Fabric Fail: Loss of Shape

Introduction

FABRIC FAILS—WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW YOU CAN PREVENT THEM

Fabric Fails happen when you find yourself in clothes made of mystery fabric. They may be cheaper for manufactures, but can be a disaster for you. The problem is, it’s easy to mistake a mystery fabric for cotton. They can look like cotton and even feel like cotton—but only at first.

Learn more about loss of shape (a fabric fail) to see what awaits if you don’t check the label.

Fabric Fail- Loss of Shape

Loss of Shape 

76% OF PEOPLE SAY THEY ARE BOTHERED BY THEIR CLOTHES LOSING THEIR SHAPE.1

HERE’S WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

I have this pair of skinny jeans that I loved when I tried them on in the store. They were stretchy and comfortable. I wore them once and couldn’t believe how loose they became. I constantly had to pull them up to prevent that saggy look around the booty area.

I bought my first pair of leather pants a few months ago. I spent a LOT of money on them, so I was extremely disappointed when they completely stretched out the first night I wore them. They went from skin tight to a loose waist and baggy knees after only 3 hours. Not what you want in a pair of tight leather pants!

ABOUT LOSS OF SHAPE

Stretch, across fabrics, is accomplished by adding a stretchy fiber, usually spandex, into the fabric blend. During the fabric processing the amount of stretch and recovery can be set. If it’s not set properly, loss of shape can occur.

CAUSES

Stretching in the right places is great, but often the recovery part starts to fail, leaving bagging around areas like the knees and elbows. The technical term is fabric growth. The way a fabric is constructed, from yarn selection to dyeing and finishing, can affect the performance of a garment. If the fabric is not woven tightly enough, it can lose its shape. If a fabric containing spandex is not heat-set properly, distortion of the fabric can occur.

TYPES OF FABRIC TO WATCH OUT FOR

Apparel that contains spandex has a tendency to see issues of bagging and loss of shape. They’re also less likely to be breathable.2

Most stretch denim is composed of 1% to 2% spandex. In skinny jeans, the spandex component can go up to as high as 5% to 8%. Be aware that spandex in denim can cause unpredictable things to happen as they day goes on.

Average spandex percentages range from 2% to 3% for woven shirts and about 5% for knit shirts.3

BOTTOM LINE

There is such a thing as too much stretch. Look for cotton-rich clothing, or cotton jeans with a hint of spandex.

CHECK THE LABEL

  1. Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor.™
  2. Almetwally, et al. “Physical and Stretch Properties of Woven Cotton Fabrics Containing Different Rates of Spandex.”
  3. Retail Monitor™ Survey.
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