The time a screen printed image will last on apparel is somewhere between lunch tomorrow and a millennium. If it’s printed well and you store it in a vacuum-sealed titanium box orbiting the Earth, it will last forever.
Most people like to wear their apparel (not orbiting the Earth in a vacuum-sealed box), so things happen that make the images crack or fade sooner than that millennium is up. Those things include air, water, heat and curry spills. You can probably avoid curry (though why would you want to?). You can’t avoid the other things. So here are some tips to keep your screen printed garment looking gorgeous.
These tips apply specifically to the most typical type of print using plastisol ink. You can tell other types of inks (water or discharge) because they will feel like part of the fabric, rather than sitting on top. You can still use these tips, but since we print with plastisol 99% of the time, this is what we give our customers.
Wash in a washing machine, or by hand if you live in a van down by the river. To make the print last longest, wash in cold and tumble or hang dry. If you’re late for work and need the dryer, just use the lowest heat possible. Never iron over the print!
The best way is to wash by hand, like you would your big sister’s sweater that she doesn’t know you borrowed. If you don’t have hands, use the machine but wash and rinse in COLD on delicate cycle. Hang or tumble dry only. Heat will ruin the print and probably the material. Never iron the garment!
A very special note about spandex. The print is stretchy, but it’s not that stretchy. If you push it to the limit, the print will crack or separate, which will make it fade faster. If you get it really hot, you can kiss it goodbye. Mwah!
A washing machine is fine. Cold water is always best. Tumble or low temp dry. Did we mention you should never iron the print? If you have to iron, do it on low or synthetic setting. Never iron the print!
We created a handy handout to put in our custom customer’s orders. You can have it, too. It’s free. Get the PDF here: Wash Instructions