What is Dye Migration?

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.

Dye migration occurs when you use a heat transfer method on a garment that has polyester dye that hasn't been completely fixed in the fabric. 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?

Our Athletic formula has 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?

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. 

Still have questions? Talk to us!