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Does Linen Shrink? (And How To Prevent It)

Since you’re here, I assume you love linen fabric; not only it’s hard to iron and also hard to maintain, but anyway, we still adore lavishly appointed texture and the cold sensation that it gives during summer days.

It’s simple and basic to maintain and prevent shrinking because the majority of the fabrics go through shrinkage and are indispensable.

Now, it’s business time. Let’s find out how to wash linen properly in order to prevent the shrinking from happening.

Key Takeaways

  • The first wash is critical; that’s why many high-quality brands do the pre-wash thing first and then sell to the customers.
  • It’s better to pay a little bit more for a reliable brand than deal with shrinkage. 
  • If you wash it yourself, then you better hand-wash or dry clean.
  • Use lukewarm water and leave space in the drum of the washing machine.
  • The ideal washing temperature for linen fabric is 85° F.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals like bleach and detergent.  

Does Linen Shrink?

The answer is yes, linen does shrink, and it shrinks after the first wash. It’s sad but true. However, the average shrinking happens only 4%. 

To prevent that, the high-end and mediocre companies trade the linen fabric by pre-washing to satisfy the customers and prevent shape changes. So, as a result, you have minimal shrinkage.

After washing, which will be your second wash, the shrinking is less likely to happen, of course, if you follow the washing rules.  

How To Prevent Linen from Shrinking?

Go for High-Quality Linen Products

You’re aware that the price isn’t for decoration purposes. The quality is what differs and that reflects in the price tag. Do your research and whether the linen fabric is pre-washed before buying. This way, you will prevent shrinking from happening.

The well-known brands sell the pre-washed linen because they know it will naturally shrink and is quite visible, especially in the first wash.

Other than that, if you like the clothing and it is not pre-washed, be ready for shrinkage. No worries, it is still in wearable condition.   

So, you may wonder, how much does it shrink? As I said first wash is critical, then the next one won’t be a big deal, and it’s not even visible. Therefore, I say pick pre-washed, so you won’t deal with surprises.

How to Wash Linen? With Hot or Cold Water?

Cold water is harmless, but I doubt it cleans well, not just linen but all the fabrics. Still, I’ll suggest you wash it with cold water even though it may not get the whole dirt out because you can use other tips to get rid of the dirt, but unfortunately, you can get the same size back.

The best way to wash the linen material is with lukewarm water. Think of it as your skin; if hot water touches, your skin burns and breaks out; if cold water touches, it tightens your skin. Now, apply the same rule to the material, and hopefully, you understand what I’m trying to say. 

A professional piece of advice is always to use lukewarm water with linen material.

Extreme hot and cold water will eventually shrink the linen’s fiber resulting in shape or size damage. 

Heat directly affects the elasticity, so try to avoid boiling hot water. I know you’re a germaphobe, and maybe the color of the linen fabric is light, but don’t wash it with very hot water. Lukewarm is appropriate, or let’s say, required heat.

Dry Cleaning

You can do the dry cleaning at home or leave it to professionals. Because dry cleaning doesn’t use water or detergent, instead, the solvent is used, which is less harmful to linen fabric and doesn’t shrink.

This comes into being because the linen isn’t exposed to hot and cold, but rather solvent solves the issue, and the material’s natural flax fiber doesn’t break after it’s dry-washed. 

Again don’t think your clothing is safe even though you leave it to dry cleaning. There’s still a possibility of shrinkage to a low percentage, like 10% to 15%. That’s not so visible, though. 

When dry cleaning, make sure the temperature level is 85° F in case you tumble dry the linen fabric. I mean it because if you don’t apply this rule, it’s most likely to say goodbye to the piece of clothing or give it as a present to a child.

With Proper Care, Make Linen’s Lifespan Longer

The Washing Tricks of Linen Material 

Do not load the drum of the machine with too many things. Linen needs its space to move around during washing. This way, you guarantee maximum protection against shrinkage. 

Ideal Washing Temperatures for Linen

The ideal temperature for washing the linen product is 85° F. Please don’t wash it in boiling heat and cold water; instead, lukewarm temperatures perform the best in shrinking prevention.

Detergent and Laundry Additives

Never, ever use harsh chemicals on linen material. Always go for a mild liquid. The bleach and detergents will harm the fibers eventually, so basically, you can call linen a “sensitive” friend who reacts immediately.

Closing Words

The thing that I love about linen is the fact of being mostly vegan and natural. It’s taken from a plant and generated into the hypoallergenic fabric. It sucks the sweat and moisture during hot summer days and is perfect to wear in every season.

Anyway, I’m sure you have it clear now and managed to give what you were looking for. Stay tuned; more is about to come.

Further Reading

If you liked what you read, I want you to know that I have many more articles for you, so grab a cup of coffee and some cookies, and buckle up because I’ll take you on a journey of learning and exploring.

If you are a fan of leather materials and you are wondering if you can iron your leather dress, then I invite you to read this article that will tell you if you can iron leather or not.

The second one I will suggest is about pfaff sewing machines. You can read the article to find out the best pfaff sewing machines. You will find the best options to help you make the purchase that suits your needs best.

Last but not least, I’m going to suggest an article that I’m pretty sure you will find interesting, and I’m referring to best tailor’s chalk. You can check the article to know what chalk is the best for you if you happen to be a tailor or just a passionate person who likes to sew and has sewing as a hobby.

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