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Does Elastic Shrink? (Fully Answered)

An elastic loosening up around your waistband may be frustrating because this leads to the garment providing a different fit than you are used to.

There are certain ways of successfully causing a loosened elastic to shrink without the need of taking the garment to a seamstress in order to repair it.

High heat is the cause of shrinkage for almost every material and elastic band and it is also very easy to accomplish. So, Does Elastic Shrink? Read on to find out!

Key Takeaways

  • In order to cause an elastic to shrink, there are easy ways of doing it yourself instead of the need for sewing or taking your garments to the seamstress.
  • When elastic is subjected to heat, the material itself that constitutes a waistband can undergo shrinkage.
  • Using the clothing iron on a high setting with the steam option is a safe way of shrinking an elastic.
  • Cool water can preserve the quality of the elastic without causing it to get loose or damaging its fibers.
  • Tossing a garment containing elastic in a dryer can severely damage the quality of the elastic, decreasing its levels of elasticity.

Does Elastic Shrink?

Elastic can shrink if heat is applied to it usually with a clothing iron on a steam setting. Apart from other ways that are also effective in shrinking an elastic, application of heat is the fastest and easiest way of doing it without the need of cutting out pieces or sewing.

Also Read: Guide on How to Shrink Leggings

How Can the Subjection to Heat Cause an Elastic to Shrink?

Subjection to heat is usually the reason why certain materials and elastics undergo shrinkage. This is most commonly achieved by ironing the elastic on a high-heat setting.

In order to avoid causing damage to the elastic itself, it is recommended for you to use the steam option on the clothing iron.

This will prevent the elastic from losing its flexibility and it will shrink in size at the same time. The iron on the steam setting should be placed close to the elastic band without placing it directly on the piece of elastic.

Why is Elastic Resistant to Shrinkage during the Process of Washing?

The majority of materials created from elastic and synthetic properties are usually resistant to shrinkage even if they have been washed with hot water.

Instead, elastic is known to get looser after washing with hot water temperatures. The synthetic properties of elastic make it resistant to shrinkage but prone to loosening.

For this reason, elastic can endure the process of washing in all water temperatures and the moisture will not cause shrinkage.

Is It Possible for Elastic to Get Damaged because of Hot Water?

Even though elastic is known to have the ability to withstand high heat and hot water, it can still get damaged in the washing machine.

Over time and after a couple of washes by using hot water, the elastic loses its original quality and flexibility which may cause the need for replacement.

Once an elastic has the look and feel of being worn out by being washed with hot water, it is very hard and sometimes impossible to bring back its original shape and elasticity.

Also Read: What Is the Definition of Dobby Fabric?

Does Elastic Shrink If It Is Dried in a Dryer?

A very common misconception is that elastic can withstand the process of being dried in a dryer regardless of whether it is exposed to a high heat setting.

Because of the mechanical process of drying elastic in a dryer, the fibers of the elastic may become stiffer which ultimately leads to shrinkage.

This process not only causes the elastic to shrink, but it can also damage the fibers and lead to the elastic losing its ability to retain its original quality.

How Can Cool Water Temperature Help the Elastic Last Longer?

It is very well known that high heat causes shrinkage to various different materials. This is why the best way of washing your clothing is to use cool water temperature.

This is also the case with washing elastic. Even though it is resistant to high heat, it is less likely that the quality of elastic will get damaged when it is washed with cool water.

In addition, using a fabric softener of any kind, regardless of whether the elastic is being washed with hot or cool water, can severely damage its elastic properties and decrease its longevity.

Also Read: Gude on How Can You Close an Ironing Board?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible for an elastic waistband to undergo shrinkage?

An elastic waistband on sweatpants or trousers can be easily shrunk if high heat is applied to it. This can be safely accomplished by using the steam option on the clothing iron and placing it very close to the band. Be mindful of the way you are doing this because the direct application of heat and steam can ruin elastic.

Does cold water cause an elastic to shrink?

Washing an elastic in cold or cool water will not necessarily cause shrinkage. This way of washing elastic will only ensure that the synthetic fibers will not get weak which can therefore ruin its quality. Washing elastic with hot water is possible but not recommended because of the damage in quality that can occur.

Can elastic be safely dried in a dryer?

During the process of drying elastic in a dryer, its fibers can undergo severe damage and the fabric will lose its natural elasticity and flexibility. Elastic is one of those materials that are recommended to stay away from driers in order to retain their unique qualities.

Final Words

Washing any material with excessively hot water can damage the fibers and quality over time. This is why it is important to be mindful of the water temperature on which you tend to wash your garments.

When it comes to elastic, it is known to be very durable even if it is washed or ironed on high heat. However, cool water temperatures will aid in the retention of original elasticity without the need for constant replacement.

The elastic on any type of garment is very practical and it helps the item fit better on your body which is why maintaining it properly will lead to its longevity.