Average Shrinkage Percentage of Different Textile Fabrics

Can you tell about the average shrinkage of cotton, rayon, polyester, linen, canvas etc?
You might have experienced that after washing of the t-shirt, its length gets reduced. It is not just the washing process in which fabric and garment are shrunk. The fabric may shrink in the fusing process, printing and curing process too. 

Now the question is how much is the average shrinkage percentage for different fabrics? 

My friend S. Santra answered this question.

In general knit fabric shrink more than woven fabric. Normally, polyester fabrics don’t shrink. Other fabrics are having a tendency to shrink in washing. Rayon fabric is having a very tendency to shrink. Shrinkage percentage also depends on the fabric constructions and fabric quality. For your reference, fabric wise shrinkage percentage range is provided here.
  • Polyester - 0%
  • Woven Cotton/Linen/Canvas: 2-7%
  • Rayon: 5-10%
The general requirement of fabric shrinkage for lab purpose: Woven fabrics: 3%, and Knit fabrics: 5%

Also see: How to calculate fabric shrinkage?

Garment makers are aware of the shrinkage properties of the fabric. So, they take preventive action and add the required shrinkage in the patterns itself and cut the garment patterns. Another way, they pre-shrunk the fabric by panel washing before cutting the fabric. Using these two methods shrinkage issue is handled in the garment industry. 

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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