If you’ve ever pulled your clothes out of the dryer only to find them smaller than when you put them in, you’re not alone. This phenomenon, called modal shrinkage, is caused by the heat of the dryer breaking down the fibers of the fabric. While it’s impossible to completely prevent your clothes from shrinking in the dryer, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk.
What is modal shrinkage?
Modal is a type of rayon, a semi-synthetic cellulose fiber made from wood pulp. Like other types of rayon, modal is absorbent and breathes well. It also has a high strength-to-weight ratio and is resistant to shrinkage.
Modal fabric is often used in activewear and intimate apparel because it has a soft, silky feel and can be dyed in rich colors. While modal fabrics are generally easy to care for, they can shrink if not laundered properly.
To avoid shrinking your modal garments, wash them in cold water on the delicate cycle. If possible, line dry or lay flat to air dry. Avoid ironing modal fabric, as this can break down the fibers and cause irreversible damage.
Why does the modal shrink in the dryer?
As anyone who has accidentally put a modal shirt in the dryer can attest, this type of fabric shrinks easily. But why does the modal shrink in the dryer? And is there anything you can do to prevent it?
Modal is a type of rayon, which is a semi-synthetic fabric made from cellulose. The cellulose fibers are spun into yarn, which is then used to weave or knit the fabric. Rayon fabrics are known for their softness and drape, but they can be tricky to care for because they are so delicate.
One reason why modal shrinks in the dryer are because it is not as durable as other fabrics. The cellulose fibers that make up modal are very fragile and can break easily. When they break, they become shorter and this causes the fabric to shrink.
How to deal with modal shrinkage if it happens?
If you experience modal fabric shrinkage, there are a few things you can do to try and correct the issue. First, wash the garment in cool water with mild detergent. This will help set the fibers and prevent further shrinkage. Next, lay the item flat to dry, or hang it on a clothesline. Avoid using high heat when drying, as this can cause the fabric to shrink even more. If the garment is still too small after following these steps, you can try stretching it out gently while it’s damp. Lay the damp garment on a flat surface and smooth it out until it’s back to its original size. Once it’s dry, it should fit better than before. There are some more solutions to cope with this problem listed below;
Solution 1: Wash in Cool Water:
If you’re looking to avoid shrinkage in your modal fabrics, then washing in cool water is the way to go. Modal is a semi-synthetic fabric made from cellulose, and it’s known for being soft and stretchy. However, like all fabrics, it can shrink when exposed to heat. That’s why washing in cool water is the best way to care for your modal garments.
Here are a few tips for washing modal in cool water:
- Use a mild detergent that’s designed for delicate fabrics.
- Wash your modal items separately from other clothing items.
- Don’t wring out or twist your modal garments after washing them – simply press out the excess water and lay them flat to dry.
Solution 2: Don’t Over Dry:
Modal fabric is a type of rayon, and like other types of rayon, it is prone to shrinkage. To avoid this, don’t over-dry your modal fabric items. Instead, take them out of the dryer while they’re still damp and hang them up to finish drying. You may also want to wash your modal fabrics in cold water to further prevent shrinkage.
Solution 3: Use a Steamer:
Home steamers are an easy way to remove wrinkles from clothing and fabric. The high heat and steam from the steamer can also help to shrink certain types of fabric. This is a great way to care for your clothes and keep them looking their best.
Here are a few tips for using a steamer:
- Hang the clothes or fabric on a hanger before steaming. This will help the steam to evenly penetrate the material.
- Hold the steamer about 6 inches away from the fabric and move it back and forth until the wrinkles are gone.
- Be careful not to overheat the fabric, which can cause damage. Test a small area before steaming the entire garment.
Solution 4: Use an Iron on Low Heat:
When you are using an iron on modal fabric, it is best to use a low heat setting. This will help to prevent the fabric from shrinking. Modal fabric is very delicate fabric and can be easily damaged by high temperatures. Ironing on a low-heat setting will also help to preserve the color of the fabric.
If your clothes are coming out of the dryer looking like they’ve shrunk, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to fix the problem. First, try rewashing and drying your clothes in a higher setting. If that doesn’t work, you can try using fabric stretchers or baby wipes. Finally, if all else fails, you can always take your clothes to a professional dry cleaner.