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How Much Does Linen Shrink When Washed

How Much Does Linen Shrink When Washed?

How Much Does Linen Shrink?

Does linen shrink after washing? Yes, pure linen fabrics will naturally shrink by approximately 4% after the first wash. To avoid excessive shrinkage of the fabric in subsequent washes, our company offers a pre-wash linen fabric service.

If you want to know more about linen shrinkage, read on!

I am a housewife with a linen complex, and I especially like all kinds of linen fabrics. However, when I first fell in love with linen, I was always troubled by some problems. For example: Will linen shrink after washing? Will Dry Cleaning Linen Shrink? There are so many questions to know.

So I researched linen, the way to gain enough experience and know that linen is washed in varying degrees of shrinkage. Now that I work in linen products company, let me explain “how much does linen shrink”.

Will Linen Shrink?

Yes, linens can shrink if not cared for properly. This is an important question because knowing how to care for linen clothing, or linens in general, can prevent shrinkage and prolong the life of the fabric.

Below I will answer from the how, why and solution of linen shrinkage.

How Much Does Linen Shrink When Washed?

How Much Does Linen Shrink When Washed?

Linen will naturally shrink after the first wash. Exposure to water and extreme temperatures can cause linen to shrink, with pure linen shrinking an average of about 4%, but shrinkage can be as high as 10% in some cases.

How Much Does Linen Shrink In Hot Water?

How Much Does Linen Shrink In Hot Water?

The amount of shrinkage of linen in hot water will vary depending on factors such as the quality of the linen, the weave, and the initial sizing and finishing treatments.

In general, linen will shrink by 10% to 15% in hot water, which is why washing linen in lukewarm water is recommended.

Does Linen Shrink When Dry Cleaned?

Does Linen Shrink When Dry Cleaned?

Some consider dry cleaning to be an effective way to preserve the elasticity and softness of linen without causing its natural fibers to break.

However, while dry cleaning can reduce the shrinking problem of linens, there will still be slight shrinkage. Because dry cleaning uses steam and dry cleaning agents to clean the fabric, the steam can cause the fabric to absorb moisture, although unlike exposure to water in a washing machine, the moisture is still absorbed in the form of steam.

Can Linen Shrink More Than Once With Every Wash?

Can Linen Shrink More Than Once With Every Wash?

Linen shrinks more than once in one wash, but there are many factors that can affect this. If the fabric is washed repeatedly at high or low temperatures, there is a high chance that the linen will crack and shrink with each wash. In general, prewashed linens tend to shrink less in subsequent washes. It is recommended to buy sheets that are already pre-washed and then washed in warm water after each use.

What Causes Linen To Shrink?

For specific operations, please refer to the video below.

Linen is a textile made from plant fibers, and if overwatered, the plant becomes brittle and the fibers loose too much and lose their original stiffness.

Likewise, when the linen is wetted due to relaxation and shrinkage, the same relaxation changes in the fibers. Because the flax fibers are thinner than the plant stem, if the fibers become too loose, it is difficult to regain their original shape and structure.

Therefore, during the maintenance of linen fabrics, special care needs to be taken to avoid excessive wetting and moisture contact, in order to maintain the strength and shape of the fibers.

How To Prevent Linen From Shrinking?

How To Prevent Linens From Shrinking In The Wash?

You can watch the video below first.

To prevent linen from shrinking during washing, follow these tips:

  • Before laundering, you should check the label instructions for special requirements for linen-blend fabrics. Prewashing linens can reduce shrinkage during washing, but be sure to follow the specified temperature requirements. Meanwhile, other materials that require special attention for lining, trim or stitching may need to be dry cleaned or hand washed.
  • When washing linens, use a medium cycle with a mild detergent and set the highest water level available in the machine to ensure the clothes move freely. Don’t cram too many items into the machine at once, as this can cause warping or warping. Pay special attention to the cleaning instructions, weight and color of the garment to ensure that other linen items in the machine match your linen.
  • When hand washing linens, use gentle rubbing motions rather than squeezing, twisting or scrubbing the fabric, which can damage the texture. Buying clothes with high-quality fabrics can increase their durability and ease of washing.

