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How to Keep Graphic Tees from Cracking – Best Way

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Isn’t it frustrating to see your favorite graphic t-shirt start cracking or peeling? After multiple machine wash or hand wash, the printed artwork tends to crack or peel away more quickly if you wash them frequently. 

Fortunately, handling a graphic tee with extra care will not cause it to crack. Keep your graphic tee in good condition by washing a graphic tee the correct way.

How do you prevent graphic tees from cracking? To prevent graphic tees from cracking, always flip the t-shirt inside out before washing either by machine or by hand. 

Additionally, use cold water instead of hot water to prevent designs from peeling, and avoid ironing t-shirts or using a dryer machine. Instead, hang dry immediately after washing in a well ventilated area to avoid from crinkles. 

Even when following proper washing instructions, you might be wondering what to do to keep your graphic t-shirts from cracking or peeling. In this article, we are going the share tips and ways to keep graphic tees from cracking. 

Answered below are frequently asked questions about why graphic tees crack and the best ways to prevent the situation from occurring. Take these following steps to ensure that your tee shirt prints stay colorful and fresh for many years to come.

Do Screen Print Shirts Crack?

No, screen printed shirts don’t fade and crack much like digital screen printing. However, when you see prints start to crack, it is because the plastic based ink is thick and the heating or drying process was not properly cured. 

In addition, the prints may not be made with high quality, or the t-shirts are too stretchy or have a low stitch density. Washing and drying can ultimately have an effect on graphic shirts cracking.

Unfortunately, if you want your shirt with more than three colors or full color, only some experts will come up with accurate color results for shirts with screen printing. Screen printing ink will take around 20 minutes to dry, it it must be properly cured to increase longevity.

Why Does the Print On My Shirt Crack?

There are various causes of peeled print, but the primary case is inexpensive and low-quality vinyl material to save some cash. In addition, graphics on shirts crack due to improper washing methods.

Cracked prints are mostly manufactured with digital heat transfer and vinyl printing. 

Good quality printing is crucial to increase durability. Cheap vinyl tends to have weak adhesive and poor material, leading to quick damage, including cracking and peeling of prints.

Print cracking can also be linked to silkscreen printing. If vendors apply poor-quality silkscreen, the cracks can appear after just a few washes.

Inadequate drying and curing of silkscreen ink can also lead to print cracking. Ensure the graphic tees are printed dried properly to increase durability and quality assurance.

Another reason that prints on graphic shirts start cracking is due to the ink not being cured properly. When ink on the graphic is not cured, it will start to crack when the shirt is slightly stretched or even when washed. 

Also, high heat in a washer and dryer can degrade the bonds and cause the prints to detach.

Tips to Preserve a T-Shirt Print

The prints on your t-shirt can quickly fade away, leaving the graphic tees looking dull, cracked and frayed around the edges. The last thing you want is to see that fancy logo and text start to fade away. 

However, this can only happen if you don’t take care of the prints. Luckily, here are useful clothing cleaning tips to keep t-shirt prints looking new for a long time:

  • Clean all tees with the same color and fabric texture together. When washing, always separate printed tees from other clothes with buttons and zips because the notions can rub against the prints and damage the graphics.
  • Stop wearing printed t-shirt regularly. If you wear a single graphic tee every day, you will have to wash it regularly, causing it to not last very long. The less you wear the tee, the less you will wash it; thus, the longer it will last.
  • Use gentle setting on your washing machine. It will help reduce the friction in the washer by minimizing the tumbling and wringing of the printed tees. Consider using a washing machine with no agitator. 
  • Use cold water when washing printed tees instead of hot water. This will help the prints stay stronger and avoid from shrinking. Heat can easily damage prints on the t-shirts, let alone shrink the fabric which could cause the artwork to crack or peel.
  • Skip the washing machine and wash printed tees by hand to help them last longer. Even though you might use the gentle setting in the washer, t-shirts will be moved around by machine lot more compared to hand washing. After some time, this can result in the cracking of prints due to excess friction inside the appliance. Hand washing can be easy if you only wash the printed tees and not all your clothes at once. 
  • Select mild homemade laundry detergent to wash graphic t-shirt and do not use bleach.

Best Way to Prevent Graphic Tees from Cracking

No doubt, it’s desirable to have your freshly printed t-shirts to retain their colorful artwork for a long time. Here are ways to help prevent prints on t-shirts from cracking so they remain colorful and vibrant for a long time:

  • Turn the t-shirt inside out before placing it in the washing machine. It will offer more protection and reduce direct contact of prints with the rest of the clothing. This step is quite simple and effective, it will also make your printed tees more durable. Additionally, use this trick on your jeans to protect them from fading and help retain the original color without fading as long as possible.
  • If you have to iron a t-shirt to remove wrinkles, avoid ironing directly on the graphic prints. Use low-temperature settings on the iron and ensure to turn the t-shirt inside out before ironing. Heat is not good for t-shirt prints, and regular ironing of t-shirts destroys the prints making them peel off even easier.
  • When washing printed t-shirts, it is always good to use cold water instead of hot or warm water. Using hot water can cause the tee to fade, hence no need to use it.
  • Always avoid using dryer machine. It will help save time, but they are terrible when it comes to drying printed t-shirts. Heat is never good for graphic designs, and it will damage the prints and shrink the t-shirts, making them crack. Drying your tees under shade in a well ventilated area is the safest way. 

Whether washing or drying, keeping graphic tees from cracking is number one thing to take care. The more you wear and clean, the quicker graphic prints may start to deteriorate. 

When washing them, follow these steps to at least prevent cracks from happening for a while, and extend the life of your graphic tee far beyond expectations.

How to keep graphic tees from cracking

Prevent Graphic Tees from Cracking: Conclusion

To keep graphic tees from cracking is unavoidable. Unfortunately, it is hard to know if the graphics and inks are made with high quality long lasting durability until you start wearing and cleaning them. 

No matter what, the more you wear the more tear any garment receives.

The key to keeping a graphic tee from cracking while cleaning it using a washing machine is turning it inside out. Flipping the print to the inside of the tee will protect the design from getting in contact with the rest of the clothes in the appliance. 

If you don’t flip it inside out, the prints on the surface of the tee may contact zippers, buttons, or the drum of the washer, causing unwanted damage. It will also ensure that the prints have fewer contact with abrasives, thus preventing the graphics from cracking. 

To avoid cracking, use cold water to clean the shirts. Using hot water will damage the prints on your fabric. 

Additionally, avoid using bleach on graphic tees as it can destroy the color of the shirt. Bleach will destroy prints on your graphic t-shirts and also discolor any colored material in the washer.

The last step to preserving printed tees is not putting them in the dryer. The heat emitted by the dryer can alter the quality of the print causing it to peel, crack, fade or distort in many ways. 

To preserve printed tees for the long haul, hang them in a well ventilated area to dry. It would be best if you hung them inside out when trying to protect the fabric from fading if it is in direct sunlight.

Following these simple steps will help you maintain your graphic tees without worrying about the prints cracking or peeling off too quickly. When washed properly, printed tees can last a very long time.

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