One of the things that draw us to clothes is the colors and patterns on them. However, over time, those colors and patterns might start to fade, making the clothes lose their appeal.
While it is inevitable for clothes to fade, especially after having them for a long time, there are several ways you can keep the bright colors in including:
1. Buy clothes printed using sublimation printing
One question you are probably asking is, “what is sublimation, and why should you choose it over other methods of printing?” Sublimation printing is a type of printing clothes that involves transferring dye to the intended cloth using heat.
The people printing first print the desired graphics and images on a particular type of paper placed over the cloth they want to transfer it to. They then apply heat on the special paper, allowing the graphics to transfer from the paper to the fabric.
This method leaves the cloth breathable and soft to the touch, unlike other methods where the graphics leave the fabric feeling hard. The graphics printed using sublimation do not wear off, peel, or come off in the wash, which leaves them bright for a long time.
2. Read the label
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways of maintaining that bright color on your clothes. That lets you know the best way to wash your clothes, whether in the machine or using your hands. It also informs you about the water temperature and the cycle seed.
Labels also contain information on whether you should wash the fabric only with clothes of similar colors, the types of washing detergents you should use, and how to dry it.
3. Turn the inside out
You can prevent a lot of the wear and tear or fading n your clothes by turning them inside out when washing and drying them. That way, if they fade or get damaged, it happens on the inside, but the outside remains bright.
You should also turn them inside out if you are hang drying your clothes outside. That way, the sun will not cause the outside to fade.
4. Wash in cold water
Washing clothes in warm water might help expand them if they are too tight or softening the fabric. However, they make it easier for your clothes to release dye, which causes fading because it opens the fabric.
To further prevent bleeding from your fabrics, add half a cup of salt to your washing water. That works best to lock in new clothes and help restore color to some of your faded garments.
5. Don’t over-dry
Drying exposes your clothes to a lot of friction and heat, which makes them fade faster. The dryer also makes the surface of your clothes rough, which might make them appear fader than they are.
If you have to use the dryer, set a timer, and ensure the clothes are a bit dump when you remove them. To avoid heat and friction, consider line drying.
However, do not hang your clothes in direct sunlight because that also discolors your clothes. Also, remember to turn them inside out, and don’t leave them out for too long.
6. Add fabric conditioner or use the gentle cycle
Just like the dryer, the washing machine also exposes your clothes to friction. To minimize or avoid that friction, use the gentle cycle of the washing machine or hand wash your clothes. While that may take longer, it will keep the color intact.
Using a fabric conditioner when washing your clothes reduces friction and abrasion by lubricating your clothes, preventing fading. If you can’t afford a fabric conditioner, add a cup of vinegar to your washing water.
It acts as a natural fabric softener, and it locks in the color and reduces detergent buildup on your clothes.
Understanding the fabric of your clothes also helps keep clothes brighter. Some fabrics lock in the dye longer than others. Read the label to see the fabrics used to make the clothes.