How Much To Charge For Sublimation Shirts? Breakdown Of Cost [An Easy Explanation]

Sublimation is a common way to print on clothes like t-shirts and jerseys. If you run a business doing this, a big question is: how much to charge for sublimation shirts? If you’re selling a sublimation-printed shirt, you might charge between $10 and $50. But it depends on a few factors. You have to consider materials’ cost, overhead expenses, and other costs like running your business. Plus, demands of sublimation shirts can change how you set your price. 

Let’s breakdown the total costing and learn all the considerable factors that influence the pricing for sublimation printed shirts. 

how much to charge for sublimation shirts

How Much to Charge for Sublimation Shirts?

Sublimation printed shirts are popular because they give vivid, long-lasting graphics. They usually cost between $10 and $50. However, determining the exact price to charge for sublimation shirts is not so easy. 

The actual price depends on factors like complexity of design and quantity of shirts. You should also consider the expenses involved in shirts’ production, such as the fabric and printing ink.

Here is a detailed breakdown of all costs.

#1. Fabric Cost

The cost of the fabric is often the biggest expense when it comes to creating sublimation shirts. Depending on the type and quality of fabric you choose, you can expect prices to range from $2 – $10 per shirt. Remember, higher-quality fabrics may result in a better final product. But they may also increase your overall costs.

#2. Design Cost

Creating custom designs for your sublimation shirts? Then, you need to factor designing cost. Depending on the design’s complexity and the designer’s experience, it can range from $25 – $100 per design.

#3. Printing Cost

Printing costs will depend on the number of colors in the design and the quantity of printed shirts. Generally, the more colors in the design, the more expensive the printing process will be. Prices can range from $2 – $6 per print.

#4. Labor Cost

The final cost to consider is labor. This includes the time it takes to design the shirt, print it, and sew any finishing touches. Depending on the design’s complexity and the seamstress’s skill, labor costs can range from $6 – $20 per unit.

Considering all these costs, it’s clear that the final price for a sublimation shirt can vary greatly. A simple design on a lower-quality fabric may cost as little as $10, while a complex design on a high-quality fabric may cost upwards of $50.

Which Factors Influence the Pricing of Sublimation Shirts?

Here are the details of all the factors that can influence the pricing of sublimation shirts:

#1. Material Cost

Material cost is a crucial factor in determining the pricing of sublimation shirts. It includes –

  • The fabric and the sublimation ink, 
  • Transfer paper
  • Protective paper

High-quality materials often result in superior print quality and durability. But such materials also drive up the overall production cost. Finding a balance between cost and quality is a must to ensure both customer satisfaction and profitability.

#2. Labor Cost

Labor cost is another significant factor influencing your sublimation shirts’ pricing. It includes the time and effort required to design, print, transfer, and add finishing touches to each shirt. Labor cost is often determined by the complexity of the design and the level of expertise. Skilled labor might increase the overall cost. But it could also enhance the final product’s quality. And a better quality leads to higher customer satisfaction and repeat business.

#3. Overhead Cost

Don’t forget to factor the overhead costs into your pricing strategy. It includes rent, utilities, equipment maintenance, and marketing cost. These costs should be spread out over the total number of shirts you produce in a specific period. 

#4. Market Demand and Competition

The market demand and the level of competition for sublimation shirts can also influence your pricing. If there’s high demand and little competition, you may be able to charge more for your shirts. 

However, if the market is saturated or demand is low, you may need to lower your prices. Also, find ways to differentiate your products in order to attract customers.

#5. Quantity of Order

Lastly, the quantity of the order can influence the per-shirt price. Typically, producing larger quantities leads to lower costs per shirt due to economies of scale. Therefore, bulk orders can often be priced lower per shirt compared to small orders.

Check out the below video content for more detailed understanding of how to price custom sublimation t-shirts.

FAQs on How Much to Charge for Sublimation Shirts

Which equipment is needed for sublimation printing on the t-shirt?

Looking to produce high-quality, personalized t-shirts? Sublimation printing is a great option. It ensures vibrant colors and long-lasting designs. Such designs won’t fade or peel off with washing. In order to get started with sublimation printing on t-shirts, you’ll need a few essential pieces of equipment.

