How To Properly Take Care Of Your Screen Prints
When it comes to screen-printed t-shirts, the more you know about how to care for them the better. This will help you keep the colors bright and preserve the printed design for as long as possible.
Screen printed shirts are one of the most popular clothing items, but few people take care of them properly. Using harsh detergents, overheating the machine, or ironing directly on the print can cause fading and deterioration in the design. Thankfully, a few simple washing techniques can make a difference in how long your printed garment lasts. Washing and drying your shirt with the right care methods will ensure it stays in great condition for years to come. Always wash your screen-printed t-shirt inside out to prevent color fading and pilling (where fabrics rub against each other in the wash and create fuzzy balls on the surface of your shirt). Be gentle when washing, and choose the gentle cycle on your washing machine to avoid overheating your shirt.
Hard water can damage screen-printed garments by depositing minerals that stiffen the fabric, degrade the dye used in screen printing, and may even lead to colors bleeding or fading. Invest in a water softener to maintain the quality of your screen-printed clothing. Also, before washing your shirts, soak them in a gallon of water mixed with one cup of white vinegar to reduce the impact of the hard water. Additionally, be sure to use cold water when washing your shirts for best results. Hot water is harsh on the fabric, and the heat may lead to fading or cracking. Instead, use cool water and a mild laundry detergent to get your clothes totally clean.
Ironing can be a good option for some screen printing jobs, but it’s important to take the proper precautions. The heat can cause the ink to crack and peel, so it’s best to avoid ironing unless you have to. Before you iron your screen printed shirt, make sure it’s completely dry. If it’s not, turn it inside out and place a towel or other piece of clothing on top of it to reduce the amount of heat that gets applied to your shirt. It’s especially important to avoid direct contact with the design when ironing plastisol inks, which must be gelled before they can be cured.