How Long Does DTG Printing Last?

How Long Does DTG Printing Last

As you must know, direct-to-garment printing is a modern method that involves using inkjet technology to print designs directly onto clothing and other fabric-based materials. It is popular among individuals and businesses looking for high-quality, personalized garments. However, most people don’t know how long does DTG printing last.

Keep reading to learn about the durability of DTG printing and other interesting facts related to it.

DTG print on a grey shirt

How Long Does DTG Printing Last?

The durability of DTG printing depends on several factors, like how frequently you wear that garment, the temperature the garment is washed in, print quality, color, and the type of garment. 

In our industry, the rule of thumb is that DTG-printed garments last about 50 washes. While many agree, that is not true. With proper care, DTG prints will last way longer than that. With contract DTG printing, we will make you look like a pro and stand out!

What Impacts the Lifespan of DTG Prints?

Frequency of wearing a garment

The frequency of wearing the garment can impact the longevity of DTG prints. The more often a garment is worn and washed, the more it is exposed to detergents and other elements that can gradually fade or damage the print.

While DTG prints are typically durable, frequent wear can lead to signs of wear and tear. To make these garments last longer, we recommend following the care instructions given by the printing companies and avoiding unnecessary washing and drying.

The temperature the garment is washed in

The temperature at which DTG-printed clothes are washed is important for prolonging their lifespan. Washing DTG printed clothes in hot water and drying with heat will break or fade prints, leading to a shorter lifespan for the garment. 

So, we advise you to wash your printed shirts, T-shirts, or hoodies in cold or cool water with gentle detergents or soaps and air dry them. This helps prints last longer. You should also follow the instructions from the printing provider or the manufacturer.

Print quality

The quality of your DTG print will also impact its durability. A high-quality print with vibrant colors and crisp lines is more likely to last longer than a low-quality print that fades or cracks quickly.

That is why we recommend you choose a reputable DTG printing company that works with high-quality inks and modern printing technology. Plus, choosing a high-resolution printing method for your design is essential to ensure the print is clear.

Ink and pretreatment liquid

A pretreatment solution is a polymeric emulsion that fills in the spaces between the material.

The inks and pretreatment liquids used for DTG printing must be certified and of good quality to make sure that the printer will work at its full capacity. This will also produce beautiful colors and sharp details and wash fastness.

Pretreatment application and curing process

The precoating process of the garment aims to create a smooth, wrinkle-free surface that is suitable for inks and allows an excellent quality print. 

For us, it is primal to apply the pretreatment liquid correctly. Also, we must be careful about the fixation parameters of the pretreatment liquids and inks, like time and temperature, to ensure an optimal result.

Garment color

The color of your shirt can impact the durability of your DTG print. Generally, lighter-colored shirts are easier to print on and result in a more long-lasting print. This is because the ink is absorbed more easily into the light-colored fibers.

To print on darker-colored shirts, we need to put a white base before applying the colored ink. This extra layer, sometimes, can lead to less durable prints.

Garment type

The type of garment you choose can influence the durability of your DTG print. The level of compatibility with the ink varies based on the type of fabric. Natural fabrics tend to receive the ink better than synthetic fibers. DTG printing works best on cotton and cotton blends.

Choosing high-quality garments that have been pre-washed to prevent them from shrinking afterward is also crucial. Moreover, the quality and construction of the garment, like the thread count and fabric thickness, can also impact how well the print holds up to wear and washing. That is why we recommend choosing high-quality clothing pieces suitable for DTG printing to ensure the longer durability of the print.

DTG print on a black shirt

How to Care for DTG Prints to Last Longer

DTG prints will last longer if you care for them properly. Here are some useful tips we decided to share to help you maintain the durability of your DTG printed garments.

Follow manufacturer or printing provider instructions

Always read and follow the care instructions given by the garment manufacturer. These guidelines are specific to the fabric and the print and will help you determine the best way to care for your DTG prints.

Wash garments inside out

Turning the garments inside out before washing helps protect the printed design from rubbing with other clothes in the washing machine. We advise you to wash the printed garments inside out to prevent the print from fading or cracking too soon.

Use a gentle cycle

When washing DTG-printed garments, choose a gentle cycle setting on your washing machine. Aggressive washing cycles may damage the print. Using a gentle cycle will preserve both the fabric and the print.

Avoid hot water

Washing garments with hot water may cause garments to fade and deteriorate. It is best to use warm or cold water when washing DTG-printed apparel. This temperature helps preserve the colors and the ink.

Use mild detergent

Choose a mild detergent free from chemicals, bleach, or enzymes. Harsh detergents can cause color fading or damage the ink of the print. We recommend following the detergent manufacturer’s instructions and using only the suggested amount.

Be careful with fabric softeners

Softeners contain chemicals that may negatively impact the ink of DTG prints. These chemicals may cause fabrics to fade over time. That is why we advise you to avoid using fabric softeners or use a small amount if you want to care for your DTG-printed clothes.

Do not bleach

Bleach can make the fabric thin and damage the print. So, we advise you to avoid using bleach on any DTG-printed garments to save the printed design and make it last longer.

Air dry or tumble dry on the lowest setting

We recommend air-drying your printed garments. If you must use the dryer, select the lowest heat setting (tumble dry low) to avoid damaging the print.

Do not dry clean

Unfortunately, DTG prints aren’t designed to tolerate dry cleaning processes. That is why we recommend not to take your printed garments to a dry cleaner since the harsh chemicals may ruin the print.

Store properly

When not wearing your DTG-printed garments, it is essential to store them appropriately. Avoid stacking them too tightly to prevent creases and wrinkles. It is best to hang them or lay them flat in a clean and dry space.

Remember that proper care is fundamental to prolonging the lifespan of your printed garments.

stocks of t-shirts with DTG prints


Once you know how long does DTG printing last, you will be more careful of the factors contributing to or affecting its lifespan. Factors impacting the longevity of DTG prints include print quality, pretreatment liquid, inks, pretreatment application, color, the frequency of wearing the garment, how you wash it, etc.

Remember to follow the printer provider’s instructions, wash the garment inside out, avoid bleach, use a mild detergent, and air dry it. Moreover, it is important to store the printed garment properly. If you follow these tips, your DTG-printed T-shirt or other piece of clothing will definitely withstand more than 50 washes.