Fabric Fail: Shrinking

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 shrinking (a fabric fail) to see what awaits if you don’t check the label.

Fabric Fail-Shrinking

SHRINKING

82% OF PEOPLE SAY THEY ARE BOTHERED BY SHRINKING.1

HERE’S WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

I bought a shirt (at a store that will remain nameless) for over $50 bucks. After one wash, it shrunk to half its size. After the second wash, the buttons fell off and it fell apart. $50 bucks is so not worth a one-time wear.

My husband shrunk my shirt! Instead of reading the care instructions, which said hang dry, he just threw it into the dryer at high heat. I’ll need to lose 20 pounds before I can fit into it again.

ABOUT SHRINKING

Clothes that fit when you buy them should stay that way. Some shrinking is natural, but clothes should hold their shape and size.

CAUSES

All fabrics shrink, often after washing and drying. What determines if the clothes you buy will shrink is the fabric construction. If the manufacturer doesn’t treat the fabric appropriately during the manufacturing process, you may be left with a garment that will shrink after laundering.

TYPES OF FABRIC TO WATCH OUT FOR

Cotton often gets the blame for shrinking, but shrinking isn’t a cotton issue, it’s a clothing issue. Shrinking is a problem for other fibers like polyester and rayon, too. In fact, based on research, the number-one issue consumers have with rayon is shrinking.2

Blends. Cotton/rayon blends are also proven to shrink more than 100% cotton does.3

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Help prevent shrinking in your cotton clothing with these laundering tips:

  • Hang dry your clothing—this will help prevent shrinking in the dryer and it’s more sustainable for the environment, too
  • Wash your garments in cold water and for shorter cycles
  • Don’t completely dry clothes—take them out sooner

BOTTOM LINE

Look for preshrunk cotton and follow care instructions.

CHECK THE LABEL

  1. Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor.™
  2. Cotton Incorporated Customer Comments Project.
  3. Cotton Incorporated Internal Textile Research.

Conclusion

Check back for other fabric fail courses!

Learn more about Cotton or Nothing: http://www.cottonornothing.com/

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