When you love a t-shirt, it’s like being in the perfect relationship. Everything seems so right. You take great care of it because it looks so perfect on you, and it’s so soft and good smelling. You wash it frequently to keep it nice, and then the fateful day comes. It’s not perfect anymore. There’s a flaw. There’s a crack in the design of your t-shirt.
It has happened to the best of us. Sometimes it’s our fault. We wear the shirt too much or we forget to turn it inside out before washing it. But sometimes, it’s the design itself that’s to blame.
Fixing the Cracks
There are two main ways to put designs on a shirt, screen printing and fabric paint. If the shirt has been screen printed, it has also been cured, or heated and cooled off in order to preserve the design on the shirt. If there are cracks on the screen printing, you can cure it all over again by heating it to 320 degrees in order to melt the design together again, and then letting it cool and dry back together.
Using an Oven
Heating your t-shirt to 320 degrees can be a problem since most people don’t have a screen printing machine in their homes. The easiest and most common ways to heat your t-shirt design are to use an oven, a hot plate, or an iron.
When using an oven, make sure to spread the t-shirt out in order to avoid the design spreading anywhere it isn’t supposed to. Put the shirt in the oven that has ben heated to 320 degrees and leave it in for a minute and 30 seconds before turning off the oven. Leave the shirt in the oven so that it can cool down gradually with the oven, and remove it when it has done so.
Using a Hot Plate
When using a hot plate or an iron, simply place the t-shirt on top of the hot surface, design facing up. These methods are more difficult because only a concentrated area is being heated. The shirt will need more time to become cured this way, but once the design melts and remolds, turn off the plate or iron and let the shirt cool.
Using Fabric Paint
If the design is fabric paint, it’s very easy to fix cracks. Simply find matching color fabric paint and carefully cover the cracks, then let the paint dry before washing the shirt.
The bottom line with t-shirt designs is that they crack easily, especially when the shirt is worn frequently. The best way to fix the problem of cracking is to prevent it before it happens. There are a few precautionary actions to take to protect your shirt.
First of all, you can go through the curing process in order to make sure that the design is really adhered to the shirt and molded together before you wear the shirt the first time.
Other than that, you can try wearing another t-shirt underneath so that you don’t have to wash the shirt as much. You can also remember to turn the t-shirt inside out before washing it, and wash it on a gentle cold cycle.
Another important tip with screen prints is to line dry, not tumble try. And if you must tumble dry, do it on a low temperature.
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This article was written by Kate Stefanski. Kate is originally from Chicago, Illinois but now resides in the beautiful sunshine state of Florida where she is an English major. When she isn’t writing papers and reading Fitzgerald, she blogs her heart out and FaceTimes her nephew. She is also a content creator for DGPromoInc.com. To learn more about Kate, visit her Google+.