Whether they are handmade or machine sewed, embroidered designs are a great way to stand out! They are perfect for personalized gifts, professional uniforms, or adding a colorful touch to your outfits. But how do you care for embroidered clothing?
One of the main advantages of embroidered garments is that their designs are typically more resilient than others, such as screen printed ones.
However, that doesn’t mean you should just care for them however you want! Even the highest-quality embroidery jobs can be ruined with time if you aren’t caring for them right.
If you want to get the most out of your embroidered garments, we recommend you follow these simple care recommendations. Keep in mind that hand sewn designs are usually more delicate, so for those, you’ll always want to use the least harsh method possible.
Table of contents:
Washing Embroidered Clothes
Before we explain how to wash your embroidered garments, there’s something we should mention. The care instructions on your clothes’ tags typically only consider the fabric itself and not any designs that have been added on to it, such as embroidery jobs.
This likely means the instructions below will differ from what’s listed on the tag and that’s okay!
The hand-wash method:
While hand washing embroidered clothes would be optimal, it is unrealistic to assume most people have the time and energy required. Luckily, embroidery can also be machine washed with little to no damage!
However, if you are willing to do some extra manual work, make sure you wash the clothes with a mild detergent using cold water. Also, importantly, do not wring out the embroidered design — it could damage the stitching.
The machine-wash method:
Not everyone has time to hand wash their clothes, so most people will probably opt for machine washing and that’s okay!
There are many online articles on care for embroidered clothing that say you shouldn’t machine wash embroidery, but it is definitely possible as long as you do it right. If you’ve already read our guide to screen-printed garment care, these tips should sound familiar.
- When washing your embroidered garments in a washing machine, you want to use the coldest setting possible. Using cold water reduces shrinkage and fading, keeping your embroidered design like new.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals during the wash cycle too. A mild detergent is likely as much as you’ll need, but if you must use bleach, make sure it is non-chlorine bleach. Using chlorine bleach in any amount could stain or fade colorful designs.
- You’ll also want to run the “delicate” or “gentle” cycle. Your clothes won’t be agitated as much, which minimizes damage to your embroidered designs.
Once your clothes are finished washing, pull them out of the machine as soon as possible and move on to drying them.
Drying Embroidered Clothes
If it’s an option, we recommend air-drying your embroidered clothes. Hanging your clothes to dry significantly reduces the chances of any pieces shrinking.
Shrinkage is especially bad for embroidered designs because when a garment shrinks, the embroidery may not shrink evenly with it. This results in a warped design that may no longer look like the original.
If hanging your clothes to dry isn’t practical, you can always toss them in the dryer. Just make sure to use the lowest heat setting possible to minimize any damage.
And again, as mentioned in the washing section, don’t ever wring out your embroidered garments.
Ironing Embroidered Clothes
When ironing your embroidered clothes, make sure you flip them inside out first — this will reduce the likelihood of visible damage to the design. After doing so, iron the garment as usual but add an additional layer of fabric between the iron and the embroidered section.
These extra steps only take a few seconds, but they could prevent permanent damage.
BYOG has decades of experience applying embroidery designs to garments. Contact us if you want help creating your own custom apparel today!