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Will 96% cotton and 4% spandex shrink in the dryer?
March 15, 2004 11:15 PM   Subscribe

Will fabric that is 96% cotton and 4% spandex shrink in the dryer? There's a certain garment I want to buy, but only if I'm able to shrink it a bit, since it's too large for me now. Google tells me to always dry spandex on low setting, but I'm assuming those are instructions for people who DON'T want to shrink their clothes.
posted by parrots to Shopping (6 answers total)
 
Cotton can shrink roughly 10-15%, but that can vary a lot. Wash it in the hottest temperature then throw it in the dryer at the highest temperature, and keep it in there until it's dry like popcorn.

So, if you only need 10-15% less garment, you should be ok, but if you're not, you'll be out the money. I don't know how much spandex shrinks, so you're taking a risk.
posted by Salmonberry at 11:30 PM on March 15, 2004


Spandex does not do well in the dryer in my experience, using the dryer rather than laying flat or hanging to dry greatly shortens the life of the garment. I believe the low heat recommendation is less to do with shrinkage than it is to do with damage. I wouldn't buy it if you want to shrink it, trying to shrink it in the dryer will in all likelihood just get you a garment that lasts half as long without appreciable size change. Can you not have it adjusted to fit you?
posted by biscotti at 11:45 PM on March 15, 2004


Cotton-spandex blends do shrink. Be careful though, as washing and/or drying with too much heat can twist as well as shrink.
posted by Alylex at 11:47 PM on March 15, 2004


Thanks! That's pretty much what I needed to know. I've read that heat can be damaging to spandex but I'm only planning to use heat one time for a bit of shrinkage (alteration is pretty much a no-go in this case) -- I normally hang-dry everything and wash in cold. I just wasn't sure if cotton/spandex blends would in fact shrink. Thanks again.
posted by parrots at 11:59 PM on March 15, 2004


oh hey, shrinkage experts:

is there any way i can shrink a pair of pre-shrunk levi's 501s?

(yeah, i know. I should've been more thorough in trying on sizes, but they seemed to fit pretty damn well in the store and i was in a rush.)
posted by fishfucker at 7:24 AM on March 16, 2004


the dryer-heat damage to spandex is not shrinkage but to the stretchiness and breakdown of the thread. those little bits of broken elastic looking thread you get sticking out exercise clothes or bathing suits after repeated washings/dryings. that's--in addition to the stretching problem--is why spandex should be "reshape and lie flat to dry"
posted by crush-onastick at 12:37 PM on March 16, 2004


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