How to Keep Screen Printing From Fading or Cracking

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Screen printing is very versatile and can be used with multiple types of inks and surfaces.
Screen printing is very versatile and can be used with multiple types of inks and surfaces. (Image: Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

If you have ever screen printed a T-shirt as a craft project, you know how vulnerable your T-shirt can be to fading and cracking. Home screen printing may not be as high quality as screen printing done by a professional company or T-shirt maker; however, there are several steps you can take to help prevent fading or cracking of your T-shirt design – or at least to slow the fading and cracking process.

Turn your newly screen-printed T-shirt inside out. Make sure that you have allowed your design to dry thoroughly for several days after printing it.

Place an old towel or rag inside the shirt and lay it on your ironing board.

Plug your iron into a power outlet. Set it to low heat and allow it to heat up.

Press the iron in waving motions across the inside of the shirt. This helps to set the ink.

Wear your shirt and do not wash it for several days. Once the shirt is dirty, do not wash it in a washing machine.

Fill a sink with cool water. Add the appropriate amount of delicate washing detergent, according to the detergent’s instructions. Turn your shirt inside out and place it in the water.

Allow the shirt to soak for a few minutes. Swish it around. Rinse the shirt gently beneath your faucet. Do not scrub the shirt or squeeze it tightly. Gently press the water out of the shirt.

Hang the shirt up to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always hand wash and hang up your screen-printed T-shirt so that it can dry naturally.

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