Misprint Monday– Printing on Polyester

Any experienced printer will have at some time used the wrong ink, or printed on a fabric that perhaps caught one by surprise. It is a sickening feeling to see your beautiful bright white print slowly turning pink with nothing to be done about it. Dye migration is a terrible thing.

Today’s Misprint Monday print luckily caused no problems, and I still wear the shirt myself all the time. We miscalculated on how badly the dye on a 50/50 shirt would migrate. The shirt on the right represents a good cause, but it was not our best printing moment. The grey ink originally printed from what I remember looked something like the color of ink on the shirt on the left. We used an ink designed for 50/50 shirts, but that particular shirt was a bleeder and over time some green portion of the black dye migrated into the ink. Luckily the ink color it becomes is not a bad color, and nobody knows what color it was supposed to be. I actually get compliments on it when I wear it, so this is a case where we lucked out with the dye migration issue.

There is a lesson to be learned besides “be more careful.” We always consider the color of the shirt when we think about how extensively to battle dye migration. The worst cases are usually when you have red shirts that can turn white ink into pink ink. The best case is if a little blue goes into white because your eye sees bluish white as “whiter than white” sometimes. Logo colors that have to be spot on are also cause for concern. You always have to know when to be extra vigilant and when you can let your guard down a bit. On the whole, be careful, good work is a sure thing and luck can be hard to come by.

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