You have a favorite piece of clothing that fits just right, but when it comes out of the wash, unfortunately, it’s shrunk! Why do shirts shrink in the dyer? It’s a question that gets asked a lot, especially when looking for Winter Park Dry Cleaning services. Many theories circulate as to why clothes shrink when you pull them from the dryer. So what really causes shirts to shrink in the laundering process? Here are some of the reasons your shirt may come out of the dryer shrunk:

Manufacturing Process
The significant reason why new clothes shrink in the dryer results from the various manufacturing processes involved. At some stage in the manufacturing process, the fabric is stretched with mounting pressure to synthetically increase its woven size. This process saves money on the manufacturers’ side but for the consumer it causes the fabric to shrink back to the natural size upon its first wash. In this case, water causes shrinking and not the heat of the dryer.

Hot Wash Cycles
Hot water causes most of the fabric shrinkage. The warmer the washing water the more shrinking will occur. To prevent clothes from over-shrinking, wash them in cold water instead and use the right liquid detergent.

Dryer’s spinning action
The other surprising cause of clothes shrinking noted from studies was the dryer’s spinning action. During one study, the heating element was detached from one dryer and identical pieces of cotton fabric were placed into one with a heating element and one without. Both fabrics were noted to shrink. The difference was that the garment in the dryer with heating element shrunk faster.

Not Following the Directions
Another general cause for clothes shrinking in the dryer is the lack of proper care as indicated by the clothes manufacturer. Most of the garments, even some with natural fibers, are not supposed to be placed in the dryer. If you do, their fibers undergo stress and shrink. It is advisable to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions as indicated in the clothe labels.

There are two major types of shrinkage:

Relaxation shrinkage: This kind of shrinkage occurs when the fabric fibers and the yarns are put under tension during the manufacturing processes. Later when garment is wet and in tensionless conditions, relaxation takes place.

Progressive shrinkage: This kind of shrinkage takes place each time the garment is washed. In the contrary to relaxation shrinkage which takes place just once, the progressive type of clothing shrinkage is continuous and the fabric fibers shrink more and more with each laundering. This kind of shrinkage is mostly experienced in the viscose rayon and wool fibers.

Without proper care, bright and colorful clothes become dull. Lets also look at some ways to keep your clothing looking newer and lasting longer:

Sort Clothes by Color
Separate color fabrics from all-white clothes before you wash. In the color heaps, separate them by intensity of the colors. Wash the white clothes and the dark colored clothes in separate loads. If colors bleed, wash the stained garments while they are still wet. The dye should wash out.

Use Cold Water
Machine-wash the dark clothes in cold water on the shortest cycle and use liquid detergent specially formulated for the dark clothes. It’ll keep the dyes from fading. It is also recommendable to turn colored clothes inside out prior to washing them to conserve their hue.

Line Dry
No matter the color of the garment, it’s advisable to line-dry whenever possible while avoiding direct sunlight. If you choose the dryer, use the lowest temperature setting for the fabric.

Proper care should be taken in order to ensure that clothing lasts longer. To avoid shrinkage one can invest in a good shrink-proof formula. Clothes that are made from cotton can be treated with shrink-resistant or durable-press finishes. They help form cross-links between parallel polymer chains and as a result help them (the polymers) to withstand the stresses involved in the manufacturing processes and keep them from relaxing during washing. Otherwise other recommended practices such as line-drying, washing clothes in cold water and drying them at the lowest temperatures possible should be observed. When looking for Winter Park Dry Cleaning services, go with a company you can trust.