how to prevent clothes from shrinking

If you have ever shrunk clothes in the washing machine, you know that they can shrink to the point that you can't get them back to their original size and look. Learn how to unshrink clothes and make your favorite clothes last a lot longer.

For your favorite custom clothes to last a little longer, it's important that you know how to unshrink them or prevent them from shrinking when washing. Preventing your clothes from shrinking when washing is important, but if they do, you don't have to fret about it while filling your next donation bag, instead, learn to fix them by unshrinking them.

Just4unique tips on preventing your clothes to shrink and on how to unshrink clothes will save you a lot of money so make sure to keep reading! 

Why Do Clothes Shrinks?

The fit of a garment is affected by shrinkage, whether it's a loss or a gain of length or breadth measurements, depending on how much it shrinks.

A change in a fabric's or garment's proportions is known as shrinkage. It's possible that the cloth or garment's length, breadth, or thickness has increased or decreased in size compared to its initial measurements. While a fabric's thickness might alter over time, it seldom affects a garment's fit.

Clothes can shrink and stretch in certain ways, sometimes causing them to shrink more than they should. Fiber content, excess moisture, heat, and agitation are some of the factors to consider. Check below the most common reason why clothes shrink.

Type Of Fabric - Wool, and cotton, for example, are more prone to shrinking than other natural fabrics. Scales cover wool fibers, and when these scales come into touch with heat and moisture, they mesh together, causing garments to shrink when exposed to heat and moisture. Cotton and wool, on the other hand, may both absorb a lot of water, which might cause them to shrink.

Excess moisture – Natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, and silk are some fabrics that are prone to shrink due to excess moisture. When these absorbent fibers are exposed to water, they swell and the garment's overall size decreases as a result of this.

Agitation and Heat – Fibers that are tightly braided and stretched out throughout the production process release this tension and revert to their natural, smaller, and shorter shape as a result of these circumstances.

What Are The Different Types of Clothes Shrinkage?

It is common knowledge that clothes shrink when exposed to water. But what are the types of clothes shrinkage? Below are the different types of clothes shrinkage.

Felting Shrinkage 
With clothes made of animal hair fibers, such as wool or cashmere, the first type of shrinkage, felting, occurs. When exposed to moisture and extreme heat, these materials' surface has small scales that may compress and mesh together. The all-too-common shrunken sweater condition is caused by this compression, which can easily occur if the sweater is not properly cared for. This type of shrinkage is commonly referred to as progressive shrinkage because each time the animal hair fiber is washed, it shrinks a bit more.

Relaxation Shrinkage
When an absorbent fabric such as cotton, silk, or linen is soaked to liquids or excessive moisture, relaxation shrinkage occurred. When these absorbent fibers are exposed to water, they absorb it all and swelling, shrinking the garment's overall size. Relaxation shrinkage has a small impact on the total size of a garment and has little impact on how it fits.

Consolidation Shrinkage
When moisture, heat, and mechanical activity like agitation during washing and drying cycles are combined, the result is consolidation shrinkage. The combination of these variables helps the fibers of the fabric to relax, enabling them to return to their natural condition, by releasing any tugging or tension that was created during the garment's production. 

How to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking?

There is nothing more frustrating than having clothes that have shrunk in a washing machine. If you are wondering how to prevent clothes from shrinking the following tips is for you!

Learn how to care for clothes by reading the labels - Follow the instruction for washing at home vs. dry cleaning, water temperature, laundry cycle type, and dryer cycle recommendations for the specific clothes you are washing by reading its label.

Wash the clothes in cold water - Simply set your washing machine to "cold" and use cold water to clean your clothing. Many detergents are created specifically for cold-water washing, so using cold water will still clean your clothes.

Set the machine in gentle wash mode - When it comes to extracting water, the gentle cycle of a washer or hand-washing is also less hazardous than those that use longer agitation and greater rotating spin cycles.

Hand washes natural fabrics -  To avoid shrinking, wash cotton, linen, and silk clothes by hand. All you'll need is a little water and some washing detergent. Hand washing your garments is one of the safest ways to avoid shrinking and keep them in shape, but it requires a bit more time and works.

Set lower heat cycle if using the dryer - Shrinkage is reduced when there is less heat. You may shrink your garments if you neglect to adjust this option and keep the temperature on medium or high. The option of drying by air is available on some dryers. This option uses simply tumble to dry clothing and does not use any heat. Because this might take a long time, be sure you only use it for modest loads.

Air dry - The most gentle technique for preventing shrinking is to allow items to air dry. Drying the item on a level surface will also avoid stretching for loosely woven textiles or knits.

How to Unshrink Clothes?

Just4unique will share with you how to unshrink clothes at home depending on the types of fabric the clothes have so keep reading to revive your favorite clothes.

Cashmere

  • Fill a bowl halfway with lukewarm water. Mix two teaspoons of vinegar with water.
  • After half an hour in the sink, soak your cashmere clothes for a half hour.
  • It's strongly advised that you stretch out the clothing while soaking them before removing them. You'll also want to press out as much water as you can and stuff the clothes with towels.
  • Your clothes will be able to expand back to their original shape if you use packed towels.
  • When the clothing is moist, hang them to dry.

Cotton

  • In the basin, place the cotton clothes.
  • Make sure the water in the basin is lukewarm.
  • Add two teaspoons of hair conditioner or baby shampoo to the mixture
  • For 30 minutes, soak the item in water.
  • Remove any soapy residue from the clothing by rinsing it.
  • On a towel, lay the item flat. To get rid of any surplus water, roll the towel up.
  • To dry, lay the clothing flat. Pin the edges in place with heavy objects like books or jars. It will be able to dry in its original form and size.
  • Lastly air-dry it.

Linen and Silk

  • Put a couple of teaspoons of baby shampoo in a big basin of lukewarm water.
  • Allow the shrunken silk or linen to soak for 30 minutes before rinsing.
  • Lie the garment flat on a towel and roll it around until it's wet. You'll also need to use heavy tools to unroll, smooth, and fasten the edges. In order for the material to spread out, this is done.
  • Finally, while it's in this position, you'll need to wait for it to dry.

Denim Jeans

  • Fill a 13-gallon bathtub with lukewarm water.
  • Wear a pair of jeans. This will make it easier for them to extend out.
  • Put your jeans in the bathtub and soak them completely in the water. 
  • For 15 minutes, sit back and unwind.
  • Hand stretches the jeans out after removing them from the pack.
  • Air-dry them until they're completely dry on the surface

Polyester

  • Add a spoonful of baby shampoo to a basin of lukewarm water.
  • Allow no more than 20 minutes for the garment to soak in the basin.
  • You should avoid squeezing it dry after withdrawing it from the solution.
  • Instead, gently stretch it while it's still damp.
  • When you've stretched the garment to the form and size you want, you may pin the edges down and hang it to dry.