Does Rayon Shrink? Detailed Guide

Don’t Wash Your Rayon Before You Read This

Does Rayon Shrink

Rayon is a widespread material used in clothing production today almost all over the world. It imitates many natural materials like cotton, silk, and linen. It is comfortable and perfect for a hot summer day to put on.

But what about its ability to shrink?

Is it possible for a rayon to shrink at all? Let’s find this out!

In this article, we have prepared a lot of useful information regarding this modern material.

Rayon. Specifics Of the Fabric

Why would someone want to make the apparel smaller at all, you may ask? Well, the major reason is obvious. When we wear a garment too often, it becomes stretched here and there and loses its initial shape.

Let’s agree, nobody would like to show up in an oversize sweater that used to fit us perfectly!

For this purpose, shrinking is used quite often.

As for rayon, this fabric is produced of cellulose derived from natural sources, for instance, wood. 

This material is versatile and it holds colors very well, that is why dyeing rayon is so simple.

It is soft, smooth, pleasant to the touch, and cool and it imitates silk, cotton, and linen pretty much.

Another benefit of rayon is that, even though it is highly absorbent, it doesn’t intake our bodies’ heat quite well. For this reason, this material is very popular among those who live in countries with hot and/or humid climate.  

How much does rayon shrink?

Rayon can shink up to two times, so you have to take proper care of it. Since rayon has the lowest rate of elastic recovery among the other materials, it is strictly recommended to dry-clean it only.

Related Guide: How to Get Wrinkles Out Of Rayon?

Does Rayon Shrink At All?

How to Sew Rayon Fabric - Tips and TricksHow to Sew Rayon Fabric – Tips and Tricks

As we all know, shrinkage is caused by exposure of heat, whether in a laundry barrel or in a dryer.

When it comes to rayon, this fabric appears to be extremely sensitive to any exposure of heat! So imagine what will happen if you launder the favorite rayon apparel on a hot cycle.

Does rayon shrink in the wash?

Rayon shrinks when washing not only with improper laundry methods but also with mistakes during drying and ironing.

Therefore, the rayon washing should be handled with care. To save its shape choose a flat drying method for it so it will not shink at all.

To prevent the rayon from shrinking during washing, the water temperature should not exceed 86 degrees.

You should remember that rayon can easily lose its shape when it’s wet, so a centrifuge and active manual spinning are forbidden for it. Accordingly, for machine washing, you need to choose a delicate mode without spinning, for manual washing, avoid any rubbing.

Never throw special balls (or tennis balls) into the washing machine drum to remove dirt quicker.
At first, rayon, in general not so dirty as, for example, cotton. And secondly, such a “terror” will inevitably ruin the clothes: it will stretch, which is irreversible even if the product was in the washing bag.

Does rayon fabric shrink when being worn?

Yes again! It does, especially if you happen to wet it somehow since this material is not that liquid-resistant. So yeah, don’t be surprised if you notice that the t-shirt becomes a bit oversized on a humid day.

Does rayon shrink more than once?

Yes, rayon can shrink more than once. If you dried it in a drying machine at a high temperature. Or hand washed it in very hot water and dried it in a warm place. Choose cold water and horizontal drying method so the rayon will not shrink at all.

Does Rayon Shrink
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Quite a tricky fabric, what can we say?

Rayon Maintenance And Care 

Rayon Maintenance And Care
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How do we take care of such a tricky fabric?

Since rayon fabric tends to shrink under the impact of water and humidity, taking care of it requires certain skills.

Related Guide: How To Iron Rayon?

What happens if you put rayon in the dryer?

Rayon should not be dried in a dryer. It is better to do this outdoors or in a ventilated area, placing the products in a horizontal position instead of put rayon in the dryer. It is worth ironing under the damp cotton cloth, at a temperature of 150 ° C. 

How to wash rayon so it doesn’t shrink?

Either dry-clean it or, it the care tag allows that, hand-wash. For hand washing, remember to use only warm water and heavy-duty detergent or soap.

Dissolve the product in the water before dipping the apparel into it.

Carefully and gently squeeze the sudsy liquid through the garment avoiding any harsh or too intensive rubbing moves.

The next stage is rinsing the apparel in lukewarm water.

How to wash rayon
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Never wring or twist the rayon garments! The best option is to roll them in a clean towel.

Iron when the item is almost dry.

