The delicate and easily shrinkable nature of viscose fabric. This mixture is not good. Thankfully, using these laundry tips will make washing it simple.
An intriguing synthetic material with a lot of appeal at first glance is viscose. This rayon variety can feel wonderful next to the skin and is a great silk substitute. However, you may have seen people express their frustration online following terrible laundry experiences.
So does viscose fabric shrink? When dried out or washed, viscose fabric will shrink. It is an extremely delicate fabric, and the heat and motion of a washer and dryer will shorten the fibers and cause them to shrink. Let’s talk about shrinkage and viscose.
Does Viscose Fabric Shrink?
Viscose does shrink, especially if you dry it. 100% viscose is a semi-synthetic fabric that is especially fragile because of how the manufacturer processes the fibers. Although it costs less than silk, it doesn’t have the same durability as real silk.
Viscose clothing can shrink when machine-washed or dried, especially if hot water and vigorous agitation are used. Additionally, it may leave holes or tear viscose.
Does Viscose Shrink in the Dryer?
Sadly, there is a very good chance that viscose-made clothing will shrink if dried at a high temperature. These products’ clothing labels, as well as those on many blends, state that after washing, you shouldn’t dry them. It is preferable to hang them up to dry naturally so that the sun can do its job.
But you must exercise caution when exposed to direct sunlight. To keep viscose clothing soft, some people tumble dry it in a cool setting when it’s almost dry. To what extent you are willing to take that risk would depend on your machine.
Further Reading: Can You Put Viscose in the Dryer?
Does Viscose Shrink When Washed?
When laundering viscose material, the danger doesn’t begin in the dryer. Additionally, you should exercise caution when washing anything made of these fibers because the combination of hot water and machine agitation might be harmful.
To get the most out of your clothing with each wash, make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Does Viscose Shrink in Cold Water?
The good news in this situation is that viscose does not shrink in cold water. Therefore, if you choose to wash this in your washing machine in the cold setting or the cool hand wash setting, you shouldn’t encounter too many problems.
Go as low as possible on your machine because the colder the better. You might have a better understanding of the temperature and be able to control it if you prefer the idea of washing by hand.
Does Viscose Shrink in Hot Water?
When cleaning viscose clothing, this is when issues start to arise. Many instructions warn against using water that is too warm because, if you’re not careful, it might cause some shrinkage.
Therefore, hot water will have an even worse impact. The shock of the rapid temperature changes in the water may cause significant fiber contraction and other damage, which will significantly alter the size of your clothing.
Does Viscose Shrink When Dry Cleaned?
That is true; dry cleaning is a secure method for cleaning viscose clothing, and it is unlikely to result in shrinkage. However, it can be costly and might not be practical for all clothing. Before cleaning your viscose clothing, make sure to read the care label because some items need particular care.
The notion of fabric shrinkage is widespread in the clothing industry. There are various kinds of fabrics and each reacts to washing in a different way. The manufacturer should have their fabrics tested before releasing them into the market. Below are the most common questions about shrinking clothes:
Can Viscose Shrink More Than Once?
Especially if you use hot water and vigorous machine cycles, viscose can shrink every time you wash it. Depending on how you wash it, it will shrink to a certain extent. When washed by hand in cold water, a viscose garment may shrink slightly, but if washed in warm water by a washing machine the next time, it may shrink significantly.
Unlike fabrics such as 100% cotton, trying to “pre-shrink” a viscose item will not stop it from shrinking during later washes. If a garment has a coating designed to prevent shrinkage, it won’t shrink as much during initial washings as it will once the coating starts to deteriorate.
Although the initial washings may have appeared to pre-shrink the clothing, the effect will eventually fade.
How Much Will Viscose Shrink?
You might be curious as to how to prevent shrinking the fabric and whether viscose is biodegradable. 100% viscose can shrink by up to 25% in the first wash when machine-dried and washed in hot water on normal settings, though 3–5% shrinkage is more typical. The amount of shrinkage depends on:
- The percentage of viscose in a blended material
- Whether the material was pre-shrunk by the fabricator
- The original quality of the viscose material
Using the suggested gentle laundry methods with continued care will determine whether it continues to shrink after several cleanings.
Why Does Viscose Shrink?
Because of its structure, viscose shrinks. Wood pulp and other plant materials are chemically processed by manufacturers to create viscose. Due to these processes, the pulp is transformed into lengthy filaments that are spun into yarn by the producer. The outcome is a fabric made of cellulose from plants.
Viscose is made from processed cellulose, which is weaker than cellulose in its natural state. Like natural plant cellulose, the fibers can absorb water, but that water may also weaken the bonds that hold the cellulose molecules together, changing the shape of the fabric.
More so than the majority of natural fibers, viscose absorbs a lot of water. The cellulose bonds become weaker and more prone to damage as viscose content increases. Viscose is easily misshaped, torn, or shrunk when wet.
A result of this might be tearing or shrinking. The likelihood of shrinking or tearing increases as wet viscose is moved around more. For this reason, viscose damage is significantly impacted by the washer and dryer.
How to Prevent Viscose from Shrinking?
