Which Polyester Shirts Feel Like Cotton? Top Soft Sublimation Tees Revealed

When searching for the perfect T-shirt for sublimation printing, you might wonder if any polyester shirts feel like cotton. After all, who doesn’t love a cotton T-shirt’s soft, comfortable feel?

Polyester shirts offer the best of both worlds: the sublimation-friendly polyester properties and cotton’s cozy feel. Suitable shirts are essential in sublimation printing to ensure vibrant, long-lasting prints. It often leads to choosing 100% polyester shirts, which provide the best results for this printing technique.

However, finding polyester shirts with the softness and comfort of cotton can be challenging. But don’t worry, and we’ve got your back!

Keep reading as we delve into the top picks for polyester shirts that feel like cotton, perfect for sublimation printing.

You’ll be amazed at how these shirts make you feel like you’re wearing your favorite comfy cotton tee while providing a smooth, vibrant canvas for your sublimation creations. Try them; you may find the perfect match for comfort and print results.

Comparing Polyester And Cotton Shirts

Fabric Types

Cotton shirts tend to be softer and more natural in appearance. They have a visible weave pattern, allowing you to see individual threads or yarns when you look closely at them. It gives them a more textured appearance than polyester shirts which usually have a smoother look and feel.

Polyester shirts, on the other hand, offer durability and a more polished appearance. Due to their synthetic nature, they provide excellent moisture-wicking properties and are often used for sports or active wear.

Some new polyester shirts are even made from recycled plastic bottles, making them an eco-friendly option.

A popular choice to experience the best of both worlds is a cotton/polyester blend. These blends, such as 50/50 cotton/polyester, combine the softness of cotton with the strength and durability of polyester. They are often favored for their comfort and versatility.

Pros And Cons

Cotton Shirts


  • Soft and natural feel
  • Breathable, great for warm weather
  • Biodegradable and eco-friendly


  • Prone to wrinkling
  • Can shrink when washed and dried
  • It might fade over time

Polyester Shirts:


  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying
  • Resistant to wrinkling and fading


  • Less breathable than cotton
  • Can be perceived as less comfortable
  • Some may have a plastic-like feel

If you’re looking for a polyester shirt that feels like cotton, the Jerzees 21M is a popular choice. Made with 100% polyester, it offers the soft texture of cotton while still maintaining its performance qualities. It might be slightly thinner than other options.

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Understanding Sublimation Printing


Sublimation printing is a magical process that brings your designs to life on various materials. The process involves turning solid sublimation dye into a gas without passing through a liquid state.

You start by printing your design onto transfer paper using sublimation ink. As you take your creative journey, this design will be a mirror image of the final product.

Once you’ve set your design, you’ll place the transfer paper onto the polyester shirt or any other item. Make sure it’s properly aligned to avoid any misprints. In no time, you’ll see your ideas blossom into life.


The secret ingredient in sublimation printing is mesmerizing sublimation ink. This ink, specifically formulated for this process, is crucial for creating vibrant, long-lasting designs.

The ink reacts with heat and transforms from a solid to a gas, penetrating the fibers of your polyester shirt. The result is a stunning, high-quality print that’s as soft and smooth as your favorite cotton tee.

Heat Press

The final step of this enchanting process involves a magical machine known as the heat press. With the power of heat and pressure, the sublimation process works wonders on your materials.

Set the heat press to the right temperature and pressure, place your shirt, and transfer the paper inside. As the heat press closes, the sublimation ink vaporizes and infuses into the shirt’s fibers.

As you lift the heat press, you’ll find your creation seamlessly imprinted on your polyester shirt or other material, boasting a soft feel and durability that can withstand wash after wash. Just like that, you’ve turned your ideas into tangible art.

Embrace the whimsical world of sublimation printing and explore the endless possibilities it offers. Your polyester shirts will feel like cotton and showcase your unique designs.

Soft Polyester Shirts For Sublimation

Polyester-Cotton Blends

A polyester-cotton blend is a great choice when you’re looking for the perfect combination of softness and comfort. These fabric blends combine the best qualities of both synthetic and natural fibers, offering you an improved feel and durability.

You’ll find that these blends balance softness and moisture-wicking properties, ensuring that you stay comfortable no matter what you’re doing. The best part is that they still work well for sublimation printing.

Some popular polyester-cotton blends include shirts like the Cricut T-shirt, which boasts 95% polyester and 5% spandex. Even though it’s not 100% cotton, you’ll find that it feels almost like a cotton blend.