By the way, does rayon shrink in the dryer? We will tell you more, putting rayon clothing in the dryer is strictly prohibited unless you want to ruin the apparel completely. Flat-dry all the rayon garments instead.

All right, is there a way how to prevent rayon from shrinking?

In fact, there is, and it’s called “follow the care instructions meticulously”. 

  • No laundering, only dry-cleaning or hand-wash in warm water
  • No twisting
  • No heat at all!
  • Wash with similar colors since rayon can be dyed very simply

That’s all! It looks very simple but these tips can really save your rayon material apparel from a shrink.

All You Need to Know About Fixing The Rayon Shrinkage

All You Need to Know About Fixing The Rayon Shrinkage
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Let’s take the opposite situation. A rayon-made garment was accidentally shrunk. How to unshrink rayon in such a situation?

For rayon shrink fix, take the next steps:

  • Prepare a bucket of warm water with one cup of baby shampoo dissolved in it
  • Submerge the apparel and gently massage it
  • Rinse in cold water
  • Delete the excess liquid by rolling the apparel into a towel. Don’t press it too hard since it may damage and yes, shrink it again!
  • Re-shape the item on a towel bringing it back to the initial shape
  • Leave it to dry

Will 100% rayon shrink?

One hundred percent rayon – textiles are not at all as “hopeless” as, for example, synthetics. Rather the opposite.

Among its remarkable characteristics are:

  • pleasant feel
  • high hygroscopicity (ability to absorb moisture from the human body)
  • resistance to sweat
  • good aeration (viscose allows air to pass through, allowing the body to breathe)
  • it is a very light and durable (dry) material
  • the smooth surface makes the fabric less dirty

As for shrinkage, it is minimal in 100% rayon. Why, then, are there so frequent complaints from our readers that this fabric shrink after washing to a critical state?

There are two reasons for this: improper care (washing and drying) and precise fiber composition.

Often, rayon is diluted in production with other fibers to improve its properties.

It is these factors that are “responsible” for the fact that the rayon shrinks during the wash or give us other unpleasant surprises.

  • Low-quality fabric with the addition of cotton or polyester will shrink for sure, and the latter will also “reward” the product with pellets
  • With the wool, which itself loves to shrink after washing, it can easily lose several sizes
  • Too hot water causes shrinkage and deformation (clothes can stretch, twist, lose their shape)
  • Drying on heating devices, an electric dryer, and batteries is also a sure way to spoil a rayon’s shape and size
  • On the contrary, machine washing, hot iron, stretch rayon clothes, and this most often cannot be undone

And if you’re curious about how to wash 100% rayon without shrinking, consider the following:

  • Never expose it to heat
  • Never twist or wring
  • Never launder or tumble-dry

That’s all. A perfect rayon garment is guaranteed.

Of course, when talking about fabrics there’s no such thing as enough. One can always find some extra information and for this purpose, we suggest you look through the most frequent questions regarding the “rayon case”.

rayon fabric
Photo by Gratisography: Pexels

✅Frequently Asked Questions❓

Does 100% rayon shrink?

Absolutely. And the cause of shrinkage is the same: heat. To protect the garments, remember to keep them away from heat which means that rayon clothing must be treated with warm or even cold water only.

Does rayon shrink in cold water?

No, it doesn’t. Moreover, if for some reason you can’t hand-wash the rayon item, launder it on the cold cycle putting the item in a net bag. That’s the only exception that can be made.

Does rayon spandex shrink?

Even though pure spandex is a shrink-resistant fabric when mixed with rayon, a blend of these two will become more tend to shrink. 

Does viscose shrink?

Viscose is predisposed to shrinkage, indeed. To avoid it, dry-clean viscose garments either at home or at the special dry-cleaners.

Rayon Shrinkage
Photo by Anne: Pexels

As you can see, taking care of rayon fabric is a bit tricky and effort-consuming even though it is a man-made material and we would expect it to be more durable and universal.

Nevertheless, proper maintenance conditions and careful treatment will guarantee the long life of your favorite garments if a bit of time and effort will be spent.

Written by
Olivia Paxton
Olivia is a Former Four Season Service Manager she worked there for 15 years. She knows all the nuances and secrets of hotels, houses, and apartment cleaning. We are very proud that she is a part of our team of Experts and shares her knowledge and experience with us.
Or editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
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