Proper washing and handling conditions of printed fabrics with the DTG technology and the DTF Xpress method that will ensure the extension of the print’s endurance.
All fabrics produced with the use of DTG and DTF technologies require gentle handling as far as it concerns washing, drying and ironing. The print is sensitive towards harsh conditions such as high temperature and high rpm washing cycles, meaning that the colors will fade, the inks will crack and even peel off. Thus, in order to expand its life, the suggested washing guidelines must be followed.
Try not to overload the washing machine with garments. The recommended number of garments per wash range from 10-15, depending on the thickness and weight of the fabrics. When washing your fabrics remember to always turn them inside out. This will protect the printed design from the abrasion caused between the fabrics during the washing cycles and the additional direct contact with the machine’s drum walls.
Another important parameter would be the detergent type. It is recommended that you should use liquid detergent instead of powder detergent. The granules in powder detergent add to the rubbing and straining of the fibers in the textile, while the print is also suffering. The use of softener is a tricky subject, as in a lot of cases, it causes peeling of the print. Meanwhile, it builds up in the fibers making it harder for water and detergent to permeate the fabric, so odors and stains are more difficult to get out and become sealed in. The rule of thumb is to not use any fabric softener, but If you insist on adding one, make sure that its quantity is small.
Choose washing in low temperatures, about 30-40 oC (86-104 F) or even at a cold wash and use medium washing cycles (600-800 rpm). In addition, washing programs of smaller times (30 min to 1 h) are suggested.
Avoid washing the garments again right after washing them. Don’t place the already washed wet t-shirts for a second wash cycle as soon as you take them out. The fibers when wet are more eager to stretch and thus more sensitive to breaking.
After washing the fabrics, air dry them. The use of a tumble dryer is not suggested, as the high temperatures can have an impact on the print. Keep the t-shirts turned inside out (the print’s side on the inside) when they are exposed to the sun. Sunlight affects the vibrancy of the print and causes fading of the color due to photodegradation.
Last but not least, when ironing the printed areas opt for an iron with a steaming option. Especially in the case of dark garments, where the dtg print usually consists of 3 layers (pretreatment, white underbase plus CMYK) that make it more delicate, by steaming it you help the print stay put plus the iron glides smoother on top of it.
If you having issues with your prints after washing, please check the guide here for troubleshooting: Parameters that affect the wash fastness of print DTG fabrics