You might have encountered many times that your cotton T-shirts or other products shrink. Have you ever thought about why this happened? All the fabrics that are made of cotton or either clothing material with the addition of cotton shrink to some extent.
There are factors that cause the Shrinkage of cotton. In this article, we will discuss the question: does cotton shrink? In addition to it we will also discuss all the relevant aspects that can cause the cotton shrinkage.
And what are the possible approaches to avoid your cotton products shrinking? Reassure you that this would be a highly informative article for you. And after reading this you will be able to prevent cotton shrinkage of all the products or fabrics that are made from cotton.
What are Cotton Fabrics And Why Do They Shrink?
Cotton is a great material for all fabrics. Here firstly it is very comfortable and goes in the long run. Hence we can say that it has an incredible durability level. And one can easily get it from anywhere. However cotton is prone to shrink to two different extents.
Fabrics are woven with different materials for example polyester, nylon, and acrylic. Along with it, there are some synthetic fibres, and also cotton is a natural fibre.
It is a common question: how much does cotton shrink? There is no fixed percentage for this. It depends upon whether the product is already shrinking or not.
We hope now you have got the basic information that fabrics are interwoven with different materials and a piece of cloth is manufactured.
Now let’s jump towards our next question: why do they shrink? Cotton is a natural material that we get from the cotton plant. The row curtain is spun into threads or fibres. These fibres are stretched accordingly and that produces tension in these fibres of cotton.
At this time they are fully stretched and interwoven with different other materials. At the time of the final process, they are put into heated dryers that release all the tension in these cotton fibres. And when these cotton products are put in water for the first wash they shrink.
Interestingly, Cotton has an excellent capacity to absorb water. Approximately it can absorb up to 30 times of its weight as a result it makes it more elastic. When this cotton product is in its first wash it loses its tension and causes shrinkage.
The Extent of Cotton Shrinkage
How much does 100% cotton shrink? People always assume what is the extent of cotton shrinkage when we put them in their first wash. So it depends upon numerous factors. For example, manufacturers shrink the fabric first before they go for stitching and in the market for sale.
It is highly convenient for buyers because nobody wants to buy the product again to get the right size. These products are called preshrunk products and their labels also highlight this thing. Hence it would be easy for you to purchase pre-shrunk cotton products.
Most of the product labels clearly indicate that either the product is preshrunk, you can expect 2 to 5% of shrinkage in it.
Pre-Shrunk Cotton Products
The labels of the government indicate their dumb product is pre-shrunk. It means it is manufactured and after that processed in order to prevent shrinkage of it.
Although this process does not guarantee 100% that the product will not shrink after its first wash. But most of the percentage of shrinkage is done during its manufacturing and processing.
As a Prominent guideline one can expect the preshrunk 100% cotton to shrink up to two to 5% or more when it is exposed to high temperatures. Overall there’s two to 5% of shrinkage is not very much and can easily be accommodated.
Read More About: Polyester Shrinkage
Does Cotton Shrink in Cold Water?
It is a common query in the minds of people that do drink in cold water. Definitely yes cotton whether it is organic or mixed cotton, will shrink to a great extent. That is why we suggest you use cold water when it is in its first wash.
Moreover, you should be careful while washing cotton in the machine. In this regard, it is better to run the machine on gentle cycles and use chemical-free detergents. This will keep your product quality good and it will go in the long run sustaining its overall look.
Does Cotton Shrink in Hot Water?
The shrinkage of natural cotton is relatively low when washed in hot water. While washing we recommend you use hot water so that the shrinkage is minimal. Generally, it Releases the tension between the fibres of the cloth.
Still, if you are washing your clothes in hot water it will shrink up to 2 to 8% depending upon the concentration of cotton in the cloth.
Guidelines to Prevent Shrinkage
Surely no one wants their clothes to shrink and buy it again. So following are some of the precautions to minimise the shrinkage of cotton.
There are a number of steps to avoid the shrinking of cotton. It is important to follow the instructions given on the labels of different governments. So that you can get effective results and your clothes do not shrink very much.
Set Your Machine Settings
Today there are many innovations in washing machines that will avoid shrinkage of your clothes. Mainly you should use slow cycles, with a relatively low temperature of the water. It is also preferable to use soft detergents.
Tumble Dry on Low
It is a common practice that we use dryers to remove the moisture and dry our clothes after washing. Moreover, the chance of shrinkage is very much high when high temperatures and movement go simultaneously with each other. As a result, we recommend you tumble dry on a low level.
Now you are very clear on how to prevent cotton from shrinking? And what are the possible precautions in order to maintain the stretch of your cotton garments?
Shrinking Process of Cotton
We all know that many people put great effort in order to avoid the shrinkage of their clothes. On the other hand, some deliberately shrink their clothes. However, this shrinkage is on purpose for two different reasons.
For instance, you are on your weight loss journey and all your clothes are now very loose to you. What to do in this regard? Here the best options are shrinkage and alteration of your clothes. In the next section, you will discover the process of how to shrink cotton?
So if you want to do it read the following instructions carefully.
- Decide wisely that you want to shrink your clothes because this shrinkage will be permanent.
- Boil water in a large pot and make sure to have enough room for the fabric to dip in.
- Place the fabric into the boiling water and stir it for some time. Let it stay in the water completely soaked for almost 5 minutes.
- Now take it out and put it in the dryer. Here you have to use the highest speed of your dryer and dry it until all the moisture drenches out.
After this method, you will see your clothes shrink for almost two sizes. While you are doing this process there are some chances that the colour will slightly get lighter.
But if you want your fabric colour bright and vibrant as before, you can add a little bit of white vinegar to it.
We hope now you have got all the essential information that does cotton shrink. We have also covered all the major scenarios that can cause the shrinkage of your garments.
Surely you can use different techniques and precautionary steps to avoid the shrinkage of your cotton garments. Tumble dry your garments at low speed as well as use the appropriate settings of your washing machine.
For people who want to shrink their clothes, we have already discussed the procedure and how you can proceed with it. Still, if you have any queries in your mind feel free to ask about them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1:How to shrink cotton shirt?
To shrink your cotton shirt you need to boil water in a pot and place your shirt in it for almost 5 to 7 minutes. Now carefully remove it from the water container and put it in the dryer.
Here use the highest speed of your dryer and dry it completely until the moisture is fully out
Q2:Does cotton shrink or stretch?
Mostly cotton shrinks, however, the extent of shrinkage could be different for every product. The cotton usually shrinks at the time of manufacturing the product. When cotton fibres are woven with other fibres, they stretch fully.
But when we wash them or soak them in water, the elasticity between these fibres decreases and causes the shrinkage of cotton cloth.
Q3:Does cotton shrink more than once?
It is a common question by many people that there is any probability of shrinkage after the first wash. So it depends upon the quality of the material used in the product. Definitely, there are some garments that shrink whenever we wash or soak them in water.