What makes cotton shirts shrink

Why do clothes shrink when washed?

If the shirt or jeans are tight on the stomach or buttocks, it doesn't have to be due to too little exercise or too much chocolate. You can also blame the washing machine.

Stuttgart - If the shirt or jeans are tight on the stomach or buttocks, it is often due to too little exercise or too much chocolate. But sometimes you can blame the washing machine. Because freshly washed items are more restrictive than items that have already been worn. Why actually?

Many fabrics for clothing production are massively stretched during manufacture. Cotton threads, for example, are stretched out during the weaving process. This saves material: the longer the thread, the more running meters you can weave with it - and thus reduce costs. The process also gives the material a certain stability. After all, nobody wants the finished T-shirt to deform when it is worn.

There are two factors that affect the fabric when it is washed: water and heat. The threads soak up the water. In the process, they become thicker and contract. The garment becomes a bit tighter. After washing, the threads stay short for a while - until they are brought back into shape from the outside. In most cases, it is sufficient to carefully pull the t-shirt or sweater out when hanging it up. Or the clothing stretches automatically when you wear it.

However, this does not work if the laundry has been washed or dried too warm. Because too much energy shrinks the threads to their original length. The inferior the fabric, the more it deforms. Laundry can shrink by up to ten percent. To undo this again requires a great deal of energy. After that, the garment is often not the same anymore.

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