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Does Viscose Shrink? Prevent Shrinking With These Tips (2024)

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does viscose shrinkReady to liberate yourself with the power of knowledge? Let’s dive into understanding why viscose can shrink and how you can prevent it.

As a semi-synthetic fabric, viscose is made from wood pulp and has become increasingly popular in recent years for its affordable price point, breathability, beautiful drape, and soft finish.

Viscose is considered a low-strength fiber, which means that when exposed to warm water or high temperatures – even just through the dryer – this delicate material will start to reduce in size.

So do yourself a favor by taking extra precautions while caring for these items; cold water only, please! Keeping up these practices should ensure you keep enjoying those lovingly crafted pieces without worrying about them shrinking away over time.

Key Takeaways

  • Viscose fabric is prone to shrinkage if mishandled.
  • Shrinkage can be caused by wetting, high temperatures, agitation, and improper drying.
  • To prevent shrinkage, avoid hot water, high heat, and agitation when washing.
  • Using cold water, gentle detergents, and air drying can help prevent shrinkage in viscose fabric.

Why is Viscose Prone to Shrinking?

Why is Viscose Prone to Shrinking
You’d swear that soft viscose dress fit perfectly when you first got it, but don’t worry – its finicky fibers often shrink up without proper care. Viscose’s delicate structure comes from being made of regenerated cellulose fibers.

Unlike natural fabrics, viscose lacks the strength to handle high heat from dryers or agitation during washing.

Too much moisture causes the fibers to relax and lose their shape. Using hot water when washing viscose allows more agitation and penetration of the weakened fibers. To avoid shrinkage, follow fabric care instructions for low temperature machine washing or hand washing in cool water.

With the right care, you can keep viscose garments fitting comfortably.

Understanding the Shrinkage Potential of Viscose

Understanding the Shrinkage Potential of Viscose
Since viscose lacks natural elasticity, the fibers can shift and lose their shape when exposed to moisture and heat.

  • The fibers swell when wet, causing the material to shrink.
  • High temperatures damage the fibers and cause them to contract.
  • Agitation and friction during washing weaken the fibers over time.
  • Without elastane added, viscose has low elastic recovery.

To prevent shrinkage, handle viscose gently. Limit agitation, avoid high temperatures, and lay flat to dry. With proper care, viscose will maintain its drape and softness. Blends with cotton, nylon, or spandex provide more stability.

Though delicate, viscose rewards gentleness with longevity. Take time to understand its unique needs, and this lovely fabric will drape gracefully for seasons to come.

Factors That Contribute to Viscose Shrinkage

Factors That Contribute to Viscose Shrinkage
Though high heat to dry viscose may seem ideal, it rapidly breaks down the fibers, causing severe shrinkage that you’ll regret. The delicate fibers in viscose are highly prone to shrinkage when exposed to certain factors that compromise the fabric’s integrity.

Moisture – Wetting causes the fibers to swell, leading to distortion and shrinkage during drying.

High Temperatures – Heat weakens the fibers, causing them to shrink and deform under tension.

Agitation – Friction and motion during washing further weaken the fibers. Gentler cleaning is ideal.

Improper Drying – Quick or high heat drying doesn’t allow the fibers to relax into their original state.

Blending viscose with other sturdier fibers can help minimize shrinkage. Proper care is key, so handle viscose delicately and follow recommendations to maintain the beauty and fit of your clothes.

Does Viscose Shrink in the Dryer?

Does Viscose Shrink in the Dryer
Picture this: after delicately washing your soft and breathable viscose garment, you carefully prepare to dry it.

Here’s the deal: using a dryer with viscose can be risky business. Why, you ask? Well, heat sensitivity is the name of the game. Viscose, being moisture-prone, can lose its cool when exposed to high temperatures, leading to shrinkage.

To maintain the fabric’s integrity, stick to hang-drying your piece. This step helps prevent fiber breakage and potential shrinkage, ultimately extending the life of your cherished garment.

Does Viscose Shrink When Washed?

Does Viscose Shrink When Washed
To maintain the size and fit of your favorite garments, it is important to wash delicate items with care. Consider the impact of water temperature and agitation during your laundry routine. Viscose, a soft and breathable fabric, is prone to shrinkage due to its delicate fiber structure.

When washing viscose clothing, the water temperature and agitation are crucial factors. High heat and vigorous washing can weaken the fibers, leading to undesirable shrinkage. To prevent this, it is recommended to opt for cold water washing with gentle detergents to minimize moisture impact.

Hand washing is even safer as it minimizes agitation and helps control shrinkage. After washing, it is important to handle wet viscose items with care and avoid wringing them. Choosing cold water, gentle handling, and proper drying techniques, such as hang-drying, are key to preventing shrinkage.

By following these practices, you can maintain the integrity and fit of your cherished viscose clothing.

Can Viscose Shrink With Every Wash?

