Nudy Patooty

How to Prevent Your Clothes from Shrinking

How to Prevent Your Clothes from Shrinking

Have you ever found that shirt or dress that fits just right only to wash it the first time and have it shrink a full size? Isn't it so frustrating!

For most of us, this has happened more than we really care to admit. The disheartening part is, even when following all the instructions clothing can still shrink. Like me, I am sure you’re not willing to just accept that your next wash could destroy your favourite clothes.

Tips to prevent clothes from shrinking

Reduce the frequency of laundry day

Washing and drying your clothes often will damage the colour and fit. The best way to combat this is to keep your clothes clean so you don't need to wash them as often.

While this can seem like an easy solution, most women avoid wearing undershirts to protect from sweat stains and everyday wear. The right undershirt can help keep your clothes clean so you can confidently wear it several times before it becomes necessary to wash them. This is one of the best ways to extend the life of your clothes and avoid shrinking. 

Read and Follow the Labels

All clothing pieces come with a list of do's/don'ts of laundry, most labels will specify the best way to wash your clothes to avoid damages. Whether this means dry cleaning, washing at home, specific water temperatures or laundry cycle, it's important to pay attention. If the label indicates it has been pre-washed it will not shrink as much over the course of its life.

Wash with Cold Water

While this does not guarantee that you will avoid shrinking your clothes, cold water is not as damaging on the fabrics as warm and hot water are. Hot water can cause your clothing to relax and release tension which will result in the fabric becoming misshapen. Most modern washing machines and detergents can remove dirt as easily in the cold water setting, but to ensure they are properly cleaned add a bit more detergent in your wash next time.  

Air Dry Your Clothing

If you really want to do your best to prevent shrinkage, it is best to air dry your clothes. This is the safest method. If you have any loosely woven or knitted clothing it is best to roll it out in a towel and leave it on a flat surface to dry. Avoid hanging clothes on hangers to dry as the added weight of the water will result in stretching of the fabric, instead drape them over a rack or hanger.

If you prefer not to air dry your clothing but still want to ensure it does not shrink then select a lower heat setting on the machine and take the clothes out while still a bit damp. This will prevent the clothes from over drying which is harmful to the fabrics.

Tips to wash your delicate clothes at home

Choose a Gentle Laundry Cycle  

One of the reasons clothing will shrink is because of stress on the fabric and seams, this is why it is important to select a gentle or delicate cycle setting. The longer the spin cycle the more agitation your clothing will be exposed to. This is particularly important when washing natural fibers like cotton, wool and cashmere.

Hand Wash Your Delicate Clothing

Alternatively you can hand wash the clothes you are most concerned about to ensure that they are not damaged. Hand washing can help to extend the life of your clothing, keep the colors vibrant and protect the shape. While it is time consuming it is certainly worth it for your most precious clothing.

Do you want to cut down on the stress of laundry day? Shop the Nudy Patooty Undershirt collection to keep your clothes clean longer.

2 comments

Apr 29, 2017 • Posted by Marilyn McCormick

My daughter washed a and dried a favorite scarf (unaware) I made for her.
The yarn was wool and silk. Looking for tips if any to correct the shrinkage that took place.

Aug 16, 2016 • Posted by Barb

Could someone write an article about how to wash your cold water wash with water that is never cold? The only thing that has worked for me is to put ice in the wash and rinse cycles. I buy new clothes>they shrink (in length especially for shirts)> I buy more of the same favorite shirts>stoopid enough to wash in AZ Cold water>SHRINK>1/2 bag of ice in each cycle ! BINGO!!

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