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Can linen shrink?

Hey everyone, I recently bought some linen clothes and I absolutely love the way they look and feel. However, I am a bit nervous about washing them. I have heard that linen can shrink in the wash and I don't want to ruin my new wardrobe. I am wondering if anyone has any experience with washing linen and if it is prone to shrinking? If so, how can I prevent this from happening? Thank you in advance for your help!

All Replies


Yes, linen can shrink when washed, but don't worry, I've got some tips from my own experience to help you avoid this. When I first bought linen clothes, I was nervous about the same thing. To prevent shrinking, I always wash my linen in cold water and on a gentle cycle. This has worked well for me.

Drying is key too. Instead of using a dryer, I air dry my linen clothes. Hanging them up or laying them flat to dry has kept them from shrinking. If you really need to use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting and take them out while still slightly damp.

For ironing, it's best when the linen is a bit damp. This makes ironing easier and prevents any damage from high heat. Remember, iron on the reverse side to avoid shiny marks.

Lastly, always check the care label for specific instructions. Some linen clothes are pre-washed, which can make them less prone to shrinking.

By following these steps, my linen clothes have maintained their size and shape perfectly. I hope this helps you enjoy your lovely linen wardrobe without any worries!


Hi everyone, I have found that hand washing linen is a great way to keep it from shrinking in the wash. When I hand wash my linen clothes, I am able to control the water temperature better and can be more gentle in handling the fabric. I recommend filling a sink or basin with lukewarm water, adding a mild detergent, and gently agitating the garment by hand. Rinse thoroughly with cool water and roll the garment in a towel to remove excess water. You can then hang or lay the garment flat to dry. If you're worried about wrinkles, you can always iron your linen clothes after hand washing. This method may take a bit more time and effort, but I've found that it helps my linen clothes keep their shape and size.


Hi there, I agree with user 1 and 2's advice on washing linen on the delicate cycle and avoiding the dryer, but I also want to mention that ironing after washing is important for preventing shrinkage. When linen is wet, it may look like it has shrunk, but it will usually return to its original size once pressed with a hot iron. Also, ironing linen smooths out any wrinkles that may have formed and helps maintain its crisp look. You can also add steam while ironing to help remove any residual shrinkage. My suggestion is to iron your linen clothes while they are still slightly damp for best results. Hope this helps!


Hi everyone, I just wanted to add that certain types of linen may require different care methods when it comes to washing and preventing shrinkage. For example, handkerchief linen is a very fine and delicate fabric that may require even more gentle care. I've found that washing handkerchief linen in a mesh laundry bag can help protect it from snagging on other garments or getting stretched out in the wash. I also avoid using fabric softeners or bleach on handkerchief linen and instead opt for a gentle laundry detergent. If you're unsure about the care instructions for your linen, always refer to the label or a professional cleaner for advice.


Hey guys, just to add to what user 1 said, I have noticed that some types of linen are more prone to shrinking than others. For example, linen that has been chemically treated or has a high percentage of synthetic fibers tend to shrink more easily. In contrast, linen that is 100% natural and minimally processed tends to hold up better in the wash. So, my advice would be to check the label of your linen clothes to see what they are made of. If it contains synthetic fibers, be extra careful when washing. I also recommend washing linen separately from other fabrics, as it can be prone to snagging or pilling. Overall, with the right care, linen can maintain its shape and quality for a long time.


Hello all, just wanted to share my experience with drying linen clothes. I find that hanging my linen clothes on a clothesline outside to dry is the best way to prevent shrinkage. The natural breeze and sunlight help to maintain the integrity of the fabric while also removing any moisture, which can be a culprit for shrinkage. I always make sure to hang my linen clothes by the hems rather than by the seams, which can sag and cause stretching. If hanging outside isn't an option, laying your linen clothes flat on a towel to air dry can be a good alternative. However, avoid hanging linen clothes on hangers as this can create unwanted stretch marks and cause the fabric to lose its shape.


Hi all, just wanted to chime in and recommend prewashing your linen garments before wearing them for the first time. This step can help prevent shrinkage down the line. When I buy a new linen garment, I always wash it on a gentle cycle with cold water, tumble dry on low heat for a few minutes, and then air dry it the rest of the way. This seems to help set the fibers and prevent shrinkage. I know it can be tempting to wear a new garment right away, but taking the time to prewash can save you headaches later on. Hope this helps!


Hey there, I have experience with washing linen clothes and can shed some light on this topic. Yes, linen can shrink in the wash, especially if you wash it in warm or hot water. My advice would be to always wash your linen on the delicate cycle with cold water, as this will help prevent shrinkage. Also, avoid putting your linen clothes in the dryer, as the heat can further shrink them. Instead, hang them up to air dry or lay them flat on a towel. With proper care, your linen clothes can last a long time without shrinking. Hope this helps!

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