When does fabric shrink?

rated by 0 users
Not Answered This post has 0 verified answers | 5 Replies | 3 Followers

Not Ranked
3 Posts
Points 30
busymom posted on Mon, Aug 19 2013 8:08 AM

This is probably a very silly question but does fabric shrink when it is washed or when it is dried?  Is it the water that shrinks it when sizing is taken out or is it the heat that shrinks it?  

  • | Post Points: 20

All Replies

Top 25 Contributor
6,403 Posts
Points 119,676
Patti replied on Mon, Aug 19 2013 8:11 AM

I have always assumed it was drying with hot heat that shrunk it.  There are wool things, like sweaters or socks that I have put in the washer, but then laid out to dry instead of putting them in the dryer to prevent shrinkage. 


Chiliwist Valley

  • | Post Points: 35
Not Ranked
3 Posts
Points 30

Good point!  Thanks!  

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
111 Posts
Points 2,565
eparys replied on Mon, Aug 19 2013 8:27 AM

I do not have actual facts on my side here - lol - but this is what I have found ...

Washing - unto itself in cool water - does not shrink fabric. However add hot water and agitation to the mix, and just like felting, you will find shrinkage. Then the dryer will add additional shrinkage to that.


A quilt will warm the heart.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
1,413 Posts
Points 19,295

I have found the same as eparys. I always use cold water in my wash. I know for a fact that Pendelton shirts will shrink a whole lot in the dryer. My 9 year old son had about 6 Pendeltons that winter after my father decided to help me with the laundry.

Georgetown CA I'd Rather Be Quilting

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
28,914 Posts
Points 420,739
gini replied on Mon, Aug 19 2013 4:14 PM

Those felted Pendleton shirts make great quilts.

gini in north idaho

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (6 items) | RSS
Have a Question? | About Us | Privacy Policy | Join Today © 2017 F+W All rights reserved.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.