close

Search Term

Enter a search term (optional)

Categories

Select One (optional)


Difficulty Level

Select One (optional)

Estimated Cost

Select One (optional)

Materials

Select as many as you like (optional)

  • Fabric Crafts
  • Paper Crafts
  • Craft Foam
  • Pipe Cleaner Crafts
  • Clay & Sculpting
  • Nature Crafts
  • Wood Crafts
  • Beads & Jewelry
  • Recycled Crafts
  • Painting & Coloring
  • Food Crafts
  • Plastic
  • Mixed Media/Miscellaneous
Time to complete

Select One (optional)

Primary Technique

Select One (optional)

Holiday

Select One (optional)

Season

Select as many as you like (optional)

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter
Age Group

Select as many as you like (optional)

  • Toddlers
  • Preschool & Kindergarten
  • Elementary School
  • Pre-Teens
  • Teens
FaveCrafts.com

Menu

Free Offer
Sewing for Beginners

Find 20 free sewing patterns and great resources for those learning how to sew, including guides to needles, caring for fabric and more in this FREE eBook!

Bonus: Get our newsletter & special offers for free. We will not share or sell your email address. View our Privacy Policy

How to Prevent Fabric Shrinkage

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:

  1. Zig zag stitch around the raw edges of the fabric.
  2. Following the instructions on the fabric’s packaging, wash the fabric.
  3. Throw in with some towels into the washer for agitation.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

More Resources

Looking for more ideas and information? Check out these additional resources:

  1. How to Keep Fabric from Shrinking from allfreesewing.com
  2. How to Keep Fabric from Shrinking When You Sew from the Salrite blog

Contest Rules:
  • 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?

Your Recently Viewed Projects

Free recipes, giveaways, exclusive, partner offers, and more straight to your inbox!

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

I cut the corners with a pair of pinking shears then wash with detergent vinegar to set the color. I also add salt as I read somewhere this will help with shrinking and setting the fabric color. I then dry on low heat and iron. No more shrinking ) And bonus ... no running color

I'm not a sewer but for garments that I've bought I wash in cold water and hang to dry.

Pre wash in cold water and line dry the fabric

Almost always pre-wash to prevent the distortion of shrinkage after construction. I've heard there are some who prefer the wrinkled look of quilts that shrink afterward.

I try to not use shrinkable materials but if I do, I will always pre shrink. Sometimes an item will have to be spot cleaned only.

I don't make them from materials that tend to shrink!

Prewashing is always a good idea,

Last year I made a lap quilt for my daughter, did not prewash. When she washed the quilt the fabrics shrank at different rates the quilt now looks terrible. Have learned my lesson about pre washing.

WOW!

These are all great suggestions, especially if your project will be washed once completed, such as clothing items or pillow covers, or washable pillows. I did not think to zigzag the raw edges first, so I have had to cut off some strings once the new fabric was out of the washer! For projects that won't be washed once done, the stiffness of the fabric may help in its construction. Thanks for sharing the good practical tips!

Close

Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Project of the Day

Pine Cone DIY Garland

This charming Pine Cone DIY Garland makes an excellent and easy Christmas craft that will leave your home a little bit merrier than… See more

Something worth saving?

Register now for FREE to:

  • SAVE all your favorite crafts
  • ADD personal notes
  • QUICKLY reference your crafts

 

Connect With Us

Facebook Google Plus Instagram Twitter Pinterest
Twitter Blog Email RSS

About Us Advertise Contact Us FAQ Keyword Index Privacy Policy Share Your Project Subscribe Terms of Service Unsubscribe

---- 1 ----

close

Images from other crafters

There are currently no images from other crafters.