It’s frustrating when you grab your favorite shirt from the closet, only to discover that it no longer fits. Even if your weight hasn’t changed, perhaps the shirt shrunk and is now too small to comfortably wear. Scenarios such as this are all too common, but thankfully there are a few steps you can take to protect your clothes from this phenomenon.
Choose the Right Fabrics
The fabrics used in a garment’s construction will influence its susceptibility to shrinking. Cotton, linen and wool, for instance, are known to shrink more than synthetic fabrics like polyester. So if you’re worried about a new garment shrinking, check the label to see what fabric it’s made of. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid buying, or wearing, cotton clothes. Rather, take into account what they are made of when shopping for new clothes.
Sure, it’s probably easier and more convenient to dry your clothes by tossing them in the dryer, but doing may cause them to shrink in the process. A better solution is to line-dry your clothes. Even if you don’t have access to an outdoor line, you can always hang your clothes to dry in the bathroom. Line-drying takes longer, but it doesn’t have the same shrinking effect as using a traditional clothes dryer.
Wash with Cold Water
In addition to line-drying, you can also protect your clothes from shrinking by washing them with cold water. Some people assume that cold water isn’t as effective at cleaning stains as hot or warm water. This is just a myth, as both cold and hot water are equally as effective. However, cold water does not cause fabric to shrink, making it the ideal setting when washing garments that are susceptible to shrinking.
When ironing your garments, turn them on the low-heat setting. Again, this is because heat causes fabrics to shrink, which could make your garments no longer fit. You’ll still need some heat to eliminate wrinkles, but keeping your iron on the low-heat setting will reduce the risk of shrinking.
Quality Over Quantity
Not surprisingly, high-quality shirts and garments are less likely to shrink than low-quality ones. The poor craftsmanship and cheap materials in low-quality garments make them susceptible to shrinking. So instead of buying half a dozen low-quality shirts, perhaps you can buy just one or two high-quality shirts. This is one instance in which the mantra “quality over quantity” holds true.