Siser EasyWeed Sub Block ends Dye Migration

Get to know the garment you are decorating. Is it sublimated, patterned, or polyester? What if it’s all three?! Here, I am using a popular pick: an A4 Camo 2-Button Henley baseball shirt that is a patterned sublimated polyester. I see this type of shirt being used quite a bit in the apparel decoration world. I know the name says “camo,” but you can certainly see this shirt from a mile away.

I have talked one on one with a lot of customers that run into the issue you are seeing in the image below. This is referred to as the “migration issue”. What that means is the ink from the garment is trying to escape when heat hits it. This commonly happens with sublimated polyesters, but can sometimes happen with regular polyester garments.

Dye Migration on a sublimated baseball jersey

A way to tell whether your garment is a sublimated polyester or a regular polyester- look on the inside of the garment and if it is white, and not the same as the outside of the shirt, then it is a sublimated polyester. Being able to identify a sublimated polyester versus a regular polyester is a good skill to have, but what if you don’t even know what sublimation is?

Well, I can help you answer that! Sublimation is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas phase without passing through the intermediate liquid phase So, when heat hits something that is sublimated the “solid” wants to turn back into a “gas” and escape. In this case the dye wants to leave the shirt when heat applying the heat transfer vinyl. If you aren’t using a material that will block that dye migration, then there is a good chance you are going to have results like you see on the left side of the image above. However, this impact is only noticeable when heat applying light colored heat transfer vinyl on darker polyesters.

A major contributing factor for the migration issue is high temperature and high pressure.

Here at Siser, we took this into consideration when we formulated one of the newest members of our EasyWeed family, EasyWeed Sub Block. With EasyWeed Sub Block, the temperature on your press is set at a low 265°F/130°C and a Medium setting for your pressure. EasyWeed™ Sub Block comes in two colors: White and Barcelona Yellow.

EasyWeed Sub Block is a cuttable HTV – if you’re looking for a product that has the same benefits but can be digitally printed, we have you covered!

Check out our Print and Cut material called ColorPrint™ Sublithin. ColorPrint Sublithin is formulated the same way as EasyWeed Sub Block (stops dye migration), but you can print full color images on it with your Solvent Printer like the image you see below.

ColorPrint Sublithin on a sublimated baseball jersey stops dye migration

If you do a lot of work with polyesters and are experiencing the migration issue with your current heat transfer vinyl, give EasyWeed Sub Block or ColorPrint Sublithin a chance to remedy your issue!

By |2018-03-23T14:33:53+00:00May 4th, 2016|Informational|8 Comments

About the Author:

Joe has been involved with Print and Cut Materials, Heat Transfer Vinyl, and Direct to Garment Printing for the last 8 years. Joe has been acting for a number of years and is the face of Siser in our popular how-to videos.

8 Comments

  1. Marni November 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    How do you know if the garment is sublimated if it’s a solid colour? Our sales team sells alot of a specific brand (rather not say) which we have noticed ALL their garments eg: polos shirts, soft shell jackets, rain jackets, light jackets and vests all bleed profusely when regular vinyl is applied whether it’s print/cut or cadcut.
    Any tips?
    Thanks,
    marni

    • Lily November 21, 2017 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Marni, a sign of sublimated garments is when the outside is full color but the inside is blank white. Having an extra garment to test press is recommended for fabrics that may be heat sensitive or susceptible to dye migration. Test press the garment with a piece of parchment paper on top. If after pressing, the cover sheet has color transferred to it, the garment is migrating.

  2. Katie Clodfelter December 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    I have a jersey that I’m trying to press and had color migration, can I repress over the design with new vinyl?

    • Lily December 26, 2017 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Hi Katie! Sorry you’re experiencing dye migration! You can press new HTV over the already applied vinyl, although I’d recommend going with EasyWeed SubBlock to prevent any future dye migration. If you want the least amount of bulk on the jersey, then you could use an HTV remover like methylene chloride and remove the migrated HTV before applying SubBlock.

  3. Paul February 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Are there any offerings in a stretchy vinyl?

  4. Dave Corwood August 31, 2018 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Hi,

    I used the Colour Print Sublithin on a sublimated football shirt (black and gold in colour). I followed the applications instructions, but noticed a fair amount of dye migration visible?

    Is this normal?

    Any tips for prevents this i.e. can I reduce the heat of pressure settings slightly>

    Thanks

    Dave

    • Lily August 31, 2018 at 11:56 am - Reply

      Hi Dave! Sublithin blocks dye migration for many sublimated fabrics and polyester fabrics that are prone to dye migration. However, there are many types of dyes and while we try to block them all, there are too many different varieties on the market to accomplish this, even though we wish we could. If you ensured that you used the low application temperature of 265°F, then it’s possible the dyes in your garment are too aggressive for the Sublithin.

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