Skip to Content

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

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Additionally, I may get commissions for purchases made through other affiliate links in this post.

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?

Was this post helpful? Save the image below to Pinterest.

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


Friday 20th of January 2023

cricut recommends re washing the blanks. just a heads up. you said to let you know if someone does. "For apparel blanks like t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, or anything else you will likely machine wash in the future, we recommend pre-washing the blank without fabric softener to pre-shrink the garment and remove chemicals that may prohibit strong"


Wednesday 9th of November 2022

Thank you for the info. I was not looking forward to washing all the tea towels and then ironing to look like new.

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.