Helping your printed clothes last longer

Ever bought that T-shirt with a really cool design on it, for it to fade after only one or two washes? 

One of the things we have done since having our landscape photos printed onto clothing is look into the things you can do to help maintain the image quality of the prints on your T-shirts, singlets and hoodies over time. 

We would like to think what we've found out applies not just to our items of clothing but any items of clothing that feature printed designs. 

Buying the T-shirt

The first thing you need to do actually happens before you buy the T-shirt (or other items of clothing). Take a look at the thickness of the T-shirt. If the T-shirt is thin and light weight it is unlikely to be able to hold the print for any length of time. Thin and light weight T-shirts on the whole have not been designed for printing on. 

It is important to note thinner T-shirts and other items of clothing such as hoodies tend to have a shorter life expectancy regardless of whether or not they have got any prints on them. 

The second thing relates to the washing process.

Washing Process

Firstly, follow the manufacturers’ instructions for washing in either cold, warm or hot water. 

Secondly, wash your T-shirt or hoodie inside out; this protects your print from the worst excesses of the washing process. 

Thirdly, use a gentle washing powder (we find environmentally friendly washing powder is generally less harsh on your clothing than standard washing powder). 

Fourthly, avoid using bleach at any cost; this has the potential to do significant damage not only to the print on your clothing but the actual garment itself. 

Fifthly, use the gentle cycle (unless you are dealing with ingrained stains at which point you probably do need a more vigorous wash cycle) as this is less likely to wash the colour from your print. 

Drying your Clothes

Once you've finished washing your clothes you need to dry them inside out. This protects the print or design from the harsh fading power of the sun. We would recommend not using tumble dryers as it is important that your clothes get the chance to breathe during the drying process. 

When hanging the clothes up either outside or inside on a clothes horse, as well as keeping the T-shirt (or other clothing) inside out to protect against the sun, you need to use non-marking clothes pegs (clothes pins). This helps to maintain your T-shirt or hoodie’s shape. 

Once your T-shirt is dry then remove from the clothesline or clotheshorse and fold or hang up as desired. 

We have found if you carry out these small tips that they can help maintain the quality of the print or design on your clothing, ensuring you get full value for money from your clothing.