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:
Same heat transfer using the Solutions Sub-Block:
Side by side comparison:
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.