Solving Dye-Migration

Dye-Migration is dye from a sublimated fabric bleeding through and dyeing a heat transferred design. Since Polyester is the only fabric that is gets its color from the sublimation process, it’s the only fabric that you’ll see migrate. Dye-Migration should not be confused with opacity. In the world of garment decoration, opacity refers to a heat transfer blocking out the color of the dark garment where as migration is the dye of the fabric coming through and becoming a part of the transfer.

So how do you solve Dye-Migration? Simply by using the right product. Standard heat transfers may not block migration. If you run in to an angry polyester that doesn’t like being transferred on to, you can use the Solutions Sub-Block for a full color printable fabric or Spectra Sub-Stop for single color vinyl cut transfer. Both products are available from Imprintables Warehouse and from me by requesting a sample.

Please see the pictures below for what migration looks like and how much a difference using the correct media makes.  The fabric this material is applied to is one of the popular performance wear garments. 

Heat transfer with Dye-Migration:

migration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same heat transfer using the Solutions Sub-Block:

sub-block

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Side by side comparison:

side by side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The side by side comparison really shows the migration from one transfer to the next.  It is most apparent in the white but the entire design is noticeably faded. 

Dye-migration can be a problem but certainly not one that can’t be avoided or fixed.  Just like choosing the correct transfer for a cotton or nylon, choosing the correct transfer for garments prone to migrate is essential to success as a garment decorator.

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4 comments

  1. Just what I was looking for! I was searching articles for our site when I came across your post (on Solving Dye-Migration Heat Press Ed. 101) which I found on Bing. We would love you to write for us, if interested. I’ve bookmarked this post for future reference. Nice comments here as well – Cheers from Thai Online Shop

  2. hi we have some printed style and its color migration and bleeding So I just need to know the reason why migration because this fabric was 100% cotton

    1. Hello! If you are seeing a color change on 100% cotton, it likely not dye migration. It’s more likely that the material you’re using isn’t opaque enough to block the color from showing through, or it could be that you are using too much time, temp and/or pressure when applying the transfer.

  3. Reblogged this on Heat Press Ed. 101 and commented:

    Dye-Migration has become even more of a nuisance now that performance fabrics have become more popular. Our latest material – Spectra Perform has a Sub Block that will perform even better than the options available when I first published this post. The Spectra Perform Sub Block features a charcoal adhesive that aids the dye blocking and four-way stretch capability. It is also a lighter weight material with a silky smooth hand.

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