How to Preshrink Fabric
                                                                                                                                                                                 




















    If your fabric is 100% cotton, you may want to wash and dry it several times. One hundred
    percent cotton fabrics don’t always shrink the maximum amount the first time.


    Also preshrink linings, interfacings**, and notions:

    Preshrink linings, notions (zippers, trims, elastics), and non-fusible interfacing as you did
    your fabric. Place notions in a lingerie bag to keep them from getting lost.

    Preshrink fusible interfacing by hand-washing it. Submerge the interfacing in a sink full of
    warm to hot water for about 10 minutes. Don’t wring the interfacing because it could
    damage the adhesive or create wrinkles you won’t be able to press out. Instead, roll the
    interfacing between layers of a towel and blot the water out. Lay it flat to dry, it may
    stretch if hung. And don’t put fusible interfacing in the dryer. The heat of the dryer could
    damage the adhesive or the adhesive could damage your dryer. Do not press the
    interfacing or you’ll melt the adhesive.

    For an item you plan to hand wash:

    Hand wash your fabric with a mild soap and let it air dry. Preshrink your linings and
    notions as you did your fabric. Preshrink your interfacing** using the method described
    above.


How to Preshrink dry-clean only fabric*
                                                                                   

    Even though you won’t be laundering your finished item, you may still need to preshrink your
    fabric. Some fabrics can shrink just from being exposed to the heat and moisture from an iron.

    Test your fabric first for shrinkage:

    If it doesn’t shrink by one of these methods, it shouldn’t need preshrinking.

    Note: When pressing your fabric, remember to use an appropriate temperature. As a general
    rule, cooler settings for delicate fabrics, hotter settings for cottons and wools.

    Method 1:
    Cut about a 2” square of your fabric. Place the square on a piece of paper and
    trace it. Dampen the square of fabric, then press it dry. Place the square on top of
    your tracing. If your fabric square is smaller, your fabric shrank. Preshrink your
    yardage using one of the methods below.

    Method 2:
    Cover a large corner of your fabric with a press cloth. Press and steam this corner
    thoroughly. Remove the press cloth and allow your fabric to dry. If you can see
    wrinkles between the pressed area and the non-pressed area or if you can see
    the indentation from your iron, your fabric shrank. Preshrink your fabric using one
    of the methods below.

    How to Preshrink dry-clean only fabric:

    Test these methods on a scrap of your fabric first. Some fabrics can water spot or become
    damaged if dampened.

    Method 1:
    Take your yardage to your dry cleaner and have him steam press it for you.

    Method 2:
    Working in sections, hold an iron just above your fabric and thoroughly steam it
    until it’s damp. Leave the fabric in place until it’s completely dry. Steam the next
    section the same way and continue until all your fabric has been steamed.

    Method 3:
    Working in sections, dampen a press cloth and place it on top of your fabric. Or
    dampen the fabric itself. Press your fabric on the wrong side with your iron. Leave
    the fabric in place until it’s completely dry. Steam the next section the same way
    and continue until all your fabric has been steamed.

    Also preshrink  linings, interfacings**, and notions:

    Preshrink linings using the method you used above.

    Preshrink notions (zippers, trims, elastics) by submerging them in warm water and letting
    them air dry.

    Preshrink interfacing using the hand-washing method described earlier. Or, steam shrink
    the piece just prior to application by holding your iron over it and steaming it for a few
    seconds. Don’t press fusible interfacing or you’ll melt the adhesive.



Follow your fabric’s care instructions.

There’s debate over whether interfacing needs to be preshrunk. Some recommend it while others believe it’s not
necessary. If you choose not to preshrink your interfacing, steam shrink the piece just prior to application by
holding your iron over it and steaming it for a few seconds.








Related articles:
Fabric Fibers
How to Preshrink washable fabric*
                                                                         

    Before sewing your project, preshrink any
    fabric you suspect might shrink after
    laundering. (Not all fabrics shrink when
    laundered. If you’re unsure about your
    fabric, launder it anyway just to be on the
    safe side.)

    If your fabric ravels easily, serge or zigzag
    the raw edges to keep them from fraying.

    It’s fine to launder your fabric with a
    regular load of laundry. However, if your
    fabric is a dark or bright color that may
    bleed, launder it separately.
**
*
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