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Does Elastane Shrink? (Full Guide)

Many pieces of clothing contain elastic properties in order to provide stretchiness and comfort while they are being worn.

The stretchiness and elasticity of clothing are present mostly in the elastane fabric which is a product of synthetic fibers known for its durability and strength.

The question of whether elastane is prone to shrinking can easily be answered depending on the way they are being taken care of and how effective the maintenance methods truly are.

Key Takeaways

  • Elastane is regarded as a fabric with high levels of durability that is usually resistant to wrinkles.
  • Shrinkage of elastane can happen if the garments are exposed to high heat.
  • Elastane blends can easily shrink if they are washed or dried on a high heat setting or with hot water temperature.
  • The fibers of elastane are stiff and they can shrink by the application of moisture.
  • In order to avoid shrinkage of elastane, it is recommended for the garments to be washed with cool water and air-dried.

Does Elastane Shrink?

Elastane fabrics and blends can shrink if they are exposed to high levels of heat regardless of whether they are being washed in a washing machine or dried in a dryer. It is important to be aware of the maintenance methods suitable for elastane in order to ensure its longevity.

The Difference Between Elastane Blends in Regards to Shrinking

In order to provide high levels of durability and comfort to different pieces of clothing, manufacturers usually blend elastane with other fabrics.

The most common case is blending elastane with cotton. The elasticity of these two materials blended together can lead to the piece of clothing being characterized as comfortable and stretchy.

The elastane and cotton blend can shrink if it is exposed to high heat. Because of the reason that cotton is a very sensitive fabric that can be easily damaged, it is often recommended for pieces of clothing containing elastane and cotton to be washed with cool water.

The strongest and most durable pieces of clothing often used to produce clothing pieces such as workout clothing and swimsuits are manufactured from an elastane and polyester blend.

In comparison to polyester, elastane is more prone to shrinking. For this reason, washing on cold temperatures and air-drying is the best way to provide proper maintenance and avoid shrinkage of clothing produced from elastane and polyester.

Nylon and elastane are synthetic fabrics that are known to have stronger fibers when they are compared to naturally made materials such as cotton. This is why manufacturers often blend nylon and elastane to produce pieces of clothing.

Due to the durability of this blend, pieces of clothing produced from elastane and nylon can be safely washed at high temperatures. However, in order to ensure that they retain their original shape without the possibility of shrinking, it is recommended to be air-dried.

How Can Elastane Shrink in the Washing Machine?

The stiffness of elastane fibers can cause the garments to shrink when they are being washed with extremely hot water.

This is why it is usually recommended for pieces of clothing produced from elastane to be washed with cool or lukewarm water.

In order to ensure that you are taking proper care of your elastane pieces, it is important to read the instructions on the care label and wash the garments at the recommended temperature.

Drying Elastane On A High-Heat Setting

Certain manufacturing companies often use low-quality elastane in order to produce pieces of clothing. This can be one reason why drying elastane materials on high heat in a dryer can cause shrinking.

When elastane materials are exposed to high heat in a dryer with the addition of moisture, the garments can easily shrink and lose their original shape.

In order to prevent elastane materials from shrinking in a dryer, it is often recommended to put them in a protective mesh bag or simply let them to air-dry.

Can Elastane Shrink If It Is Ironed on a High Setting?

Clothing pieces made out of elastane and spandex are usually characterized as being resistant to wrinkles. However, clothing produced from elastane blends may require ironing.

Ironing elastane materials on a high heat setting can cause the garment to shrink and lose its original shape which can also lead to damaging the piece of clothing and lowering its level of quality.

For this reason, if ironing the elastane material or blend is completely necessary, the best way to do it without causing shrinkage is to iron it on a low setting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the elastane material stretch or shrink?

Elastane is known to be a very stretchy material that has high levels of elasticity which allows the garments to stretch. This material can also shrink if it is exposed to high heat.

Can elastane be dried in the dryer?

Pieces of clothing made out of elastane can be safely dried in the dryer by putting a protective mesh bag and not using high heat. Although it is possible for elastane to be dried in a dryer, the best, easiest and most effective way includes air-drying.

How to repair synthetic fabrics such as elastane from shrinkage?

Bringing back the original form and shape of a piece of clothing produced from elastane may be tricky. However, in order to relax the fibers of elastane materials, soaking the shrunk garment in a lukewarm water with a mild detergent may help to bring back some of its original shape.

Also Read: How You Can Lighten Your Jeans

Final Words

When elastane is blended with synthetic materials such as nylon, shrinkage of the garments may not be very common. However, regardless of whether elastane is blended with a synthetic or natural material, it is always important to properly maintain its quality.

No material is completely resistant to high heat and this is also the case with elastane. Although it is regarded as a very durable material, its fibers can get damaged if they are exposed to high heat and the utilization of improper maintenance methods.

Before attempting to wash or dry your clothing pieces made out of elastane, make sure to read the instructions on the care label because only in this way will you be able to provide proper maintenance and avoid shrinkage in order to ensure longevity.