Dye migration can be a real pain when it comes to decorating polyester. And while it can happen on just about any shade, generally speaking, the darker or brighter the hue, the more likely migration is to occur, but there are some simple tricks that will help you avoid dye migration for good.
Dye migration happens when dyes in specific fabrics are activated when they’re exposed to the heat. It works like this: during the heat-printing process, inks can often bleed through lettering, and screen printed or heat transferred designs. This not only makes for an annoying mess, but it also ruins the fabric you’re working with. No fun!
How to Avoid Dye Migration on Polyester
At BELLA+CANVAS, we take necessary steps during the dye process to create garments that are less likely to experience dye migration when they are printed. High quality dyes lead to better printing, so we never cut corners to shave costs when dying our fabric. In addition to choosing high quality garments when printing, there are several steps you should follow to avoid dye migration.
- First, test it out. It’s easy to test for dye migration by simply covering the garment with a kraft paper cover sheet and applying it for 10 seconds with a heat press. If a dye’s unstable, you’ll instantly see ink residue on the cover sheet.
- Next, scope out the scene. Look for products that have dye-blocking capabilities. Terms such as: high opacity, opaque, blocks dye migration, for darks, low-bleed, bleed-resistant, or dye-inhabiting mean you’re good to go.
- We also suggest asking for a sample before purchasing a specific material for your job. It’s best to test one item before purchasing an entire quantity so you don’t end up with a bunch of stuff you can’t use. Apply your design to the fabric and let it sit for up to 24 hours. If it hasn’t bled through, order away – you’re good to go!
- Last but definitely not least, even the best dye-blocking materials may not work on some fabrics. The dye process tends to change dependent on the manufacturers, so be sure to always test your heat application. It’s simple: a few short minutes of testing can save you big bucks in the long run!
Test out our poly-blends and you’ll definitely notice a superior printing performance to other brands who do not invest in high quality dyes and fabrics. Any additional tips for dye migration? Leave them in the comment section!