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Heat Transfer Paper Support - How to Care for Decorated Garments

Extend the life of your decorated garments by following these basic guidelines.

Several variables affect the wash fastness of your finished garments. Each type of paper has specific wash temps included on the guide sheets. In addition to following those recommendations you also should consider other factors that will affect how your printed image will hold up for the expected life of the garment.

Wash fastness also depends on fabric type, your inks’ brand and age, the amount of ink on the transfer paper, laundry detergent pH, dryer cycle, fabric softeners, minerals in the local water supply, water temperature and the washer’s rotations per minute just to name a few.

Keep in mind that when garments are washed and dried they rub together and abrasion can occur, which can damage the image and affect the wash fastness as much or more than the ink used or the transfer method.

Preventing this problem is fairly simple if you educate your customers to wash the garments inside out and follow the guidelines for temperature as noted on the paper guide sheets. It would be helpful if a wash and care label were included in the customers order.

Experiment with the different Forever papers carefully following the production methods recommended for time, temperature and pressure required for vibrant prints. Each factor is critical for extending an image’s wash fastness. 

Being able to provide your customers with short runs of garments with customized, full color images is a wonderful benefit for them and a profitable venture for you! Follow these guidelines so they’ll come back with repeat business!

Quick pointers:

  • Follow wash instructions on the garment label for best results.
  • Wash shirts inside out in cold water. This practice protects the image area against abrasion.
  • Remove shirts from the washing machine promptly. Ink jet transfers may bleed if the shirt sits wet.
  • Use low to moderate heat in the dryer and remove shirts immediately. Too much heat sets in wrinkles and can crack transfer images.
  • When washing garments with a high polyester content, don’t launder them with fuzzy items such as cotton towels. The polyester picks up loose cotton in the washer and dryer, forming little balls known as pills.