Having an autographed t-shirt is special. Whether that t-shirt is signed by a famous person or just by some of your greatest friends you will want to take care of you shirt to have it for a long time. Without taking proper precautions to preserve your autographed t-shirt, you run the risk of having it wear out, fade and destroyed. Taking care of your t-shirt will allow you to enjoy it for years and depending on the autograph allowing you to profit from it later.
If your shirt has been signed in permanent marker you may be able to preserve it easier than if the ink is from a regular pen. One way to protect your autographed shirt is by not washing it obviously! However, that isn’t very fun, so thankfully there are a few other ideas that may help you keep your autograph from fading. One suggestion is to cover the autograph with a clear paint designed for fabrics. This paint may allow the autograph to remain unscathed during washing. One suggestions however, test it on another piece of fabric over the same type of ink and wash several times to ensure it will work for your t-shirt.
Another great option is to simply hand wash the t-shirt with very mild soap such as Woolite or detergent designed for baby clothes. You can also use the gentle cycle if you prefer, but run the risk of the machine damaging the shirt. Do not dry in the dryer though as that might harm the ink. Instead, lay flat to dry or hang on a line in the shade until dry. Craftgaurd is also a product that can be sprayed over the signature to help protect it. This is available at most craft and fabric stores. For best results though washing on the gentle cycle might be warranted.
The best way to ensure the autograph will not fade is to simply not wash it. Hang it in a frame under glass to admire it on your wall. There are also companies that will preserve your clothing in a box that is designed to keep all air and bugs out to keep the clothing in near perfect condition. This option can be quite expensive though and may not work the way you want it to. If you choose to use a preservation company make sure to investigate the company to ensure that they offer the exact services you require.
Not wearing the shirt really is the best way to keep your t-shirt from fading or staining, ruining the effect the autograph provides. Preserving your autographed t-shirt will allow you to enjoy your collectible for years to come. You may even profit from the shirt later on if the autograph becomes worth money. So take your time and choose what method works best for your needs. If you choose to wear your shirt, take your time in washing it with gentle detergents and don’t put it through a dryer. Your shirt is your memory of that particular event in your life and will be a reminder for years to come.