With sublimation, 100 percent polyester is your best friend. Sublimation can print onto certain blends, but the more polyester content you have, the more vibrant the image. Getting down to a 50/50 blend, the shirt will look washed out and faded.
When it comes to items other than garments, you will also need polyester or a polymer coating. You cannot run to your local dollar store and grab items to decorate. You must purchase sublimation-ready blanks. Fortunately, if you can dream it, you can most likely find it as a sublimation blank. There are thousands of items ready for sublimation, from mousepads to holiday ornaments, to sunglasses, bowling balls, flip flops, baby blankets, and more.
What you can’t print is anything that would need a white ink. There is no such thing as white sublimation ink at this time, but we get by that limitation because 99.9 percent of all blanks used start as a white background. If we want a black mouse pad that has white lettering, we just transfer the black and leave the white space open. The same goes for all-over garments and large items, it just requires a larger heat press.
-Aaron Montgomery, 2Regular Guys, MontCo Consulting