How To Prevent Linens From Shrinking During Dry Cleaning?

To prevent linen from shrinking during dry cleaning, follow these tips:

  • Check clothing labels to make sure they are dry cleanable.
  • Choose a professional dry cleaner, who usually has experience with linen.
  • Carefully inspect and treat any visible stains and soils before dry cleaning.
  • If dry cleaning linens at home, use the dry cleaning machine with the specified dry cleaning solvents and programs. Make sure not to pour detergent directly on the clothes.
  • Choose lukewarm water to wash fabrics, and dry low or air dry.

How To Prevent Linens From Shrinking While Drying?

How To Prevent Linens From Shrinking While Drying?

To avoid shrinking linen while drying, follow these steps:

Step 1: Check the instructions on the clothes label before drying to make sure your clothes are suitable for drying.

Step 2: Avoid drying linen in direct sunlight or high temperatures, and choose a well-ventilated, shady place to dry.

Step 3: Fully dry the clothes to make them lighter. Reduces gravity pull when drying.

Step 4: Lay clothes flat or hang them on hangers and let them air dry. Do not fold or squeeze clothing as this can cause wrinkles and shrinkage.

Can You Fix Linen That Has Shrunk?

Can You Fix Linen That Has Shrunk?

Linen may shrink during washing. However, you can restore it to its original length by following these steps:

  1. Add warm water to a bathtub or bucket, and soak the linen in the water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Squeeze out excess water gently, but do not over-squeeze to avoid damaging the fibers.
  3. Hang the clothes to air dry in a well-ventilated room, do not expose to the sun to avoid fading and deformation.
  4. While the clothes are still slightly damp, lay them flat on the ironing board.
  5. Move the iron across the length and width of the fabric in outward strokes. Iron starting in the center and covering the entire garment to allow the fabric to stretch back to its original size and shape.

Such a repair method not only reduces the shrinkage of the linen, but also effectively gets wrinkles out of linen fabric!

How To Shrink Linen Pants?

To determine the right size for linen pants, you can perform a shrink test before wearing them. Do not tumble dry or wash linen pants at high temperatures as this will cause the fabric to lose its elasticity and eventually shrink. The best temperature for shrinking is between 100°F and 140°F, and you can also choose to use extremely cold water for shrinking.

How To Shrink Linen Shirt?

Linen shirts are equally prone to shrinkage. Can be washed at high temperatures over 140F or use very low temperature cleaning methods. Due to the natural properties of flax fibers, they tend to lose their elasticity. Also, choosing a drying temperature higher than 85F can also help shrink linen shirts.


In short, the shrinkage rate of linen fabric is about 4%, and it will be higher if it is not washed properly. But we can reduce the incidence of this with simple fabric care steps, like avoiding heat and hot water.

Despite this natural risk of shrinkage, linen is still a beautiful textile known for its high quality. PHALAR is an old brand that specializes in making linen clothing, and they also provide us with cleaning and maintenance methods for linen.


Does linen stretch?

Linen is a fabric that is highly abrasion-resistant and stronger when wet. Although flax fibers do not stretch, due to their low fiber elasticity, they can break if folded and bent multiple times in the same area. Therefore, when folding and storing linen, it is necessary to avoid repeated pressure on the same area to prolong the life of the fabric.

Does linen shrink with every wash?

Pure linen fabric typically experiences around 4% shrinkage after its first wash. To avoid alterations in shape and size of clothing and textiles, some companies offer pre-washed linen fabric. This initial wash minimizes the amount of shrinkage that will occur during subsequent washes.

Does linen shrink more than cotton?

Though linen shrinks a bit less easily than other natural fabrics like cotton, it certainly can shrink when washed incorrectly.

Should you size down in linen?

Our recommendation is to choose a size that is slightly snug rather than too loose when purchasing linen clothing, as linen has a tendency to stretch and grow over time. If you choose a larger size, you may find that the garment becomes too loose and ill-fitting after a few wears and washes.

Relevant recommendation:

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