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Scorched Garments And Using Scorch Out

Sometimes garments that get to much heat in the oven will become yellow, brown or "scorch". This means that the fabric will turn yellow slightly. It is especially true of 100% cotton, white fabrics. There are a few properties of garments that can warn you for potential scorching.

First of all any 100% cotton garment that is very light in color or white will have a natural tendency to scorch under excessive heat. Whether you want to attribute scorching to the actual burning or scorching of the cotton fibers themselves or you believe it is a chemical reaction from left over bleaching chemicals, the result and solution is the same. The truth is it is probably a combination of these two factors. I know that sending already washed and worn shirts through a tee shirt oven can make all sorts of stains show up. Especially white shirts. But be aware it is very possible to burn the fabric slightly which can cause scorching and degrade the integrity of the shirt itself.

The weight of the garment will also be a predicting factor in the scorching of white shirts. Usually lighter weight garments are more likely to scorch. That is to say an 8-ounce shirt will not scorch as easily as a 4-ounce product. Shirts that are sold in retail stores as undershirts are very light weight. This includes many "wife beaters" or A-shirts. Be careful when working with these types of garments.

The quality or brand of the garment is also very important. Off brand shirts can be unpredictable in their behavior under the same conditions you may print name brand garments. Name brand shirts are more stable in all respects to off brands. Even the lightest weight name brand shirt will outperform the heaviest weight off brand.

The easiest way to solve this problem is to avoid it all together. Be sure not to expose your white shirts to unnecessary, excessive heat. Always keep checking your white shirts as they come out of the oven. Sometimes residual heat buildup can cause your oven to run hotter over extended print runs. It is always a good idea to monitor oven temperature during print runs.

The other way to deal with slight scorching is to use a product known as Scorch Out. This is a product designed to work as a weak bleach. It comes in a liquid and is often dispensed by spray bottle or mister. You can spray it evenly and lightly over the entire shirt where needed. This is done after the shirt is printed and run through the oven so it will not affect the ink and can even be used on colored shirts like light blue. It will bleach the slight yellowing out of the shirt without affecting much else.

Some points about Scorch Out to remember:

  • Scorch out will not remove stains from pre washed and worn garments that are sent through the oven. These types of stains are most likely permanent and will not wash out either. It is best not to print and send used garments through the tee shirt oven for reasons involving ink adhesion
  • Scorch out is most helpful with white or very light colored shirts only. Darker shirts don't necessarily scorch, they burn
  • Scorch out will not work on severely scorched or browned shirts

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