Keeping your viscose fabrics in prime condition and at their original size means taking good care of the viscose material. Here are some suggestions to assist you in doing that.
Tip 1: Read the Tag
Depending on the fabric’s composition, including the weave, finish, and whether it is 100% viscose or a blend, care instructions for viscose fibers can change. To find out what makes the item special, be sure to read the fabric care instructions.
Tip 2: Handle With Care
The key to cleaning viscose clothes is being gentle. Generally, care instructions will advise you to hand wash and air dry or use gentle washer and dryer settings. Avoid vigorously wringing the synthetic fabric material out with high spin. Because viscose fiber is most fragile when wet, it should be handled carefully.
If you’re hand-washing viscose clothing:
- Mix a gentle detergent with cool water before adding the clothing
- Squeeze suds through the synthetic fabric softly, submerge, and soak for up to 30 minutes
- Rinse thoroughly under clean, cool water
- Wrap in a dry towel and press down to remove excess water without wringing
- Reshape flat on a separate clean towel or drying rack in a cool location
If you’re machine-washing viscose, help protect it by:
- Turning the clothing inside-out
- Placing it inside a mesh laundry bag
- Selecting cool and low-spin settings for delicates
- Using a gentle detergent
- Reshaping it flat on a clean towel or drying rack in a cool location
Tip 3: Keep It Cool
High heat is not to viscose’s liking, particularly when it’s wet. Both washing and drying viscose are likely to have warm or cool settings. Keep the water at a cool to lukewarm temperature if you’re washing your hands. Viscose clothing should be air-dried in a shaded area or inside while being kept out of direct sunlight.
Your clothing is likely made of a blend of viscose and other materials, which can withstand more heat and manipulation while wet than 100% viscose, according to the care instructions, which call for machine washing at medium settings.
Tip 4: Keep It Dry
The quality that makes viscose clothing ideal for summer, i.e. that it absorbs water and sweat, keeping you dry—is also a potential weakness. Because it takes up water from the air, viscose can mildew if not stored in a low-humidity environment.
Quick hint: Never put viscose in plastic containers or bags. This will make mildewing more likely.
Tip 5: Pre-wash
Before cutting and shaping viscose fabrics into final products, ethical clothing, and textile manufacturers will have pre-washed them.
Choose pre-washing if you’re using the fabric for a sewing project to prevent shrinkage from the start, but first, perform a spot test to determine colorfastness. Nevertheless, you should wash the viscose item gently and keep it out of heat and agitation.
Even if you account for shrinkage, normal machine laundry settings, and heat can agitate the viscose fibers, making them feel less smooth and softer, and more coarse.
How to Unshrink Viscose?
Early viscose unshrinkage procedures might resemble those used to shrink it. Don’t forget to pay attention, though, as too much time in the water with your viscose clothing might have the opposite effect of what you intend.
- Add baby shampoo or hair conditioner to a bowl of room-temperature water. One tablespoon of conditioner or shampoo should be added to one quart of water. Don’t let it bubble up too much; instead, gently stir it in.
- Pour the water solution over the fabric. Make sure the entire garment is saturated. You should only leave it in for five minutes.
- After removing it from the water, squeeze it between towels to dry it. Don’t twist or wring it!
- On top of another towel, spread the item out flat. Pull the fabric gently to stretch it out, beginning in the middle. Pull a small amount at a time while working slowly. If you tug too firmly, the fabric might rip.
- Leave it to dry the remainder of the way once it is the desired size and shape. The bottom of larger items like dresses can be stretched out even more by hanging them up while they’re still slightly damp.
The water solution’s conditioner aids in protecting the fibers while also assisting in their lubrication. Only using water to stretch viscose won’t produce the same outcomes. The viscose shouldn’t require rinsing to remove the conditioner or baby shampoo.
Conclusion: Does Viscose Fabric Shrink?
Because of its composition and the characteristics of the fibers, the viscose does shrink, so there is a good chance that any clothing you own will also shrink.
Your viscose clothing won’t shrink if you hand wash and dry clean it. If you take the time to properly care for your viscose clothing, it will continue to look brand new for many years.
Can Viscose Be Washed in the Washing Machine?
Technically, no, and numerous guides warn us against washing viscose. Viscose is the most difficult type of rayon fabric to clean, despite being one of many rayon fabrics that can be. Do not put an item in the washing machine unless it is specifically marked as washable (some are mixed with other fabrics and can be washed).
Does Viscose Stretch?
There’s a good chance that 100% viscose clothing won’t stretch. However, when working with mixed-material clothing (like knits and the like!), you may find that there is some stretch. By subjecting it to steam or moisture, this fabric can be stretched.
What Shrinks More Cotton Or Viscose?
Those with a high percentage of viscose in the fabric are likely to shrink more. It shrinks more than pure cotton but less than pure viscose. Naturally, if your clothing is entirely made of viscose, you may find that it shrinks by up to 25% when you wash it in hot water.
Can You Wash Viscose Without Shrinking?
A warm-water hand-wash can shrink it, but your machine knows the right temperature (30°Turn your clothing inside out, pick a gentle cycle, and then sit back and unwind.