You’ve got your new screen-printed t-shirts i am pilot to express your style you’re super happy with the finish.
Here’s our recommended wash settings to prolong the life of your screen printed apparel. Here is some useful information on washing and drying your screen-printed t-shirts.
Over time, the designs on screen printed, heat transfer and vinyl printed t-shirts can start to crack and peel, so these types of t-shirts need a little extra care to keep them looking their best. Although the care labels inside the t-shirt can give some guidance, these are to protect the fabric rather than the print, so here is our advice.
Wash it carefully
It is not enough to just throw your printed t-shirt into the laundry pile and hope for the best – just like when you separate your lights from your darks, you should wash your t-shirts with other t-shirts. This reduces the amount of friction inside your washing machine, which can lead to the ink starting to flake. For extra protection, turn your t-shirt inside out to stop the design from rubbing against other fabrics, helping you to preserve the quality. Make sure your washing machine is on the gentlest setting, too.
Keep it cool
Not only do cool washes help minimise annoying t-shirt shrinkage but washing your printed t-shirt at no higher than 30c can also help keep the artwork in good shape. Avoid harsh detergents and bleach, too, as these can damage your t-shirt – a gentle detergent will do the trick.
Wash it by hand
Hand-washing clothes isn’t as time-consuming as you might expect, and it is the best way to care for fabrics. To handwash a printed t-shirt, all you need to do is fill a sink with cool water, add some detergent and mix it together. Turn your t-shirt inside out and leave it to soak in the sink for at least 15 minutes before gently massaging the fabric and rinsing away the detergent. Resist the urge to wring it dry as this can harm the ink – instead, leave your t-shirt to air dry.
Dry it naturally
Air drying is an important step for looking after your printed t-shirt, as tumble drying can cause your t-shirt to shrink and can damage the print. If you’re really pushed for time, tumble it in the lowest setting, but otherwise leave your t-shirt to dry on a drying rack or clothesline, out of direct sunlight.
Iron with caution
Heat is the enemy of printed t-shirts, so if you must iron it, be extremely careful to avoid melting the design. Turn the t-shirt inside out and make sure that your iron is on the lowest setting or pop a tea towel or cloth over it before you start ironing.
Other Common Issues
Pilling Despite the quality, all fabrics are prone to pilling. Friction during washing or wearing causes pilling (fuzz balls) by loosening the fabric’s fibers and pulling them away from the fabric. Though a hand-held fabric shaver can help eliminate pills, it is better to wash the t-shirts inside out.
Shrinkage The heat from dryers and washing in hot water shrink the t-shirts (especially those made of 100% cotton). Pre-shrinking the garment before screen printing can prevent further shrinkage.
Hard Water Minerals found in hard water deposit in the fabric’s fibers, making them stiff and increasing the chances of pilling. Hard water degrades screen-printing dyes and colors, causing them to fade or run. Soaking the screen-printed garments in a water and white vinegar solution before washing prevents pilling and discoloration.