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How to Keep Fabric From Shrinking

Updated March 24, 2022
How to Keep Fabric From Shrinking
How to Keep Fabric From Shrinking

Learn why you need to properly launder fabrics before you sew!

I know that fabric is so nice and crisp and you’re just aching to use it. Reason number one: natural fabrics will shrink. Reason number two: mistakes happen and sometimes the dye in the fabric isn’t set properly and it runs.

Much better to have this happen, before spending hours sewing something.

Finally, reason number three: there is a coating of chemicals on the fabric to help set the dye. This washes off after the first wash. So, if you're sensitive to chemicals, it's a good idea to wash before you sew.

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Watch the video right below to learn some tips and tricks for preventing fabrics or clothing from shrinking.

Project TypeLearn a Technique

Time to CompleteUnder an hour


A Tale of Two Towels

How to Prep Fabric for Washing

  1. Zig zag stitch around the raw edges of the fabric.

  2.  Wash as instructed.

  3. Throw in with some towels you don’t care about for agitation.

  4. Wash as instructed.

  5. Dry and then press to get the nice clean and flat surface for cutting.

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I have skipped this step in washing my fabric many times and have regretted it but I hate to wash it and have it unravel and make a mess. I wish I had come across these tips before now. What a great tip to sew along the top and bottom of the fabric so it does not unravel. If you are a beginner take this step to heart because it will save you some heartache later. Anyone learn something from this?


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