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It is very possible for screen printed shirts to fade but it is harder than most. There are ways to prevent the fading of these shirts. Some are easier than others but it is up to you what will work best for you. Some methods of keeping the shirt from fading include handwashing, washing on the machine’s gentle cycle and hanging the shirt up to dry instead of putting it into your dryer.
Handwashing is a good way to go if you have the time. In order to properly hand-wash your shirt what you would do is take the shirt and the desired laundry soap, I personally recommend color boost soaps. These will keep the colors vibrant no matter how many times you wash the shirt.
The next step would be to submerge the shirts into the water and hand-work the dirt out of them. This process can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes. This is dependent on how dirty the shirt is and how many shirts you are washing at the time.
After you feel satisfied with how the shirt is clean you would then take a cool basin of water and repeat the process just without the soap to make sure all the soap is out of the shirt. Then hang the shirt up to dry it can take anywhere from 1 hour to 1 day to dry. It may be time-consuming but this is the best way to keep your colors and design from fading for longer.
The next thing you can do is to machine wash on gentle with the color boosting soaps. This will mimic the hand-wash cycle though not as gentle as hand washing. Always wash these types of shirts on the cold that will also help keep the color from leaking out.
Once the cycle is complete hang the shirts out to dry as you have done in the handwashing method. This method definitely takes less time, however, you will still have some fading to the shirt eventually as it is still rough on the colors and designs. So just remember that while they do fade there is plenty of ways to keep these colors from fading for even longer.
In my personal opinion, I use the machine wash on cold with a gentle wash. It saves me time and still protects the colors of my clothes. It is was I use on all my clothes unless they specifically call for a different type of wash. I have shirts that are 4-5 years old that if people hadn’t seen me wearing all the time it would look brand new as if I had just bought it that day.
So the question Do Screen Printed Shirts Fade? Yes eventually they will but so long as you take the steps to properly care for them they can last years before fading at all. Always remember to use the color boosting detergent when washing and never, ever use hot water. Hot water cleans but breaks the color down as well.
Come see Champion Embroidery and Screen Printing for all your printing needs.