Why is My Sublimation Print Faded After Washing? 7 Reasons

Sublimation Print

You may be wondering why is my sublimation print faded after washing but didn’t reach the point. Normally, it is caused by poor grade sublimation inks, low-quality transfer paper or low-quality sublimation printer. If you want to know how to make sublimation last longer, this post is right for you.

Every type of material can be printed on with sublimation, which is typically done to personalize items. Heat and precision are used to precisely transmit sublimation prints into fabrics to give them a stunning appearance.

Each point will be covered in detail below, along with suggestions for how to safeguard the sublimation print. Consequently, continue reading to get useful information.

Why Sublimation Prints Faded After Some Washes?

The process of sublimation printing involves applying heat to a surface to transfer dye. The material absorbs the dye after it has vaporized. T-shirts, mugs, and other items that can be washed frequently feature the prints. Sadly, the user runs into numerous issues during production. Sometimes, sublimation images appear faded, and the printer starts printing lines.

The sublimation prints we deal with frequently fade after being washed, despite how we manage to deal with these problems. Although the cause of this is unknown, the following are most likely to blame:

Poor Grade Sublimation Inks

Choosing your sublimation inks frequently results in using inferior inks. After I washed the fabric twice, the sublimation faded because I used low-quality ink for it. The print might deteriorate if there isn’t a protective coating. We advise you to always choose reputable brands so that at the very least you can be certain your work will be error-free.

Low-quality Transfer Paper

The key to any high-quality sublimation print is transfer paper. It is responsible for the overall appearance of the finished product and is the base on which your image will be printed. So what happens if your transfer paper is subpar?

The catalytic process employs transfer paper to produce prints of exceptional quality. How well your print turns out will depend on the quality of your transfer paper. After washing, the print will fade if the transfer paper is subpar.

Low-quality Sublimation Printer

T-shirts and other clothing items are frequently designed using the sublimation prints. However, after a few washings, the print on the clothing may start to fade. The sublimation printer is one of the more frequent causes, though there are other potential causes as well.

Sublimation Print

Ultra Violet Sun Rays

If the sublimation ink used is not of high quality, the printing on the fabric will fade when exposed to direct sunlight. If you dry your t-shirts in the sun every day, the UV rays will most likely fade them. Therefore, it is advised to hang the clothes to dry in a shaded area of the sun. This will lessen the likelihood of the printing fading.

Polymer Coating

The polymer coating is the final factor that raises a concern. A polymer coating is present on hard surfaces such as wood, ceramic, and others. Furthermore, the use of polymer inks results in an excess of layers, which is why prints lose their color after being washed.

Check to see if the material is coated with a polymer, as per our advice. Avoid adding more layers if it already has.

Washing With Chemical Detergents

When used with chemical detergents containing bleach, sublimation prints become less resistant. Avoid washing the t-shirts in detergents that contain bleach or any other hazardous chemicals, though, if you want to make sure that sublimation prints last for a long time.

Not Applying the Appropriate Heat Press Temperature

The temperature and duration of the heat press are also important factors in how quickly the prints fade. According to the substrate material and sublimation paper, you must set the proper heat pressure and time. For more guidance on time and temperature, you can check how to sublimate a shirt.

Also Read: Why is My Printer Printing Faded Text?

Does the Sublimation Prints Fade After Washing?

Custom designs can be printed on clothing and other fabric items using a sublimation printer. However, there is some worry that the ink may deteriorate with time. more so if the item has been washed.

How do you stop this? It might be in your best interest to think about purchasing a high-quality sublimation printer, branded inks, branded papers, and a heat press if you plan to produce a lot of clothing. Using this method, an image on the fabric is produced that won’t deteriorate or fade with time from washing.

How to Make Sublimation Last Longer?

If sublimation is to last for a long time, some sacrifices must be made. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided to stop light fading. Additionally, in order to preserve more colors, we must wash sublimated clothing less frequently. After that, it can be utilized for a long time.

Quality sublimation produced with premium ink, sublimation printers, and transfer paper reportedly lasts for four years. However, keep in mind that it alters based on usage.

Read More: How To Fix Cracked Print On Shirt?

Sublimation Washing Instructions

Do not be concerned if you are unsure of how to prevent your sublimation from fading after washing. You can wash them by hand or in the washing machine, just like you would any other fabric.

Please refer to the instructions below for washing your sublimation items because it depends on the material it is made of.

Wash Initially in Cold Water

Cool water should always be used to start a sublimation wash. Never dry sublimation-printed clothing in a dryer.

They can maintain their scent with just a little cool water and indirect sunlight. Before putting it in the washing machine, treat any food or other stains with stain remover.

Never Include Fabric Softener Or Bleach

Sublimation should never be washed with bleach or fabric softener. Bleach ruins the dye, and fabric softener prevents clothing from drying properly through sublimation. It also imparts a yellow tint to white ink on clothing.

Use Moderate Amounts of Detergent

Use a moderate amount of detergent when washing sublimated clothing. If you fill your washing machine to the brim with detergent, it can be difficult to keep a clean, crisp design; sublimation fabric’s color cannot be preserved for very long.

The suggested amount of detergent is one tablespoon of powder or two tablespoons of liquid; if you require more cleaning power, add an additional half ounce of liquid.

After Rinsing, Dry

The most important thing to keep in mind is that sublimated fabrics should never be dried.

All you need to do is wash your sublimated item and hang it up immediately because a dryer’s heat and agitation will ruin the design.

When Your Shirt is Just a Little Damp, Iron It?

Since heat dries out colors, it is preferable to iron your clothing when it is just a little bit damp. By steam ironing, which also sets your design, you can eliminate any wrinkles that might appear after washing. Be cautious not to use too much water or hang your clothing up too soon after drying.

Sublimate Again When Necessary

Your sublimation fabric might require additional sublimation after washing. This makes it possible for you to wear them until they are cozy before hand-staining or sending them back for resurfacing.

Related Post: How to Wash Printed Shirts?


Can the Sublimation Print Be Washed?

Cold water can be used to wash the sublimation print. Likewise, try to limit your use of washing powder. Additionally, tumble dryer drying is not recommended for clothing that has been sublimated. Hang the clothing quickly in its place.

Will Sublimation Wash Out of Cotton?

Sublimation will wash out of cotton if you try to seal the sublimation transfers onto untreated fabric. As a result, the all-natural cotton fibers and the synthetic sublimation dye are unable to chemically bond.

Final Words: Why Sublimation Print Faded After Washing?

Due to its long life cycle, sublimation printing is the best print technique. Sublimation print faded after washing means there’s something terribly wrong. It could be a problem with the printing process or the paper you’re using.

The methods mentioned above are now the best ones to use to stop your results from fading. When your own image is on a t-shirt and it fades, it is always frustrating. The aforementioned factors affect the results of the fading.

Your sublimation prints will continue to look their best for years to come if you understand the reasons why they fade and follow the recommended care instructions.

Read More: How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt?