Dye migration happens when you apply a heat transfer to a garment that contains polyester dye that has not been fully set within the garment. This dye leaches into the transfer and will show up as muddy or cloudy colors, sometimes even showing the exact color or pattern of the shirt through the transfer. Dye migration is almost always a concern when applying a heat transfer to a polyester content garment.
How do I prevent dye migration?
Both our Athletic and Waterbased formulas use a proprietary dye migration blocker that almost always prevents the dye from showing through to the heat transfer.
I'm not applying to polyester, but I can still see the shirt color through the transfer. What happened?
Dye migration is not to be confused with an opacity issue, which can occur when applying Fashion for Lights (which does not have a white backer) to a darker garment. You also may have the fabric of the shirt come through when using our Vintage transfers, which are designed to be a "hot-split" type transfer that leaves the print feeling well-worn.
What other options do I have?
If you simply must use a garment with a higher polyester content, Athletic or our Waterbased formulas will be your best bet to stop migration in its tracks. For a softer feel, we recommend using a premium 100% ringspun cotton garment and our Vintage formula for the best feel without having dye migration issues.
Waterbased blocks dye migration?
Our Waterbased formula is designed to apply at some of the lowest temperatures for a heat transfer: 240°-280°F. A lower application temperature, plus our revolutionary dye migration blocker will prevent migration issues and scorch marks.