How to take care of a heat press printed garment
Heat press printed shirts can be fairly long-lasting, especially if done well and with quality materials. That having been said, they also require special care if they are to last as long as possible.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a heat press printed shirt that has not been cared for properly. The design or print can become wrinkled, for instance, or can flake off over time. It can also melt, thus obscuring the original design. It can even turn a different color via color leaching—something that often happens with dark shirts that have white or very light prints on them.
You hardly want to spend money on a beautiful shirt only to have those things happen to it. All heat press prints will suffer some degradation over time, yes, but if you treat them well, it should be barely noticeable for the first years of ownership.
How Heat Press Printed Shirts Are Produced
It pays to know first how these shirts are made. The name gives away most of it, in fact. In a heat press shirt production line, a machine with a hot plate is usually employed to help press a design into a piece of clothing.
The design is a transfer. The simplest way of imagining these is to think of the “kiddy tattoos” that come on clear transfer film. Once you remove the white (plain) backing, you can simply stick the transfer film onto your arm and rub it on so that the “tattoo” transfers to your skin. The heat press transfer is not all that different: it just happens with a different type of transfer film/paint, fabric instead of your skin, and a high-heat press instead of your finger.
The heat is actually needed so that the transfer “sticks” properly to the fabric. This already tells you that heat affects the dyes involved in this sort of printing. As such, unwisely-applied heat is often a culprit in the wearing-out of shirts produced with this method.
1. Turn the garment inside out.
2. Wash at 30° Celsius.
3. Use the "hand-wash" cycle on the washer.
4. Use a mild detergent for best results.
4. Do not use bleach or bleach alternative detergents.
5. Remove the garment promptly from the washer.
6. Do not tumble dry.
How to iron
Do not iron directly on print.
Turn the garment inside out and iron gently.
Avoiding long contact on the printed area.