There are many ways to correctly care for your clothes after purchase. Keeping them stain free, wrinkle free, freshly laundered and free from holes, tears, snags and stretching may sound like a lot of work, but it truly is not. Clothing is meant to be worn, and therefore is made to be more durable than you’d think – but accidents still happen. One of the most frustrating and easiest mistakes to make is shrinking clothes while washing them.
Clothes shrinking during the wash cycle may happen without your knowledge, so it is important to know exactly which articles you’re washing when you start your laundry. Read the instructions on the tag, or if there is no tag, find out what materials are in the clothing and go from there. Heat is the greatest cause of shrinkage for clothes, both in water temperature and during the drying cycle. The heat can and will damage many materials, so knowing your items is important.
All types of clothing have different care instructions designed to keep your clothing as new-looking as possible. Many types of cotton clothes have very little shrinkage each time they are washed, and some even come pre-shrunk to avoid any “accidents” for those that want a no-hassle laundry experience. Wool garmeants, on the other hand, shrink a great deal when they are washed and dried in a machine, no matter how gentle the cycle or low the temperature. On the other end of the spectrum, durable materials like polyester are designed to prevent shrinking, and can be washed and dried with very few problems in most homes.
In order to prevent shrinking, it’s important to take the time to do research on the best method of care for individual garmeants. For some, it will be to simply wash as normal but let them air dry, and for others, professional care is best. Although a slight bit of shrinking is normal during a regular wash and dry, it shouldn’t be major or change your ability to wear the clothing comfortably. For those that don’t enjoy doing laundry, or try to get it done with as little hassle as possible, sticking to fabrics that don’t shrink easily may be the best plan of action, and will result in the lowest numbers of too-small clothing. The prospect of clothes shrinking in the wash should not be a scary one – and with a slight bit of extra effort, it won’t be.