Shrinkage of linen and other fabrics
Most fabrics have this one interesting property - they become smaller in size after washing. This phenomenon is called shrinkage, which is to some extent a characteristic of all natural fabrics. Is it possible to somehow deal with it? Or is it better to put up with this and buy things a size larger, so they’d fit right after shrinkage?
Why do clothes shrink?
In the process of tailoring, the fabric is constantly stretched and is the subjected to other mechanical influences, as a result of which it willy-nilly stretches. This constant tension weakens only when the fabric is soaking, and the fibers of the fabric, trying to return to their natural state, are compressing back. The hot water temperature and spinning contribute to that immensely.
What fabrics shrink: comparison
Natural materials - flax linen fabric, cotton and wool are mostly susceptible to shrinkage; where, cotton products are sometimes reduced by one or two sizes!
Batiste shrinks up to 10%
Jacquard, flax linen, satin, wool and natural silk - up to 7-7.5%
Calico - up to 6%
Poplin - up to 5%
Viscose - up to 4%
Tick - up to 3.5 %
It is believed that artificial fabrics do not shrink, but in fact even they are reduced in size - for example, nylon shrinks up to 1.5%. This is not much, but in some cases it is quite noticeable. However, if a bit of synthetic is added to a natural fabric, that fabric will shrink less. This is exactly how the polycotton emerged - a successful combination of cotton and polyester - it has a shrinkage level of 1.5%. It is interesting that small parts shrink most of all - pockets, cuffs, collars and sleeves.