Screen printed t-shirts are mostly used for large gatherings as in the case of conferences or concerts where people go for a mutual cause and objective. It’s also great as promotional giveaways and for branding purposes but if you love having your T-Shirt screen printed because you like:
- looking unique
- being artsy
- expressing yourself using your own T-Shirt statements
- giving T-Shirts away as gifts
- having your T-Shirt custom-made
Then you must know how to care for this type of T-Shirt for it to last as long as it can despite regular wear and tear.
- Choice of fabric for the T-Shirt. Check out the label on the T-Shirt and it will tell you the kind of fabric comprising the T-Shirt. 100% cotton is always good for comfort but blended fabrics are best for this purpose. When choosing a fabric for a T-Shirt that will be screen printed, a blended combo of 50% cotton and 50% polyester is what you should go for to counter shrinkage.
- Allow it to bleed color. For the next couple of weeks after silkscreen printing, your T-Shirt will bleed color during washing. Do not hasten the process by using color-safe laundry detergent. Instead, wash it as you would any T-Shirt until the water runs clear. Also, wash and launder this separately from all other clothing.
- Washing. Always wash screen printed T-Shirts with warm water (Neither cold nor hot) and wash the T-Shirt inside out to preserve the design. Never twist this dry. As mentioned, do not combine this with any other clothing in the washing machine.
- Hanging and drying. If you like air-drying your clothes to conserve electricity, you can hang this T-Shirt on a clothespin or clothes-hanger, away from direct sunlight. A roof-covered drying area is the best location. If you’d rather use a conventional washer/dryer ritual, then by all means use the permanent-press button during drying and take the T-Shirt out as soon as the dryer stops.
- Softening. Freshly screen-printed T-Shirts come out stiff (closely resembling a starched T-shirt) due in large part to the thick ink used to reinforce the colors and designs. Use a softening agent to coax the fabric back into its soft and shapely curve.
- Ironing. When ironing, make sure the T-Shirt is a little bit damp after spending some time in the clothespin or dryer, if the fabric is a bit damp it will make it easier to iron. Place the iron’s setting on medium then turn the T-Shirt inside out and start ironing the sleeves, move on to the neck area, and finally run the iron along the entire length of the fabric making sure the iron doesn’t linger more than 5 seconds on the center of the fabric otherwise running the risk of cracking the design.
- Storing. Store your T-Shirt in a cool, dry place away from heat. Cover it in a plastic clothes carrier if newly screen printed so the colors don’t rub off on your other clothes.
If you really want to up the cool factor and care for the environment all at the same time, use organic ink which is way better than the regular ink used on most screen printed T-Shirts. Furthermore, screen printed designs look more arrestingly eye-catching when used on white and gray colored T-Shirts. Now, that’s the scoop!