Can Viscose Shrink With Every Wash
With every wash, you’ll notice the potential for the fabric to become more snug, especially if exposed to moisture and heat. Viscose, a delicate synthetic material, lacks the elasticity to withstand the effects of agitation, making it prone to shrinkage.

Unlike cotton, it’s particularly sensitive to water temperature and drastic changes during washing.

Preventing fading is crucial too; opt for cold water and gentle detergents. Consider the impact of fabric blends, as they can provide more stability against shrinkage. To preserve garment quality, it’s wise to embrace washing tips such as hand washing with care symbols in mind.

Hang-drying is your ally, as high temperatures from dryers escalate shrinkage risks.

Does Viscose Shrink in Cold Water?

Does Viscose Shrink in Cold Water
Feel the cool embrace of gentle waters, and watch as the delicate threads of this exquisite viscose fabric dance like whispers, evading the grasp of change.

In the realm of cold water care, you wield the power to safeguard your viscose garments from the clutches of shrinkage. The fiber’s properties make it susceptible, but your gentle handling can triumph.

When you choose the path of hand-wash in cool water with a touch of delicate detergent, you embrace the wisdom of the ages. Let the rhythm of temperature control guide you, avoiding the treacherous waters of heat.

As you traverse this journey, remember the effect of fabric blends, for they can be your allies in the fight against shrinkage. With sustainable viscose practices in mind, you become the guardian of longevity and softness, preserving the artistry of your garments.

Does Viscose Shrink in Hot Water?

Does Viscose Shrink in Hot Water
Using high temperatures during washing can cause a significant reduction in the size of the fabric, especially if exposed to rapid temperature changes or dryer heat. Viscose, derived from plant products like wood pulp, is particularly sensitive to heat and moisture.

Hot water disrupts the delicate structure of the fibers, leading to shrinkage. To mitigate this, opt for cold water washing when caring for viscose items.

Keep in mind that even a minor 3% shrinkage can impact the garment’s fit. Prioritize gentle detergents and avoid harsh treatments. Remember, proper garment care includes maintaining a cool, dry storage environment and reading care labels.

By being conscious of these factors, you can ensure your viscose items remain comfortable and size-stable over time.

Can Viscose Shrink When Dry Cleaned?

Can Viscose Shrink When Dry Cleaned
When dry cleaned, exercise caution due to the fabric’s delicate nature, which might lead to unexpected size changes. Professional fabric care can yield mixed results. Dry cleaning involves solvent-based cleaning methods, minimizing moisture exposure, and reducing the risk of shrinkage.

However, the reaction of viscose to dry cleaning can vary based on factors like the blend of materials and the garment’s construction.

While dry cleaning can be gentler compared to traditional washing, it doesn’t eliminate all potential risks. Opting for a blended material, where viscose is mixed with more stable fibers, can enhance the garment’s resistance to size changes.

Prioritize hang drying and proper garment maintenance to ensure the longevity of your viscose pieces.

How to Prevent Viscose From Shrinking

How to Prevent Viscose From Shrinking
To safeguard your favorite garments crafted from this delicate fabric, adopting proper care techniques is akin to providing armor for your cherished textile investments.

  1. Gentle Hand Washing: When it comes to fabric care, the gentle touch of hand washing with cool water and a mild detergent is your best ally. This preserves the integrity of the fibers while effectively cleaning your garment.

  2. Cold Water, Cold Dry: Stick to cold water for washing, as hot water can lead to shrinkage. Likewise, opt for hang-drying in a cool, well-ventilated area. This duo works wonders in keeping shrinkage at bay.

  3. Smart Storage: Your garments deserve a proper resting place. Store dry viscose items in a cool, dry environment, steering clear of plastic bags that can trap moisture and harm the fabric.

  4. Blend Magic: Consider viscose blends, especially with bamboo or cotton. These eco-friendly solutions not only enhance the fabric’s moisture management but also minimize shrinkage risks.

  5. Steam, Don’t Iron: Ironing can be a bit tricky with viscose. Instead of direct contact, use steam to gently release wrinkles, keeping your garment looking fresh without risking shrinkage.

With these shrinkage control tactics and eco-friendly choices like bamboo blends, you’re on the path to extending the life of your beloved viscose items while embracing the liberating power of proper fabric care.


Did you know that viscose fabric can shrink up to 25%, even with mild washing? This makes proper care and prevention of shrinkage essential for maintaining the longevity and softness of your garments.

To prevent viscose from shrinking, opt for cold water washing, delicate detergents, hang-drying, and fabric blends with other fibers for increased stability. If mild shrinkage has occurred, soak the garment in cold water with conditioner and gently stretch and reshape it.

It is advisable to follow the care labels and guides for the weave, finish, and blend of the fabric for optimal results. With the right care practices and responsible sourcing, you can guarantee a long lifespan for your viscose items.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.