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4 Reasons to Not Pre Wash Apparel Before Applying Heat Transfer Material (HTV) in Your Craft Business

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To prewash or not to prewash… that is the question if you are making and selling shirts or other apparel in your Silhouette or Cricut small business. (I hear this is disputed in the world of sewing as well!) I say no prewashing of apparel before embellishing it. Here’s why:

4 Reasons to Not Pre Wash

  1. Washed is not the same as new. Shirts that have been washed feel different than shirts that haven’t been washed. Customers expect a brand new item when purchasing. Similarly, pre washing can lead to shrinking!
  2. Manufacturers don’t recommend it. I’ve never seen manufacturer instructions that recommend prewashing a shirt (or other apparel) before pressing it. Prepressing with your heat press to remove moisture and wrinkles is suggested – but not pre washing. (If you’ve seen this from a manufacturer, feel free to share with me. But, I’m talking about manufacturers of heat transfer materials, not bloggers or retailers.)
  3. Allergies and sensitivities. Many people are allergic or sensitive to dyes and fragrances. To prevent having issues, skip prewashing.
  4. It’s time consuming. I don’t know about you, but I have enough laundry to do with 4 kids, a husband, and a dog. The last thing I need is more laundry!

Tell me in the comments: Do you pre wash apparel before embellishing?

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4 Reasons to Not Pre Wash Apparel Before Applying Heat Transfer Material (HTV) in Your Silhouette Cameo or Portrait or Cricut Explore or Maker Craft Business - by

K. Willsey

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

Hi! I'm so glad I found your blog post. I've never heard of a manufacturer suggesting to prewash before pressing but actually saw today where they suggested doing so and that's what led me to do my own research and I ended up on this post!

I saw where you said to share if someone has come across this so wanted to share what I found!

It's on the heat transfer warehouse's website when trying to buy Siser Easyweed.

"We highly recommend that you wash and dry your garments prior to pressing your design. This will also allow the adhesive to better penetrate the garment."


Christine, Cutting for Business

Friday 24th of June 2022

Thanks, Kaylie - appreciate it!

Sue Fenich

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Thank you!!! This is the first time I’ve made t-shirts for my club and I was concerned about giving people something that wouldn’t last.

Christine, Cutting for Business

Thursday 15th of April 2021

Happy to help!

Christine, Cutting for Business

Saturday 18th of May 2019

Interesting. I can't imagine why they would recommend it - when major vinyl manufacturers don't.

Kristen McClelland

Tuesday 26th of March 2019

I actually have a question related to this. I prewashed a shirt I was pressing for myself and noticed the HTV didn't go on as nicely as it does when I do it on a new shirt. Can the detergent affect the pressing?

Christine, Cutting for Business

Saturday 18th of May 2019

Absolutely. Detergents and fabric softeners/dryer sheets can affect heat transfer materials.


Tuesday 26th of March 2019

Christine...It was brought to my attention in a Silhouette Beginners Group that Cricut HTV does say to Pre-Wash before applying. While I know most of us who sell do use Siser Brand, there are some that use Cricut Brand HTV.

Christine, Cutting for Business

Saturday 18th of May 2019

Yes. I did see that and acknowledged it above. I reached out to Cricut for clarification and all they did was copy and paste what their website said.