How to Protect a Sharpie Autograph

Written by mark petruska
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How to Protect a Sharpie Autograph
Be sure to take steps to protect your Sharpie autograph from fading or washing out. (Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Autographs are treasured mementos that you would like to keep forever. Often, rock stars, professional athletes and other celebrities sign autographs on pieces of clothing, such as a sports jersey or cap or a concert T-shirt. A Sharpie-autographed piece of apparel, however, will fade or even wash away over time if the item is washed frequently or is repeatedly exposed to bright sunlight. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to preserve your precious autograph so that you can enjoy it for years to come.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Iron
  • Dryer
  • Clear-coat spray, nonacetone-based
  • UV-protective glass

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  1. 1

    Apply heat with an iron before washing the autographed item of clothing. This will help the colour "set" and should offer protection against future washing. If an iron is unavailable, run the clothing through a hot dryer for a few minutes.

  2. 2

    Spray a nonacetone-based clear coat spray to autographed sports memorabilia, guitars or other items that won't be worn or washed to add a protective coating. Place the item on a solid surface, hold the can 12 to 14 inches away, and depress the trigger lightly for a few seconds.

  3. 3

    Store your autographed memorabilia in a glass case or picture frame with the highest UV protection you can find. Sunlight is the most damaging element to autographs; ultraviolet rays cause items to fade quickly when exposed to light. Avoid displaying items in direct sunlight.

Tips and warnings

  • Sharpie manufactures a product called the Rub-a-Dub Laundry Marker specifically designed for use on clothing. It leaves a permanent image and allows you to wash and dry-clean clothing without having it fade.

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