Like screen printed apparel, items that feature embroidered designs may need a little extra care to ensure they last as long as possible. The thing about embroidery is that the threads tend to break and eventually the design starts to come apart, especially if it is machine washed often. Undoubtedly, if you have apparel that features an embroidered design then you probably want to protect it from wear and tear and other potential damage from simple day to day use. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent damage to your embroidered clothing.
Washing Embroidered Clothing
The best way to take care of embroidered apparel is to hand wash it, but if you can’t do that then it’s best to turn items inside out when you’re machine washing them. This helps protect items from undue harm and will keep the threads from snagging on anything which would be detrimental to the overall life of the embroidered design. Regardless of how you decide to wash the item(s) in question, you should always test for colorfastness before washing and use a mild detergent every time. You should also never bleach embroidered designs, for obvious reasons. This will ensure that your embroidered designs won’t fade too soon, which will keep them looking new.
Sometimes the dye in embroidery thread isn’t colorfast and thus tends to bleed on the first washing. You should always wash embroidered clothing in cold water when it’s new, and if you notice any color bleeding then it’s important to always wash in cold water until the time that this is no longer observed. Whether or not different threads bleed depends on the thread fiber itself and the dyes used – chemical dyes tend to bleed a lot more than natural ones, and rayon tends to be less colorfast than polyester.
When you’re ironing embroidered clothing, there are certain steps that you should follow to extend the life of your embroidered design. You should either use a pressing cloth or iron on the back of the embroidered piece of clothing, as this will help prevent the threads from getting broken and coming out because they won’t get snagged on the iron. Never steam iron embroidered clothing, as the steam might cause the sizing of the threads to shrink, which will in turn cause the embroidered design to have a “puckered” look.
All clothing shows wear and tear over time, but there are definite steps that you can take to preserve the life of your embroidered designs and to keep them looking like new for as long as possible. If you would like more information about proper care for embroidered apparel, visit RiverCity Screenprinting & Embroidery, located in San Marcos, TX.