The word ‘bleed’ has multiple different meanings, like what happens when your skin gets cut. But in this article we’re going to focus on 2 ways this term is used in the printing and heat transfer industry, how it affects you, and how to utilize one and avoid the other.
A ‘Bleed’ in printing?
A bleed in printing refers to a printed area beyond where the material will be trimmed or cut. This is done to avoid any unprinted material showing on the edge instead of the printed color in the design.
Because materials like heat transfer vinyl are moving back and forth while printing and cutting, the material can shift slightly which will cause the printed edge and cut edge to not match perfectly. Printing a ‘bleed’ beyond the cut edge ensures that despite any shifting of the material, the printed edges will still have ink showing (rather than the blank vinyl).
When dyes ‘Bleed’ through a transfer.
Bleeding (also referred to as Dye-Migration) is what happens when the inks or dyes from a garment seep into the transfer and discolor it. Below is an example of what it looks like when a garment’s dye bleeds through a transfer.