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Why Do T-Shirts Fade In Color?

We all love new, vibrant colored T-shirts. In fact, when we first buy them, we often choose T-shirts because they are the perfect color we are looking for. However, the rather unfortunate thing about cotton T-shirts, in particular, is that they will inevitably fade. Some fade very quickly while others keep their color longer. Purchasing certain types of T-shirts and specific care techniques will help to ensure your T-shirts stay looking good longer. So, why do T-shirts fade in color at all?

There are multiple factors that play a part in T-shirts fading with time. Below is a list of the most common ones.

•    Certain fabrics tend to hold dye better than others. Cotton, the most common fabric of T-shirts, is not one of these fabrics. In fact cotton is notorious for fading quickly in color.
•    The laundry is a primary culprit in making T-shirts fade in color. Color cotton tees have a tendency to fade with washes and especially when dried in the dryer, because the T-shirt fibers break down over time.
•    Hanging color T-shirts to dry outside is also not a good idea. The sun has a natural bleaching effect on clothing, so it is advised to let colors dry inside, away from the sun’s rays, to preserve the intensity of the color.
•    The dye process used in the fabrication of the T-shirt material will also impact how quickly or slowly a T-shirt fades. Cottons that have been dyed using hot, longer processes will have more resistant color than other processes, as the chemical process needed to bind the dye to the cotton will be better activated.
•    The quality of the T-shirts is important for fading. Often T-shirts that are cheaper and of less quality will fade much faster than others. This is often because the production methods were not good quality and attention was not paid to the colorfastness of the item.

Tips to prevent T-shirt colors from fading:
•    Turn them inside out before washing them.
•    Use a mild detergent and warm or cool water, not hot.
•    Do not put them in the dryer but hang them inside to dry instead.
•    The first time you wash a new vividly colored T-shirt, add a cup of vinegar or some table salt to the water with the detergent. This will help the dye to set in better.
•    Use one of the new detergents that is specially formulated for dark colors.

If you happen to have some faded out T-shirts, the absolute best way to replace them is with custom-made tees. You can have a shirt completely replicated through custom printing so that it perfectly matches the one that no longer looks good enough to wear.  When you are making the choices required when ordering a custom-made T-shirt, be sure to order the highest quality one you can, especially if you are getting one in a dark or vivid color. They will hold the color best and stay looking good much longer.

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