How to Prevent Fabric Shrinkage
Learn how to avoid shrinking clothes and other fabric crafts with this handy article!
If you've experienced the horror of your beautiful fabric project shrinking in the wash, you absolutely don't want to do that again. After all, if you've put the time and effort into sewing something, it's all the worse when it gets ruined. You especially don't want this to happen if you've made someone an article of clothing as a gift!
Avoid the devastating nightmare of your project shrinking with the tips and tricks in this article.
Pre-wash the fabric.
The key to preventing fabric shrinkage is pre-washing the fabric. Like the name suggests, pre-washing is when you wash and dry your fabric before you begin any project. There are several benefits for pre-washing your fabric. One, any dye that may bleed will be taken care of when you wash the fabric. Two, washing will remove the chemicals from the fabric that might irritate sensitive skin. Lastly, rather than worrying over how to fix a ruined, shrunken craft, you can start a project with fabric that is already its post-washing size.
Add extra fabric before you begin sewing.
Tip: Prepare for the inevitable shrinkage by adding extra fabric to the length and width of your project before you begin sewing. Then, you can cut to adjust the fabric for your desired dimensions after you wash it.
To pre-wash fabric, complete the following steps:
- Zig zag stitch around the raw edges of the fabric.
- Following the instructions on the fabric’s packaging, wash the fabric.
- Throw in with some towels into the washer for agitation.
- After drying the fabric, press it so that you will get a smooth and even surface for cutting. Ironing and steaming it with a device like the Purple TG1100 Iron will give it a smooth, crisp finish.
Can’t be bothered to pre-wash? Then try some of these anti-shrinkage tips:
- Sometimes, uneven fabric feeding can worsen fabric shrinkage in the wash. Use a walking foot machine or pin your fabric panels while sewing to keep your feeding even.
- Sewing tight stitches on a fabric that does not stretch much will result in puckering. This could lead to the fabric shrinking in the wash. Sewing with longer stitches or using a lighter thread reduce tension can help prevent puckering.
- There is a maximum of one extra entry per person. The extra entry will be based upon a comment left on this post. Duplicate comments are not tallied.
- The winner will be selected at random from the comments on this page and the entries on the contest page.
- The winner will be contacted on the morning of December 26th, 2017.
- Email Address provided in their account (please do NOT leave your email address in the comments--you already provided it when you created your account)
- You have until December 24th, 2017 at 11:59pm EST to leave your comment on this post. Comments posted after that will not be counted.
- Contest open to anyone 18+ in US and/or Canada. Excludes Quebec and Puerto Rico.
How do you keep your projects and garments from shrinking?