How to Keep Sublimation from Fading? (4 Reasons & Solutions)


Do your sublimation prints fade or look dull after some time, and now you’re worried about saving them from fading? It’s a common issue that countless sublimation technicians face. The good thing is this problem has solutions which we’ll discuss below in detail, along with reasons why it happens. So let’s move toward the main topic.

how to keep sublimation from fading after washing

Why Does My Sublimation Look Faded?

The biggest benefits of sublimation prints are their durability and impressive color accuracy. Then why do many people complain that their sublimation prints look faded? 

Well, it happens when someone washes the object, e.g., t-shirts, in the wrong way or uses low-quality materials. UV rays of sunlight and lack of knowledge and experience are also common reasons why sublimation prints look faded.

We can’t pinpoint any specific thing as to why it happens because of not knowing the situation of prints. However, I’ll discuss all of the reasons and their solutions in detail so you’ll be able to know what’s the issue in your case and how you can keep sublimation from fading.

4 Common Reasons Why Sublimation Prints Look Faded (Solutions Included)

Here are the most common reasons why sublimation prints look faded, along with the solutions that will help keep sublimation from fading.  

Mistake No#1 – Use of Hot Water 

Have you ever noticed that after washing the object, the sublimation prints look dull, and their color becomes light? If that’s the case, then it’s because you’re not washing the item correctly. 

Some people use hot water while washing clothes which is okay if the shirt or the object doesn’t have sublimation prints because hot water breaks down garments fiber. But if the object has sublimation prints then be ready for the damages.

Solution: Make sure the water you’re using is cold or mild-warm for washing. Besides, just like hot water, dryers are also harmful to sublimation. It’s better not to use them to avoid fading sublimation prints. 

Pro Tip: Don’t use a harsh detergent; bleach excessively while washing cloth. Our suggestion is to find a mild laundry detergent and then use it. 

Mistake No# 2 – Use of Low-Quality Material 

You may not know, but the materials you use while sublimating prints play an important role. It affects the quality of the design and also its durability. For example, low-quality sublimation ink or substrates come at a cheap price but won’t last long. As a result, the sublimation fades after a few months. 

Solution: The solution for this issue is you must use high-quality things while sublimating designs on all objects.

Read More: How to make sublimation prints brighter?

Mistake No# 3 – Sun UV Rays 

Sublimation prints will fade automatically if they’re consistently exposed to the sun for hours because of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation effects. 

So what’s the solution? Is it possible to protect objects from the sun’s UV rays? Not completely if it’s a t-shirt, but yes, you can protect it as much as you can. 

Solution: Ensure you’re not drying the t-shirt outside in the daytime after washing. And if you’re worried about an object, place it somewhere in your home where it’s safe from UV rays. 

Pro Tip: It’s better to find a shady place in the backyard to dry the t-shirt or other sublimation items. 

Mistake No#4 – Wrong Temperature Settings

The main difference that makes someone a sublimation technician expert or a beginner is the knowledge of heat press temperature settings. You can’t use the same settings all the time. It varies depending on many factors. Most of the time, beginners use the wrong time and temperature while sublimating, which causes this issue of fading.

Solution: The only solution to this is to practice and do experiments to see what works best for you. Before sublimating on the right object, you should practice on extra material. In this way, you’ll know the right time and temperature settings.

How To Keep Sublimation From Fading After Washing?

If your sublimation print is fading after washing. You can try these things:

  • Don’t wash the object or t-shirt a lot with hot water. 
  • Use mild detergent. 
  • Make sure you’re not ironing the design. 
  • Never use bleach for washing sublimating objects.

Final Words 

So that was all about why sublimation prints fade and how you can keep sublimation from fading. Just make sure you’re not making any mistakes which we’ve stated above, and follow the proper guide. Happy sublimating! 

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