Why Is My Sublimation Print Faded After Washing?

Why Is My Sublimation Print Faded After Washing?

How to Wash Aerial Silks – A Prim...
How to Wash Aerial Silks – A Primer on Silk Care

Sublimation fading is caused by either the dyes in the fabric not being colorfast or by using an unsuitable type of fabric for sublimation printing. Also, fading can happen due to poor wash care or the bad sublimation printing quality.

In this blog post, we’ll go over both of these in detail and give you some tips on how to make sure your sublimation prints stay looking bright and vibrant for years to come.

All the Reasons Why Sublimation Print Faded After Washing?

There are several reasons why sublimation prints may fade after washing.

Incorrect Substrate

The first reason why your sublimation prints might be fading is that you’re using the wrong type of substrate. Sublimation works best on polyester fabrics with a minimum of 60% polyester content. If your fabric has a lower polyester content, it’s more likely to fade after washing.

Too Much Heat

If you use too much heat when pressing your sublimation prints, this can also cause them to fade over time. When applying heat to it, make sure to do so slowly and evenly to prevent any areas from getting too hot and causing the dyes to bleed or fade.

Not Enough Pressure

Another common cause of fading sublimation prints is not using enough pressure when pressing them onto the substrate. You need to use enough pressure to ensure that the dyes transfer evenly and completely onto the fabric. If you don’t use enough pressure, the dyes will bleed and fade over time.

Incorrect Wash Instructions

If you don’t follow the correct wash instructions for your sublimated garments, this can also cause the prints to fade. Make sure to always wash your garments inside out in cold water and hang them to dry to prevent the dyes from bleeding or fading.

Poor Quality Dyes

Finally, if you’re using poor-quality dyes for your sublimation prints, this can also cause them to fade over time. Make sure to use high-quality, fade-resistant dyes to ensure that your prints will last wash after wash.

What Can You Do to Prevent Your Sublimation Prints from Fading?

As with any printing method, there are a few things you can do to help prevent your sublimation prints from fading over time. Here are a few tips:

Use High-Quality Materials

When it comes to sublimation printing, using high-quality materials is key to ensuring this doesn’t fade over time. This means using high-quality inks and papers that are designed for sublimation printing.

Store Your Prints Properly

Storing your prints properly is also essential for preventing fading. Make sure to store it in an area that is cool and dry, away from direct sunlight or other sources of intense light.

Protect Your Prints

If you want to further protect your prints from fading, you can consider framing them or using a UV-resistant varnish.

Display Your Prints Wisely

When displaying your sublimation prints, try to avoid putting them in direct sunlight or near other sources of intense light. This will help prevent the colors from fading over time.

Don’t Expose Your Prints to Excessive Heat Or Moisture

Exposing your sublimation prints to excessive heat or moisture can also cause the colors to fade over time. So, if you’re going to frame your prints, make sure to use acid-free matting and backing board to help protect them.

By following these tips, you can help prevent your sublimation prints from fading over time.

How Can You Restore Faded Sublimation Prints?

If your sublimation prints have started to fade, there are a few things you can do to try and restore them. Depending on the severity of the fading, you may be able to bring back some of the original color and vibrancy with some simple at-home treatments.

Clean the Print

One of the first things you should try when trying to restore faded sublimation prints is to simply clean them. Oftentimes, dirt and debris can build up on the surface of the print and cause it to appear duller than it actually is.

Process of Cleaning

Use a soft, microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any dirt or grime that may be on the surface of the print. If the print is particularly dirty, you may need to use a mild cleaning solution. Just be sure to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the print first to ensure it doesn’t damage the surface.

Use a UV Protection Spray

If your sublimation prints are kept in an area that gets a lot of direct sunlight, this could be causing them to fade prematurely. To help protect them from further fading, you can use a UV protection spray.


Simply spray the print down with the UV protection spray and allow it to dry completely. This will create an invisible barrier that will help deflect some of the harmful UV rays away from the print.

Hang Them in a Different Location

If possible, try to hang your sublimation prints in a different location. If they’ve been hanging in a spot that gets a lot of direct sunlight, moving them to a shadier spot can help prevent further fading.

Frame the Print

Framing the print can also help protect it from further fading. Choose a frame that has UV protection glass and make sure the frame is sealed tightly so that no outside light can get in.

Make Copies of the Print

If you’re really worried about your sublimation prints fading, you can always make copies of them. This way, you’ll still have the original prints to look at and enjoy, but you’ll also have copies that you can display without worry.

Making copies of your prints is also a good idea if you plan on hanging them in a spot that gets a lot of sunlight. That way, if the originals do start to fade, you’ll still have the copies to fall back on.

These are just a few of the things you can do to try and restore faded sublimation prints. If the fading is severe, however, you may need to have the prints professionally restored or replaced.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know If Your Fabric Is Suitable for Sublimation Printing?

To check if your fabric is suitable for sublimation printing, you can do a simple test by taking a piece of white paper and placing it over the fabric. Then, use an iron to heat up the paper. If the print on the paper is clear and sharp, then your fabric is suitable for sublimation printing.

Can You Use Regular Paper for Sublimation Printing?

No, you cannot use a regular paper for sublimation printing. Instead, the paper needs to be specifically designed for this purpose as it has a special coating that helps the ink to transfer onto the fabric.

What Is the Difference Between Sublimation And Heat Transfer?

The main difference between sublimation and heat transfer is that with sublimation, the ink actually becomes part of the fabric, whereas, with heat transfer, the ink remains on the surface of the fabric.

How Do You Avoid Getting Smudges on Your Sublimation Prints?

One way to avoid getting smudges on your sublimation prints is to use a lint roller before you start printing. This will remove any debris or lint from the surface of the fabric so that it does not get transferred onto the print.

Why Sublimation Print Looks Blurry?

There are several reasons. It could be due to the type of fabric you are using, the settings on your printer, or even the quality of the ink. If you are not sure why your print is blurry, it is best to consult with a professional.

Final Say

It’s clear that there are a number of reasons why sublimation prints may fade after washing. By understanding the potential causes, you can take steps to prevent fading and restore faded prints.

So, if you have any questions about how to care for your sublimation prints, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always here to help! Also, have you had any experience with faded sublimation prints? Let us know in the comments below.

Sifat Muntasir

Sifat Muntasir


I’m Sifat. I work as a lecturer in the Department of Textile Engineering at Port City International University. I’m fascinated by the latest developments in the world of fashion and clothing, so I spend most of my time writing about them on this blog.

I also enjoy singing and playing games on the internet in my free time – though I’m not very good at either!

© Copyright - TextileTuts