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How to Wash Hand Painted Clothes


I have painted a lot of clothes in my art career so far, on denim jackets, t-shirts, hoodies and shirt etc, and on of the most important steps is the care process after the painting to ensure the paints last longer and don't fade. Here are some examples of 1 of 1 art pieces I have created on clothes



Keep in mind when washing your painted clothes, the more you wash the clothes the more likely the designs won't last as long or if you're not washing them right, this is a gentle process to prevent the art fading. If you are painting your clothing, ALWAYS use fabric paint or acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium, here is the paints and fabric medium I use:


Machine Washing



1. Heat Set Paints

After you have painted your clothes you should know that you will need to heat set the paints, I use a iron on the clothing piece for around 5 minutes on the highest temperature and steam with a piece of baking tray paper in between the iron and the paintwork. This will make sure the paints last and don't crack before washing, if you're ordering a painted piece by me I will heat set the artwork before I ship so it is ready to be worn and washed etc.


Most Paints can withstand washing machine temperatures of 40 C (104 F).


2. Turn your clothes inside out

Make sure to turn your garment piece inside out including the sleeves or legs, and this will help protect the artwork from any damage in the drum itself


3. Set machine wash to a gentle cycle and cold water

When you have turned your clothes inside out, it is ready to be washed, I usually recommend using a washing machine with a gentle cycle, meaning a low speed setting as well as using a cold water setting. But if your garment is extra dirty you can use a higher temperature.


Keep in mind, on your first wash getting your clothes, please don't use any chemicals just in case any paint bleeds. When you have done this, you can then wash the painted piece with a regular wash.


4. Don't Use Bleach or Fabric Softener

I recommend using a mild detergent rather than one that has bleach or fabric softener in it, this will clean your painted clothes safely.


5. Hang dry clothing

Take your painted clothing piece out of the washer and let it hang dry fully for around 24 hours, I recommend not using a dryer as it can be too hot at times, remember to also iron your clothing inside out so the paint isn't affected by the heat of the iron.


Hand Washing




1. Fill bath or bucket with cold water

This method is the best way to preserve the artwork on painted clothing, especially if it is a large painting. Simply filled a bath or a large bucket with cold water, this temperature (rather than hot) will protect the paints better.


2. Add detergent

Now add a water-based detergent to the water, preferably just a couple drops, anything including bleach or alcohol will damage the artwork.


3. Soak for 20 minutes

Let the clothing soak in the soap for around 15-20 minutes and make sure it is fully covered with water. You can now scrub spots that are still dirty if you like, try not to scrub the painted areas though.


4. Rinse in cold water

Remove clothing from the bath/bucket and rinse in cold water and wring it out so it is not dripping, try to avoid wringing the area with paint on.


5. Hang dry clothing

Take your painted clothing piece out of the washer and let it hang dry fully for around 24 hours, I recommend not using a dryer as it can be too hot at times, remember to also iron your clothing inside out so the paint isn't affected by the heat of the iron.


Thank you for reading this blog post and I hope it helps you preserve your wearable art piece!


You can order a 1 of 1 commissioned piece from me, simply fill in a request form here: https://www.camcreatez.com/requests





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