Tri-blends offer another option for a soft, cotton-like feel. They are typically made from a combination of polyester, cotton, and a third fiber, like rayon or spandex. This unique mix of fabrics creates a super soft, vintage texture perfect for sublimation printing.

So, if you’re a fan of that nostalgic, worn-in vibe, keep your eyes peeled for tri-blend shirts – they will not only deliver the comfort you’re after but also give your printed designs a unique and appealing look.

100% Polyester Shirts With Cotton Feel

Believe it or not, some 100% polyester shirts do an excellent job mimicking cotton’s soft texture. Manufacturers often achieve this by using specific polyester fibers or modifying the fabric’s properties during production. This results in shirts that perform well in sublimation printing while providing the familiar comfort of cotton.

One prime example of this is the Jerzees 21M; it’s made from 100% polyester but offers the luxurious feel of a soft cotton tee. Note that these shirts can sometimes be slightly thinner than their counterparts, but they still deliver satisfying results.

As you explore your options for sublimation, remember that a whole world of soft polyester shirts is waiting to be discovered. With various fabric blends, tri-blends, and even 100% polyester shirts with a cotton-like feel, you will find the perfect shirt that meets your needs and appeals to your senses.

Notable Brands And Products

Notable Brands And Products

Jerzees 21M

You might be surprised, but the Jerzees 21M is one of the most sought-after sublimation T-shirts. Made of 100% polyester, it offers the incredible feel of soft cotton while being ideal for sublimation. However, remember that some people say it’s slightly thinner than other options.

Team 365 TT11

Looking for a tee that blends performance, style, and comfort? The Team 365 TT11 is your best bet. This fantastic polyester shirt feels like cotton and offers excellent moisture-wicking properties to keep you cool and dry. Plus, it’s available in various colors to suit your style!

Vapor Apparel

Vapor Apparel is known for its top-quality sublimation-ready clothing. Their 100% polyester garments feel incredibly soft, resembling the feel of cotton. Moreover, Vapor Apparel’s exclusive technology keeps you comfortable and dry due to excellent moisture-wicking capabilities.

Gildan 42000

The Gildan 42000 is another excellent choice for people who prefer polyester shirts with a cotton-like feel. This tee has moisture management properties, perfect for your planned activities.

On top of that, the Gildan 42000 is reasonably priced, making it an affordable option for your casual and sportswear needs.

A4 Sublimation Performance Tee

Lastly, the A4 Sublimation Performance Tee is designed for those who prioritize comfort without sacrificing performance. This shirt wicks away moisture while feeling like soft cotton since it is made with 100% polyester. A perfect choice for sublimation, you’ll undoubtedly feel confident and comfortable in this fantastic tee.

You’ve got several options for polyester shirts that feel like cotton! Be it the Jerzees 21M, Team 365 TT11, Vapor Apparel, Gildan 42000, or the A4 Sublimation Performance Tee, you’re sure to find a product that meets your needs and maintains that whimsical, soft, and friendly feel you love.

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Factors To Consider When Choosing Shirts

Design And Colors

When selecting polyester shirts that feel like cotton, consider the variety of designs and colors available. You want a great shirt that showcases your unique taste and style. With limitless combinations of patterns, prints, and hues, finding the perfect tee becomes an exciting journey.

Breathability And Moisture-Wicking

Your comfort is essential, so look for breathable and moisture-wicking shirts. These qualities are vital for keeping you fresh and dry, especially during hot days or physical activity.

Many polyester fibers offer moisture-wicking capabilities, mimicking natural cotton’s breathability. Shirts with rayon and spandex blends may also provide additional comfort and flexibility.

Durability And Washing

Your shirt’s ability to withstand wear and tear is crucial. Prioritize materials known for their durability without sacrificing that beloved cotton-like softness.

Additionally, factor in a tee’s ability to maintain its colors and integrity after multiple washes. Some polyester and blended shirts may hold up better over time than their 100% cotton counterparts.

Price And Style

Lastly, consider the price and style of the shirts. You deserve an affordable, fashionable option that meets your needs. When shopping, explore different brands and styles to balance cost and quality without compromising your sense of fashion.

When choosing a polyester shirt that feels like cotton, take your time to evaluate these factors. By focusing on design and colors, breathability of fabric and moisture-wicking properties, durability, washing compatibility, and price and style, you’ll quickly find a soft, comfortable, and stylish shirt perfect for your needs.

Sublimation Printing Alternatives

Screen Printing

Once upon a time, you stumbled upon the screen printing technique in the beautiful world of T-shirt printing. This enchanting method allows you to create vibrant, detailed designs on your beloved polyester shirts, making them feel like cotton.