First, you’ll need a sublimation printer and sublimation ink. You must select a printer and ink designed for sublimation printing. It will ensure achieving the best possible results on your t-shirts. Next, you’ll need a paper that’s specifically designed for sublimation. The paper will be used to transfer your design onto the t-shirt.

Design software is also a must-have when it comes to sublimation printing on t-shirts. You’ll need software that allows you to design and edit your graphics before printing them onto the transfer paper. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are popular programs commonly used among designers.

In addition, you’ll need sublimation blanks, heat press, and heat tape or adhesive spray. Sublimation blanks are specially coated items like t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases that can be sublimated with your design. 

A heat press transfers the design from the paper to the blank. Have heat-resistant gloves on hand when operating the heat press. Heat tape or adhesive spray is needed to secure the transfer paper to the sublimation blank before pressing.

Lastly, have butcher paper on hand to protect the heat press and prevent any ink residue from transferring onto other items.

How much does it cost to print a shirt with sublimation?

The cost of printing a t-shirt with sublimation varies depending on several factors. Such factors are the design size, the number of colors used, and the quality of the t-shirt material. However, on average, it can cost between $10 to $15 to produce a standard sublimated t-shirt.

The quantity of t-shirts being printed can also influence the cost. Remember, most commercial printers offer discounted prices for bulk orders. 

Additionally, the complexity of the design can also impact the cost of the t-shirt. Intricate designs with numerous colors and patterns may increase printing costs.

Is sublimation printing expensive?

Yes, sublimation printing is generally considered to be an expensive process. It is due to the complex and time-consuming nature of the printing method. Sublimation printing requires a high level of precision and skill from skilled professionals. As a result, the cost of sublimation printing is generally much higher than traditional printing techniques.

This added cost can make garments more expensive to produce, which is a consideration for businesses looking to keep their costs down. 

Additionally, sublimation printing is not as cost-effective for bulk orders. The reason is the increased setup and production time required for each individual garment.

Despite the higher cost, sublimation printing offers several advantages over traditional printing methods. It can also print on a wider range of materials, including synthetic fabrics and other surfaces. 

Ultimately, the decision to use sublimation depends on each business’s specific needs and budget.

How much ink is used for sublimation?

Sublimation ink is a dye-based ink. It is designed for printing images on fabrics, ceramics, metals, and other surfaces. Sublimation differs from regular inkjet ink because it goes directly from a solid state into a gas without ever becoming a liquid. The sublimation process works by transferring the ink onto a substrate using heat and pressure to create a permanent image.

The amount of ink used for sublimation printing generally depends on the size and complexity of the image being printed. However, sublimation ink cartridges are able to deliver around 200 prints before replacement. This volume can vary depending on the printing device, the ink cartridge type, and other such factors. 

Is sublimation good for bulk order?

Yes, sublimation is an excellent option for bulk orders. The larger the quantity of t-shirts being printed, the lower the cost per shirt due to economies of scale. It makes sublimation a cost-effective choice for them, who are looking to order large quantities of shirts.

Additionally, sublimation printing ensures vibrant and lasting designs on t-shirts. So you can confidently provide high-quality products to your customers.


Hope you understand all considerable factors when pricing the sublimation shirts. In addition, you need to factor in market demand and competition before setting a final price. 

Finding a balance between profitability and customer satisfaction is crucial. Remember, pricing too low may not cover all your costs, while pricing too high may deter potential customers. 

Now, you can determine a fair and competitive price for your sublimation shirts. It will keep you and your customers happy. So go ahead and create those unique and eye-catching designs on your sublimation shirts with confidence.

Tamim Shikder
Tamim Shikder

Head of the editorial team of I have been working as a merchandiser in the apparel-sourcing industry for the last seven years. Over the years, I have gained a strong understanding of the clothing business and have developed skills in product development, quality control, pricing negotiation and customer service. I am also well versed in the latest trends of fashion and retail industry. For any clothing manufacturing needs, please email me at

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