A popular question with users who have used the t-shirt transfer paper is how to correctly care for the fabric in a way that will make the printed image last longer. Incorrect care will lead to the transfer fading or worse, will see the transfer completely detach from the fabric after a few washes. The durability of the design is comprised of the quality of the transfer paper, the manner in which the design was applied onto the fabric (in particular correct time, heat and pressure) and finally the manner in which you clean and wash the fabric.
Transfer paper once applied onto the fabric is FULLY machined washable, though you are better of waiting 24h before the first wash. We already have a tutorial here explaining the recommended washing machine settings, however in a nutshell you must use a full spin cycle at 40 degree using cotton or mix wash program. Additionally, we strongly recommend that before placing the fabric into the machine you turn it inside out so that the transfer does not come into contact with the washing machine’s metal drum or indeed with other rough fabrics such as jeans. This little tip will do wonders to improve longevity.
Additional Care Tips:
- Using a tumble dryer is recommended. The quicker the fabric dries, the better the transfer will hold long term, just make sure to dry it when the garment is turned inside out.
- After the fabric has dried and you should you wish to iron it, again make sure to iron on the inside so turn the garment thereby ironing on the fabric not on the transfer.
- When you wash a garment with a printed image it “fluffs up” the image making it a little rougher to touch (and softer at the same time). When repressing with the silicon sheet after a few washes, it flattens the film which in turn holds the image on the garment, making the colours more solid and a little brighter
- It is important to make sure that you use either colour friendly washing detergent, which is common these days.
Additionally, you could also consider extending the time between washes. In mild or cold weather, some cloths such as t-shirts can be warn 2 or 3 times before requiring a wash unless the garment is stained. It may sound ridicules, but washing the garment less often is the best manner to get your transfer lasting longer. Putting the actual transfer paper aside, even the fabric type itself has a certain lifespan so while the above tips are designed to care for the transfer, you might be let down by the fabric’s durability. The most popular fabric type cotton has a lifespan of two years so washing it less often will help stretch these two years longer.