So let’s twirl into the captivating land of screen printing and discover how this magical process works.

As you dance through the screen printing process, you’ll notice that it involves a series of steps, each bringing you closer to the final masterpiece. It all starts with a stencil, like a secret fashion potion guarding your desired design.

This stencil is carefully placed on a mesh screen, and inks are gently spread over it, allowing your chosen colors to seep into the fabric only where the stencil allows.

You’ve uncovered the mystery behind the enchanting technique of screen printing; it is a tale of poetic chemistry between polyester and ink, turning your creations into soft, cotton-like sensations.

No polyester shirt can escape the spellbinding power of screen printing, as it works with light and dark-colored fabrics, and just like modern-day alchemy, it can transform the simplest outfit into a euphoric fashion sensation.

And remember, your magical screen printing journey is not limited to just T-shirts; this terrific method can weave its charm on tote bags, hoodies, and much more, giving a spark of cotton-like coziness to every polyester creation.

Selling And Shopping For Soft Polyester Shirts

Creating And Selling Custom Designs On Etsy

Have you ever wondered how to find soft polyester shirts that feel like cotton? Look no further than Etsy – your go-to place for unique, customizable t-shirts perfect for sublimation.

As a seller, creating eye-catching t-shirt designs is easier than ever with Etsy as your platform. Upload your designs and offer a range of sizes to cater to all customers.

To provide that cotton feel, consider using products like the Jerzees 21M – it’s 100% polyester but offers a soft cotton feel while slightly thinner than other options.

Buyers, your perfect soft polyester shirt is just a click away. You’ll love an easy-to-navigate platform like Etsy that is ideal for browsing and finding unique t-shirts.

No need to worry about quality; with reputable sellers and detailed product descriptions, you can purchase confidently, knowing you’ll receive a comfortable, stylish shirt.

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A Quick Recap

You might be wondering which polyester shirts feel like cotton, especially when it comes to soft T-shirts for sublimation.

One of the most popular options is the Jerzees 21M. This T-shirt is made with 100% polyester but still provides the comforting feel of a soft cotton tee. Although slightly thinner than other alternatives, many appreciate its comfortable texture.

Some other great options include a variety of blends that mix polyester with just a touch of cotton. The AOP Unisex Sweatshirt offers a blend of 86% polyester and 14% cotton, making it warm and comfy while maintaining vibrant color saturation for sublimation prints.

Another option worth trying is the Cricut V-neck T-shirt. Although it’s 95% polyester and 5% spandex, it feels almost like a cotton blend. The additional spandex gives it a more substantial feel, ensuring your transfer paper indents don’t show.

So, as you venture into the world of soft polyester T-shirts that feel like cotton, consider checking out these fantastic options.

Whether you prefer 100% polyester or blended materials, you will find a shirt that offers the cotton-like feel you crave and excellent sublimation printing quality. Your wardrobe and sublimation projects will indeed thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Poly-Cotton Blend For Sublimation?

The best option for sublimation printing on a poly-cotton blend fabric is a fabric with a high polyester content. Ideally, a poly-cotton blend fabric for sublimation should have a polyester content of at least 50% or higher.

It’s worth noting that while sublimation can work on poly-cotton blends, the sublimation ink will only adhere to the polyester fibers, leaving the cotton fibers untouched.

What Is The Softest Fabric In The World?

The softest fabric in the world is widely considered to be cashmere. Cashmere is made from the cashmere goat’s soft and fine undercoat hair. It is known for its luxurious feel, softness, and exquisite warmth.

Cashmere fabric has a lightweight and delicate texture that provides a gentle and cozy sensation against the skin. The fine fibers of cashmere give it a unique softness highly coveted in the textile industry. 

Does 100% Polyester Need Ironing?

Polyester is known for its resistance to wrinkles and creases, requiring less ironing than natural fibers like cotton or linen. However, if you prefer a more crisp and polished look, or if the garment has deep-set wrinkles, you can use an iron on low to medium heat.

It’s essential to check the care label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ironing polyester items. Some polyester fabrics may require a pressing cloth or a low-heat setting to prevent damage or melting.

Do Cotton-Feel Polyester Shirts Require Special Care When Washing?

Cotton-feel polyester shirts can typically be machine-washed like regular polyester garments. However, it’s essential to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure the longevity of the fabric and prints.

Can I Find Cotton-Feel Polyester Shirts In Various Colors And Styles?

Cotton-feel polyester shirts come in various colors and styles to suit different preferences and purposes. Whether you need crew necks, V-necks, long sleeves, or sleeveless options, plenty of choices are available.SearchSearch

Sarah Reed