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Does Rayon Shrink? (Explained In Detail)

I am sure that rayon is not a new name in your vocabulary, especially if you are a sewing fan or work in fashion. It is one of the most famous fabrics you will find, and still, many questions are asked about it!

There is one main question that many people ask: Does Rayon Shrink? Well, I am glad to say that you have come to the right place since, in this article, I will answer that question along with some other informational content! Let’s start!

Key Takeaways

  • For summer apparel, rayon is frequently regarded as the best material.
  • Lukewarm water will work best to wash rayon. However, if the rayon is washed repeatedly over an extended period of time, it will undoubtedly shrink.
  • Washing it isn’t the only reason that rayon shrinks, ironing shrinks rayon too! Always use a lower ironing heat level!
  • Rayon is too fragile and sensitive, so it’s preferable to hand wash or have that outfit dry cleaned by dry cleaners before you completely ruin it.

Does Rayon Shrink?

Rayon fabric is one of those fabrics with a very low elastic recovery rate, concluding on the fact that rayon can shrink! By the way, it can shrink a lot, and if you own a rayon shirt, you can expect it to become a baby shirt.

Jokes aside, I am not talking about rayon shrinking just by reading somewhere, but it is a very bitter experience of mine. I did shrink rayon without knowing that it could get shrunk!

Why Does Rayon Shrink? – Main Reasons

You cannot shrink rayon just like that; there are a few reasons why it might happen. I would like o mention something essential for you, and also, I would like to mention for you the way how rayon shrinks.

Rayon is known as the perfect fabric for clothes when it comes to summer heat, as it is a kind of fresh material. Still, even though we love rayon on hot days, this fabric doesn’t! Rayon despises heat, and it is one of the main reasons that it shrinks quickly. Rayon’s main problem is always regarding the heat that it may encounter.

Why does it happen, you may ask? Well, as I mentioned above, its elastic rate, the heat tends to destroy them all, and that way, rayon cannot even overcome shrinking. This fabric, in general, is made of sensitive natural fibers, and basically, whenever it is in contact with the heat, it feels like there is abuse or mistreatment.

Again related to heat, rayon hates hot water! Using a washing machine to wash a rayon garment would be the death of it, and you cannot wear that specific cloth anymore. It is interesting enough how just by the first contact, you can quickly shrink this fabric.

Another super important fact I should mention about rayon getting shrunk is that people use high settings of heat on an iron. I love to iron clothes, and I love to do it on maximum heat because I think that only in that way am I doing it correctly. Still, whenever you are in contact with a rayon piece of cloth, whatever it is, you can expect shrinkage just by ironing it.

After everything is said and mentioned, there is only one reason why rayon gets shrunk and it is that unworthy heat! Always remember rayon’s detestation towards heat!

How to Protect Rayon From Shrinking?

Now that you understand that heat is one of the main reasons why rayon shrinks, it is essential to mention some proper ways to take care of rayon so that you and your rayon clothes don’t suffer. Let me get to the ways how you can protect rayon from shrinking!

Proper Washing

Just as I mentioned above, rayon hates the heat, and a t water would be the death of it. Well, there’s nothing better to know besides the fact that you should water it properly. There are a few things that you can do, and the main one is handwashing rayon garments. Handwashing is an easy procedure, and I am pretty sure that everybody knows how to do so. What I would like to mention here is that the water should be lukewarm. You can wash rayon with cold water as well, but that doesn’t even count as proper washing, right? Avoid cold water!


The dry-cleaning method is a frightening one because you never know how you will get the pieces of clothes delivered back to you. However, every dry-cleaning professional knows how to deal with these types of very sensitive fabrics, and I am sure that they will do their best to bring your clothes the exact way you have sent them but correctly cleaned them.


You also read above that ironing on super high heat may cause shrinking on a rayon cloth, and the choice for that would be to just lower the setting! If you have one of those old irons with no settings at all, never use them on you, but the new ones all have heat settings that you can adjust, and changing the setting at a lower heat level will help you protect rayon in the best way possible.

Closing Words

As you can clearly read above, rayon will always shrink if you don’t take good care of it! What I would like to mention here at the end is the fact that even if rayon is pure or combined/blended with another fabric, it will shrink!


Also, you should have in mind that rayon can get shrink not only by washing it at a high temperature but also if you iron it at a high temperature. So, before ironing your rayon dress or blouse, make sure that you check the heat level of your iron and then start ironing just as it should be correctly done.

What I hope here at the end s that I have provided you with everything that you needed to know regarding the shrinking of rayon!

Further Reading

Homework is here! If you are a passionate tailor, or you are just passionate about sewing and being creative with fabrics, then one article is never enough for you. Knowing that I will suggest more content that I’m pretty sure you will find interesting.

You can continue reading about the differences between rayon and polyester and find out which one can serve you best.

The second article is about the best brother sewing machine, and lastly, you can read on how to remove Iron on letters?

I hope you enjoy these articles.