Q: 1) Do garments, clothes, apparels, and uniform shrink?
A: Definitely. Shrinkage can be found on garments after washing as it is a nature property of textile materials. For example, T-shirt, Polo shirt, vest and other garment styles which are mainly made of 100% cotton which has shrinkage nature because it is natural cotton fiber. Natural fibers like cotton fiber have higher shrinkage percentage than man-made fibers such as polyester and nylon. If you want to reduce the shrinking percentage, polyester-cotton blend fabric or 100% polyester fabric can be used.
Q: 2) What is the general shrinkage rate of garments?
A: It depends on the nature of fabric and fabric construction. Shrinkage can be found most obviously on 100% cotton (approximately 8-10%) fabric. Loosely constructed fabric is commonly used to make polo-shirt will also have bigger shrinkage after washing. Larger shrinkage can be found on ribs, waffle and interlock fabric etc. as well.
Q: 3) Are there any methods to reduce shrinkage on uniform?
A: Choose fabric mixed with polyester and cotton (such as CVC or T/C). CVC and T/C fabrics are knitted from yarn which is blended from polyester and cotton, due to the polyester’s non water absorption nature, shrinkage can be improved. However, this fabric is less breathable and less soft than cotton. Another method is to garment wash so that it can stabilize the shrinkage in advance.
Q: 4) Is it possible to avoid shrinkage?
A: No. No matter what materials they are (man-made fiber – polyester, or natural fiber – cotton, linen), physical limitations applied to these materials, apparel will shrink after it is worn and washed repeated. Using 100% polyester fabric can minimize the shrinkage problem. Sportswear, sports uniform, sports bottom, vest and jacket are mainly made of 100% polyester fabric in order to minimize the shrinkage. Some auxiliary chemicals are added on the fabric of these sports apparels. For example, dry fit chemical agents are added to drive sweat away quickly and provide and good ventilation, making it more comfortable to wear when doing exercises.
Q: 5) Is garment durable?
A: It depends how the garment is used and handled during wearing and washing etc. Apparel is more durable if we follow the garment care instruction sewed to the garment. As garment is made from materials (e.g. cotton, polyester, etc.) which have their physical limitation, unavoidable appearance changing, color fading and print logo fading out will be found when the apparel is repeatedly worn and washed. Therefore, consumers have to follow the garment care label to minimize the mistreatments that will shorten the life cycle of the apparel.