printing is currently in such high demand.
It’s a lucrative business, but exploring all the possibilities online can be overwhelming. Where do you even start? Luckily for you we’ve compiled a list of some of the bestselling sublimation products on the market today, to give you a leg up on the competition. Hopefully browsing through this selection will spark your imagination, and give you your next bestselling idea.
Clothes are still one of the biggest earners for the printing industry. Most people want to adorn themselves in the latest fashions, or to customize their look to truly express themselves. That’s where sublimation printing comes in. The versatility of this technique means it can be used to make a wide variety of clothing types feel that much more personal, from a simple t-shirt to a funky custom dress. Below are some examples.
When it comes to sublimation products, few are as universal as t-shirts. A tried and true benchmark of the clothing industry, the t-shirt is a great way to discover the popularity of sublimation printing. Printful offers a wide variety of custom t-shirts that are compatible with this technique and you can sell on your store. Here are a couple of examples.
Made from 95% polyester and 5% elastane, this t-shirt offers comfort, stretch, and a totally blank canvas for all the designs your customers love.
Just like the women’s version, this light and stretchy polyester/elastane t-shirt is the perfect backdrop for your sublimation print designs.
Those who would like to stay cozy and warm in style during the colder months of the year might need a thicker material. The versatility of the sublimation printing technique means hoodies can also be completely personalized to fit your customers’ tastes.
Made of 70% polyester, 27% cotton, and 3% elastane, this custom hoodie is lined on the inside with a brushed fleece fabric, so your customers will stay warm on the inside and look cool on the outside.
If your store’s niche is related to fitness, a leggings selection is an absolute must. Leggings alone account for $13 billion of the global sportswear market in 2023, and with sublimation printing, you can offer your customers a pair of leggings that will truly stand out at the gym, in yoga class, or on a jog in the park.
Made with a smooth microfiber fabric, these leggings offer support and make you look good while doing any activity, no matter the design. We even offer some additional customization options, like adding your company logo or an attached inner pocket to the waistband.
With our all-over-print dresses and skirts, there’s no limit on the number of patterns and designs you can offer your customers. And they’re perfect for any occasion!
This dress offers a bodycon fit, and easily stretches to accentuate the silhouette of anyone who wears it, letting them feel confident while looking their best.
Light, fun, and frilly, this skirt has an a-line shape and offers full range of motion while looking absolutely fabulous. In addition to the sublimation print, we also offer the option to add a custom label to the inside waistband.
Since the majority of swimwear is made from synthetic fabrics already, it’s a great fit for sublimation printing. The durability of this printing technique means that your customers don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics in favor of performance—with sublimation they can truly have both.
Made from 91% recycled polyester, these shorts are both environmentally-friendly and great for a variety of physical activities (like swimming). Their status as a Printful bestseller is proof that athletic shorts are a popular item with lots of potential.
Another Printful bestseller, this swimsuit, is certified UPF 50+. It won’t just make your customers look good at the beach, it’ll protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Sneakers have had a remarkable upswing in popularity and attention in recent years, so it’s no surprise that sublimation printing for casual kicks is in demand these days. Think about offering your customers the chance to truly complete their outfits with custom shoes that showcase their style.
The 100% polyester upper canvas is breathable and comfortable, while the ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) rubber outsole offers good traction when pounding the pavement. The only thing these shoes are missing is your eye-catching design.
With a breathable lining and a soft insole, these shoes are perfect for anything from a casual stroll through the city to a fun night out with friends.
If you thought there was a wide variety of clothing items on this list, just wait until you see how many accessories you can customize with sublimation printing! To get your imagination running, here are just a few examples of the kinds of products you can offer.
Most of us cherish the simple joy of a warm cup of tea or coffee in the morning, made all the warmer if that cup is a mug that’s imbued with personal meaning. Ceramic mugs are great gifts for family and friends, or to commemorate special occasions or achievements in life. They’re also perfect for sublimation print designs. Take a gander at some solid options below.
Ceramic mugs are a classic for sublimation because the prints always turn out so well. This Printful bestseller is made of a durable ceramic, and comes in a variety of sizes.
For those who like their mugs a bit more dressed up, think about adding this option to your store as well. The inside color options will complement any sublimation print perfectly.
Sometimes you need your coffee on the go, and conventional mugs just won’t do. These stainless steel travel mugs are rust-resistant, come with a spill-proof plastic lid, and offer a larger design space for sublimation.
Phone cases are an affordable, interchangeable, and fun way to personalize any phone. And sublimation print designs are the perfect fit for this material, making it an excellent addition to your product offering.
Available for all models, from iPhone 11 all the way to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, this case will look great protecting your customers’ iPhones in style.
The phones of your Samsung customers are equally deserving of protection and customization, right? You can offer sublimation print designs for models ranging from the Galaxy S10 to the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Whether you’re going back to school, hiking a trail, or simply shopping for groceries, we all rely on the convenience of a sturdy bag. And with printing techniques like sublimation, you can offer your customers stylish design options for a range of bags that they’ll be able to use for any occasion.
This durable, water-resistant 100% polyester backpack is perfect for protecting school supplies, camping gear, or personal items. It’s a fab addition to your store’s offering, especially if you want to include back-to-school gear.
The handles of this tote bag are made from 100% natural cotton bull denim that’s light to the touch, and comes in a variety of colors to choose from. And the 100% polyester bag is perfect for your sublimation print.
Novelty mouse pads are still a festive item, especially for gamers and remote workers who spend a lot of time at their computers. Take advantage of this by offering custom sublimation print mouse pads that will personalize any desktop.
In case of an accidental spill at your desk, this mouse pad offers partial water resistance. And the 100% polyester fabric top is soft and cushy for your hands and wrists. Add a great sublimation print design, and you’ve got a perfect addition to any home or office desktop.
For the gamer who needs full concentration during play, the rubber non-slip base of this pad grips tightly onto any flat surface, offering complete support. With a canvas as wide as this one, you can really inspire your customers with a sublimation print that’ll get them in the gaming mood.
After spending so much time at home during the pandemic, home decoration remains a high priority for young people today. What’s one way to help make your home feel truly special? Personalized coasters.
With a cork base for a strong grip, and a water-resistant, high-gloss coating, this simple coaster is a great way to decorate any home. Complete the look with a crisp sublimation print that’ll brighten up any countertop.
A good colorful design can set the right mood in any environment, and it’s often the little details that make all the difference. A vibrant towel with a personalized design will complement a neutral bathroom aesthetic, or help customers stand out at the beach. Because sublimation printing results in an ink that is literally bound to the fabric, the technique poses little risk of ink running or rubbing off onto your skin. No matter how daring the design, polyester towels with sublimation prints are totally safe to use in the shower, by the pool, or at the beach.
With one side available for your sublimation print design, and the other made of terry fabric, this towel is stylish, cozy, and water-absorbent all rolled into one. Make sure to choose designs customers will love!
These are just some of the sublimation products you can offer your customers. Want more ideas? Check out Printful’s product catalog and filter for products that are compatible with sublimation printing.
Get inspired to try out new products with this printing technique and see the awesome results. Let us know how it goes in the comments!
Pavel is a freelance writer for Printful. He has a Bachelor's degree in Dance and Choreography, and has held many positions, including dancer, cheerleader, game show host, team manager, and Youtube content creator. His passions include storytelling, game design, and online content creation.