How to Unshrink Linen? Easy steps for your day today life.

Linen garments
Linen garments photo by Becca McHaffie

History of Linen Usage

Photo by Anna Auza on Unsplash

The usage of Linen history runs back to ancient Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. It comes from the plant called Flax. Unlike today, Linen was a luxury item that ancient Royal families used to wear. Linen is made of natural fabric and it is famous for durability when compared with other cotton fabrics. The unique strength and heaviness of this fabric have brought it to the day today uses like summer clothing, bedding, pants and shirts etc. It is an ideal match for tropical regions. However, the minus side is the material’s plant fiber that tends to lose its elasticity over time and linen is very much likely to shrink. That is why it becomes hard to keep Linen fresh looking. Today let me tell you some tricks on how to unshrink linen.

Can we unshrink linen when it shrinks or stretches?

Photo by Maite Oñate on Unsplash

Before getting to know how to unshrink Linen, we need to know why Linen shrinks. This happens because of natural fibers in Linen cloths like jeans and sweaters that weave together.  Linen items become smoother and softer after each wash. However, these cloths are stretched during their manufacturing process and tend to shrink back to normal level after washing. Therefore, only a well reputed brand of Linen is likely to improve after washing. When there is 100% of Linen fabric, and you are washing or drying it in the wrong manner, that Linen will stretch and shrink unusually. Well, we all might have been there. This disheartening incident of Linen shrink is way too common. By now, you may wonder whether it is possible to fix a shrunk or stretched Linen.

Of course, you can either to unshrink or to avoid shrinking. There is a simple procedure to follow. Let me tell you the steps.

What happens when Linen shrinks and why unshrink needs?

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When linen shrink, the length and width of your linen cloth will reduce. It will definitely deform your cloth and let your heart sink. Because linen cloths, once shrunk cannot be worn. That is why you need to know a mean to unshrink Linen.

How to unshrink Linen?

First take the shrunken item and rinse it with lukewarm water mixed with shampoo, conditioner, or any laundry detergent.

Then, let it stay there for around 30 minutes and let the fibers loosen. Make sure that you do not squeeze water off it.

Just let it drip and dry for a while. Or you can lay the clothing on a towel and squeeze gently. You can continue the process for one more time and let the clothing to dry naturally.

Photo by Eric Vö on Unsplash

Then start ironing the cloth when it is dried halfway. When doing so, you may place the iron on the center of the cloth and move it towards the edges. During this process, your Linen item will slowly dry up.

How much will linen shrink?

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There are varieties of Linen materials. Therefore, all the issues relating to Linen shrinking may change accordingly. The extent to which Linen shrink or stretch depends on the kind of material you opt to purchase. This is obvious in cases where some companies shrink linen before production process, and it reduces the ability to shrink again and again. But all the manufacturers do not follow this. Hence, most of the Linen cloths you buy, may shrink when washed. That is why it is important for you to learn how to unshrink linen. However, many companies do not shrink the fabric before stitching, which can later result in shrinkage once washed depending on the method of washing and water temperature.

Does linen shrink in cold water?

Simple answer is yes. As I mentioned before, lukewarm water is the suitable washing temperature for Linen. Because Linen will shrink equally in either hot water or cold water. Make sure you stay between an average temperature of the scale in order not to damage the material color as well. 

Does linen shrink in the dryer or when dry cleaned?

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

The best way to dry up Linen is to let it naturally dry up. This method will cause only a 4% of shrink while tumble dry can damage linen by causing 10% to 15% of staggering.

You need to keep a safe distance between dryer and dry cleaning in the subject of linen. Because Dry cleaning, unlike dryers in washing machines is one of the best options for linen maintaining. Dry cleaning reduces the damage to linen and helps to keep the material fibers integrated as it prevents linen from the contact of cold or hot water.

Does Linen shrink more than once?

Linen is a very smooth and sensitive material. This is the biggest reason why people choose Linen over other material. Therefore, Linen can shrink time to time. But when some companies shrink them before production process, these cloths do not shrink as usual after washed. However, continuous washing using hot or cold water can damage the material. When buying linen cloths, try to buy pre-washed ones and follow the steps I mentioned earlier for a long lasting comfortable, linen experience.

How often Linen shrinks?

Photo by Ethan Bodnar on Unsplash

The extent to which linen can shrink differs for several reasons. The place where the flax plant was grown and procured, how the fabric was as made, the quality of the material, and the percentage of combination with other materials will determine how much Linen can shrink.

Long Lasting Linen

Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash

To sum up with Linen, it is hypoallergenic vegan fabric which is 100% natural. They make fine summer wear for most of the tropical regions. Apart from clothing, the breathable comfort comes from linen makes it a fine bedding choice too. The more you love to use Linen, the more you need to maintain your Linen. Patience is a must with Linen dealing because a long-lasting linen experience can be enjoyed when it is dry cleaned or when let it to dry naturally.


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