Proper Care for Custom-Printed and Embroidered Apparel

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Whether it’s your company’s first branded t-shirt that’s your favourite or a new line of merch you just printed and are proud to show off, following the right guidelines can help maintain the vibrant colours and intricate designs of your custom screen-printed and embroidered apparel. Of course, it helps if you choose from a variety of products offered by a reputable printing house to begin with.

These guidelines provide a general approach to caring for these items. It’s always best to refer to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Washing Instructions

  1. Turn Garments Inside Out. Before washing, turn the items inside out. This protects the printed or embroidered surfaces from rubbing against other clothes or the walls of the washing machine, which can cause wear and tear.
  2. Use Cold Water. Wash your garments in cold water. Hot water can cause shrinking, fading, and can even melt the adhesives used in some screen-printing processes.
  3. Gentle Cycle. Opt for the gentle cycle on your washing machine. Harsh washing can damage the embroidery threads or crack the screen-printing ink.
  4. Mild Detergent. Use a mild detergent and avoid bleach or fabric softeners. Harsh chemicals can break down the ink or thread colours over time.

Drying and Ironing

  1. Air Dry When Possible. Air drying is the gentlest way to dry your clothing and is better for the longevity of printed apparel. It can also significantly lower your energy bill. If you must use a dryer, choose a low heat setting to prevent shrinking and damage to the design.
  2. Avoid Direct Heat on Designs. When ironing, never place the iron directly on screen-printed or embroidered designs. If you have no choice but to iron these areas, use a low heat setting and place a protective cloth between the iron and the garment.

Storing Your Apparel

  1. Avoid Hangers for Heavy Items. Heavy, embroidered items can become misshapen if hung for long periods. Fold them or use padded hangers to maintain their shape.
  2. Store in a Cool, Dry Place. Keep your apparel in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Moisture and sunlight can fade and weaken the fabric and decoration over time.

Handling Stains

  1. Treat Stains Immediately. The sooner you address stains, the better. Gently dab the stained area with a damp cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the stain deeper into the fabric.
  2. Use Stain Removers Wisely. If using a stain remover, first test it on an inconspicuous area. Apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, taking care not to let it sit for too long.

Regular Inspection

Regularly inspect your screen-printed and embroidered garments for signs of wear or damage. Early detection can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems. Look for loose threads on embroidered items and handle them according to the garment’s care instructions. For screen-printed apparel, check for cracking or peeling, and avoid stretching the fabric to prevent further damage.

In Conclusion

Taking proper care of your screen-printed and embroidered apparel ensures it remains a vibrant and valuable part of your wardrobe for years to come. By following these straightforward guidelines for washing, drying, and storing your garments, you can protect the designs and extend their longevity, keeping your favourite pieces looking as good as new.