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Why Do My Clothes Shrink In The Laundry?

Why Do My Clothes Shrink In The Laundry?

Why Do My Clothes Shrink In The Laundry?

Are you tired of dealing with shrinking laundry after every wash? It’s a disastrous day at home when your favorite comfy sweater or everyday socks shrink. It’s happened to the best of us.

Read on to understand why clothes shrink and how to prevent it.

Why do clothes shrink?

While washing and drying, the three factors that need to be considered are fibers, temperature, and the agitation of the cycle.

Washing clothes with hot water tends to shrink your clothes. The fibers in the fabric are made of polymers that are stressed and stretched to make clothes. However, the natural state of the fibers is much shorter. Heat relieves the stress on the polymers, and they tend to shrink.

Varying Fiber content

Some natural fibers like cotton and wool are more likely to shrink. Wool fibers have a surface structure that is covered with scales that overlap each other—also known as cuticle cells.

When these scales come into contact with heated water, they mesh together, causing the fabrics to shrink. This is called felting shrinkage. Cotton and wool tend to absorb water and cause the garment to shrink in size.

Excess Moisture

When natural fibers like linen and silk come in contact with water, they experience relaxation shrinkage. These fibers absorb the water and decrease the overall size of the clothes.

Agitation of the cycle

The agitation of the washer and dryer shrink garments due to consolidation shrinkage. The tightly woven fabrics are stretched out, and return to their natural shape.

How to prevent shrinkage?

Use cold water

Using cold water can eliminate the likelihood of shrinkage, as it doesn’t damage the fabric’s structure.

Avoid heavy-duty washing

Washing clothes in heavy-duty cycles can damage them, making them prone to shrinkage. In addition, the wrong settings can ruin the shape of clothes, especially when it comes to delicates.

If you are still unable to prevent shrinkage, give your clothes to professional dry cleaners. We’ll handle your clothes with the utmost care and can provide laundry pickup and delivery services as well. If you live in Washington, DC, contact us for our dry cleaning services.

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