How should I tell my customers to care for their garments that feature heat transfer graphics?
A high-quality polyurethane appliqué should last just as long as the garment itself as long as it is washed and dried properly. Nothing shortens the life of a heat transfer graphic faster than improper washing and drying of the garment. To ensure optimal durability, suggest customers follow the simple rules that follow.
Washing garments decorated with heat transfer appliqués involves a little more than separating white garments from colored fabrics:
- To protect the heat transfer application from the abrasion that happens when garments rub together during the wash cycle, turn the garment inside-out.
- Wash the garment at low or warm water temperature settings. Refer to the washing instructions on the garment label and the product application guide for the heat transfer material. In the ideal world, like fabrics should be separated and washed together.
- Use a mild detergent. Never use bleach.
The high heat in driers can cause much more damage to heat applied graphics than washing. To prevent heat damage to appliqués, follow these tips:
- To protect the image from abrasion, turn the garment inside-out.
- Tumble dry on the low temperature setting.
- So clothes can actually tumble as they dry, never overstuff the drier. This practice will also minimize wrinkles.
- Don’t overdry the garment. Remove clothes from the dryer while they are slightly damp. Put clothes on hangers for final drying. Or, hang them to dry on a clothes line. (Do not hang garments outside in the sun to dry, or the UV light will accelerate the fading process.)
When ironing a garment decorated with a heat transfer polyurethane graphic, turn the garment inside-out or cover the graphic with cotton cloth. If a hot iron touches the polyurethane film, it will melt the film and ruin the graphics.