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When does fabric shrink?

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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?  

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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. 

Patti

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Good point!  Thanks!  

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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.

Betty 

A quilt will warm the heart.

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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

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gini replied on Mon, Aug 19 2013 4:14 PM

Those felted Pendleton shirts make great quilts.

gini in north idaho

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