What You Should Know About Dye Migration

Extreme Screen Prints
October 31, 2023
What You Should Know About Dye Migration

Did you know that sometimes, even after meticulously screen printing your favorite t-shirt, the colors can shift and affect the original design? No need to worry; we’re here to help you understand why this happens and how to prevent it. Here’s what you should know about dye migration, from its causes to effective solutions.

The Mechanics of Dye Migration

Dye migration happens when the heat applied during the screen-printing process causes certain dyes to become unstable. The high temperature breaks down the dye molecules, allowing them to move through the ink layer and emerge on the surface. The result? Colors that bleed into each other and create an unintended blending effect.

The Impact of Dye Migration on Your Design

One thing you should know about dye migration is that it can cause major quality issues, especially if you have intricate designs or contrasting colors in your screen-printing projects. The last thing you want is your brand logo or favorite design to become muddled and unrecognizable. Additionally, dye migration can cause your t-shirts to appear less professional. For business owners, this can be a major setback, as it affects your brand’s overall image.

Choose the Right Materials

One of the best ways to prevent dye migration is to choose the right materials for your screen-printing needs. Certain fabric types, such as polyester, are more prone to dye migration compared to others like cotton. This is because polyester fabric has a low dye sublimation temperature. That means the dyes are less stable and can quickly break down during the heat curing process.

So, if you’re working on a project where dye migration is a potential concern, select materials like cotton or polyester blends with a higher sublimation temperature.

Temperature Matters

Another essential factor to consider when it comes to dye migration is the temperature used during the curing process. As mentioned earlier, high temperatures can cause certain dyes to become unstable and bleed into each other. To prevent this from happening, make sure your printing provider uses the correct temperature and follows proper curing methods.

Add a Barrier

Adding a barrier underbase can also be an effective solution for preventing dye migration. This involves using a special base layer underneath the standard base that acts as a barrier between the fabric and ink layers. The barrier helps prevent dyes from migrating through the ink layer and causing color shifting.

This technique is particularly useful for garments with less than 80-percent cotton, as these fabrics tend to be more prone to dye migration. By adding a barrier underbase, you can ensure your designs maintain their sharp and vibrant colors without any bleeding or shifting.

By understanding the mechanics behind dye migration and making informed choices in materials and heat curing processes, you can keep your screen-printed t-shirts looking as crisp as the day they were made.

As always, if you need help with your screen printing projects, be sure to check out Extreme Screen Prints' premium screen-printing services. We have the knowledge, expertise, and range of materials to ensure your t-shirts turn out just the way you imagined. Say goodbye to dye migration woes and hello to stunning, quality screen prints with us.

Extreme Screen Prints
Last Updated:
October 31, 2023