How to keep clothes from shrinking during washing and what to do if it has already happened

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Cold water and a gentle wash cycle are the keys to fighting fabric shrinkage

Clothes made of natural fabrics are the most pleasant for the skin. However, they can be subject to such a nuisance as shrinkage during washing. This happens because the fibers are stretched during the fabric manufacturing process, and during washing, they take on water, become thicker, and return to their original state. Nowadays, manufacturers have learned to shrink fabrics before the finished garment goes on sale, so the problem is becoming less common. However, it has not disappeared completely.

OBOZ.UA tells you how to deal with fabric shrinkage at different stages of care, namely during washing and drying, as well as what you can do to return your clothes to their original shape.


Before washing your clothes, always check the care label. The recommended temperature and other nuances will tell you exactly how to care for the item so that it does not shrink. First of all, it's washing in cold water as high temperatures often lead to changes in the shape of things. In addition, fabrics made of cotton, linen, or wool do not respond well to too much washing as it deforms their fibers. Therefore, choose delicate programs, low spin speeds, and put delicate clothes in a mesh laundry bag for extra protection.


The easiest way to avoid shrinkage during drying is to place the garment on a clothesline after washing, straightening it out properly. Make sure that the garment is not too wet as fabrics that are prone to shrinkage can easily stretch under the weight of water. If you need to use a tumble dryer, choose a low temperature and take the items out as soon as the cycle is complete. Prolonged exposure to heat or over-drying in the machine can damage the material and cause the garment to shrink.

How to restore the shape of your clothes

If you have an unfortunate incident and your clothes have shrunk, you can use a hair conditioner to help restore their shape. Soak your clothes in warm water with a couple tablespoons of the product. Soak for about 30 minutes and then take it out and wring it out well. Flatten the garment as much as possible, pull the edges a little to restore the previous shape and hang it in the air. This trick can work with cotton and linen, but unfortunately, it is unlikely to help with wool.

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