Does Polyester Shrink?

Before you toss that fleece blanket or fleece clothing of yours into the wash, it’s important that you figure out whether or not the type of fabric used to create that product will be the same size afterward.  You might be wondering, does fleece shrink?

Yes, and no. It depends on the variety of fleece used, there are two kinds: natural and man-made. Natural materials such as 100% cotton or wool, are likely to shrink in a wash. Whereas, man-made fabrics such as polyester in most cases will not shrink. How you wash the fleece plays a big part in the amount of shrinkage. Using hot water or drying it at a high temperature increases the likelihood of it shrinking.

We’d recommend washing fleece on a delicate wash setting using cold water, and air drying it afterward.

Does Polyester Fleece Shrink?

Fleece blended with Polyester usually won’t shrink when washed, unless done in high heat which may cause it to shrink. Polyester begins to shrink at around 155 to 175 degrees, so as long as your washer and dryer don’t reach these temperatures, then there shouldn’t be any shrinkage. It’s recommended that polyester fleece is air dried or washed with cold to warm water, to avoid it shrinking.

Does Cotton Fleece Shrink?

Cotton Fleece will shrink if washed at a high temperature in the wash, or using a high temperature in the dryer. As cotton is a natural fabric, it’s more prone to shrinkage when exposed to heat. Whilst, it doesn’t shrink as much as wool, it’s recommended that cotton fleece be washed in cold to warm water and air-dried.

Does Polar Fleece Shrink?

Polar fleece similar to other varieties of fleece is suspectable to shrinkage if washed at a high temperature. It is 100% human-made and is perfect for keeping you warm during outdoor activities as it has excellent insulation due to how heavy and thick it is.

Does Fleece Shrink In The Dryer?

Depending on the type of fleece and how hot your dryer is, it can shrink the fleece. Drying your garment at high heat is the biggest factor in causing fleece shrinkage. When possible, it’s recommended that the fleece be air-dried in the sun as that will usually not cause shrinkage. Polyester Fleece isn’t likely to shrink when air-dried, but cotton fleece can shrink as much as 25% of the original size.

How To Revert Shrinkage

If you’ve accidentally shrunk your fleece garment in the wash, then it’s usually not too late to undo the effects of the shrinkage. Simply by stretching the fleece out, similar to how it’s done during the production stage of the fabric.

To stretch out your fleece, simply follow the below instructions:

  1. Fill a tub or container with lukewarm water.
  2. Add a splash of shampoo or condition to the water.
  3. Turn the garment inside out and soak it in the water for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Remove the garment but don’t squeeze the water out yet.
  5. Lay it on a flat towel, and roll it over the clothing squeezing out the water until the garment is damp.
  6. Gently stretch the garment out by tugging the corners of the garment outward.
  7. Let it air dry completely and it should now be back to it’s original size.

Tips To Take Care Of Your Fleece

  • Wash your fleece in cold or lukewarm water.
  • Use a manual or gentle wash cycle.
  • Avoid using a dry cleaning service.
  • Don’t use any kind of softening liquids or bleach as it’ll damage the fabric.
  • Turn the clothing inside out before washing for the best results.
  • Wash fleece alone as lint is difficult to remove once transferred over from other clothing
  • Choose Anti-pill fleece if you want to avoid fiber balls.

Closing Thoughts

Whilst fleece can be challenging to take care of, as long as you follow the instructions provided above and by the product, shrinkage shouldn’t occur. Remember to always wash your fleece using cold or lukewarm water, as that will in most cases prevent shrinkage. Always go for air-drying if possible as it’s the best way to prevent it from accidentally shrinking.

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