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How to care for your printed garments
Maintaining the quality and appearance of your custom printed clothing over time is important to ensure they stay wearable. Although the durability of the design does depend on the type of fabric it’s been printed on, it also depends on the way in which it’s washed. There’s an art to washing and drying printed apparel – these tips will help you care for your items for better durability and long-term wear.
Use cold water
Unless you’re laundering items that need to be disinfected, there’s no reason to wash clothes in hot water, but this is especially the case for printed garments. Cold water is just as effective at cleaning clothes and it’s gentler on the fabric, as well as keeping the printed area as vibrant as possible.
Avoid using bleach
As with hot water, bleach and strong detergents can cause clothes to fade quickly. Opt for a mild detergent when washing your clothes and avoid bleach entirely. If you have a stain that won’t wash out, try using just a spot treatment for it instead to avoid coating the whole item in chemicals.
Wash similar clothes together
Having the colours run into one another isn’t going to keep your design looking its best, so be sure to separate whites from colours and darks whenever you do a load of washing. But colour isn’t the only factor to consider when it comes to cleaning your garments – you also need to think about texture. Washing soft, smooth t-shirts with rougher towels can cause friction which leads to damage to the printed areas of your clothing as well as pills in the fabric, so try to wash these items separately as well to keep the print and fabric texture in as great a condition as possible.
That said, if the quality is of great importance to you, try to ensure that the items don’t get washed every single time they get worn. Washing and drying clothes speeds up the ageing process, so unless it’s dirty try to keep it away from the washing machine and if you’ve only worn it for a few hours, consider putting it away instead of automatically throwing it in the laundry.
Wash your items inside out
Turn your printed clothes inside out before you put them in the washing machine and do the same before you iron them, to slow down the fading and keep the design intact. This simple trick will help to keep the print and any other embellishments from fading too quickly.
Keep them away from the dryer
This is one of the most important tips in this list – don’t set your dryer to the highest heat level when you’re drying printed items as it will cause the design to crack and fade faster. If you can, take the items out of the dryer before they’re completely dry and allow them to dry naturally (or if it’s summer, consider letting it dry outside completely). High heat is arguably the worst enemy of any clothing, particularly printed items.