Pre-shrinking wool fabric

Well, I know there’s at least a dozen really great websites and posts about how to do this, and I must confess my absolute ignorance on this subject until this past weekend.  I’ve never done it before.  I never thought it was necessary, and I’ve never had any wool garment shrink on me either washed at home or by the dry cleaners.

But I thought I’d do this “properly” for DD1’s Harris tweed coat.  So I read the advice of Pam at Off-the-Cuff, and totally enjoyed reading through the posts at The Cutter and Tailor’s forum on pre-shrinking wool.  In the end, I decided I’d go with Pam’s procedure.

  • I put a 100% cotton sheet into my washing machine on the rinse cycle until it was soaked through.
  • Then I spun it completely.
  • Wrapped the tweed in the wet sheet.
  • Put the whole package into the dryer  on high heat for 40 minutes.

And I was pleasantly surprised to see that the sheet was still damp, and the fabric had suffered no harm whatsoever.  So now I’ll be pre-shrinking all my wools, just to be “doing it properly”, you know.  🙂  Not sure about cashmere, though……


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