Keep Your Custom Apparel Looking Great
Our customers always want to know what we recommend in terms of garment care. Most people have general laundry knowledge from sources like their parents and magazines. No one knows our products better than we do, though.
What's the best way to wash our embroidered and screen-printed clothing? Over the past 20+ years, we've been printing, embroidering and finishing clothing. We've also learned, by trial and error in some cases, the best way to launder our products.
Get the Best Results With Expert Laundry Tips
Check out our best laundry strategies below for our apparel. Following these guidelines will help you keep your custom clothing in the best possible shape for a long time.
Is your custom garment all-cotton or a natural-synthetic blend? Reading labels will help you know how to treat stains. Some stains, like ink, benefit from soaking. Test any stain removers in an inconspicuous part of the garment to make sure it's colourfast.
These days, it's fine to use cold water for almost everything you wash. Exceptions include towels, bed sheets or other laundry items that need to be sterilized. For most day-to-day items, like screen-printed t-shirts, cold water will suffice.
In fact, many garments today are designed to be washed in cold water, and so are most detergents. Add to that the fact that hot water can be hard on clothing. Heat and agitation can weaken some fibres. This means your clothes will show signs of wear and tear before their time. Embroidery, too, will take a beating in the heat. Finally, screen-printed designs aren't made to stand up to lots of heat, and that includes repeated hot water washes. Unless there's a special circumstance, wash the customized apparel you get from us in cold water.
Special Concerns for Embroidery
Embroidered shirts can require special care, especially if there's a lot of embroidery and the shirt is very colourful. Machine washing can make embroidery warp and curl. To solve this problem, find ways to protect your embroidered garments as they're washed. Place them in a lingerie bag or pillowcase before washing on a gentle cycle. Better yet, wash your custom-embroidered apparel by hand.
Hand-washing has much less rigorous agitation than machine washing. Also, people typically use very gentle detergents when hand-washing. Two important concerns with hand-washing are rinsing and drying properly. Don't squeeze the embroidered area as this can cause damage that will make it look wrinkled when it dries. Try to keep embroidery flat.
Chemicals to Avoid
Bleach causes fibres to break down, so avoid it when laundering your custom-made apparel. Traditional chlorine bleach and colour-safe bleaches are both off limits. Heat-transfer designs and screen prints can't stand up to these chemicals. They can become discoloured and faded when they come into contact with them.
Wash Your Clothes Inside Out
Washing your custom apparel inside out provides a measure of protection for screen-printed and embroidered designs. Because it's facing inward, your design won't be rubbing up directly against other garments. This can prevent unsightly dye transfers and other issues.
How to Dry
The safest way to dry your garments is to avoid the dryer. Hang your custom screen-printed items to dry. If something's heavily embroidered, lay it flat to dry. Using the dryer can cause faded designs. The dryer can also cause embroidery to look puckered and wrinkled.
Avoid High Heat
Dryers are no good for heat-transferred and screen-printed designs. They can lead to cracked, faded designs. If you must use the dryer, put it on the lowest possible heat setting and leave your garments inside out.
We've just discussed how bad heat can be for customized garments, but sometimes you've got to iron your clothes. Use a pressing cloth (thin cotton towel) if you have to iron over a design. The cloth will provide some protection. Always iron on the wrong side of the garment, and use the lowest heat setting possible.
A hot iron can actually melt a screen-printed design. Iron embroidered items inside out to protect the thread. Ironing on the right side can lead to scorched or pulled threads and faded colours.
Follow the same general precautions when steaming custom apparel. Always work from the inside out. Don't steam the image directly.
Using these washing tips can help your custom clothing last longer and look great.