Why Do Clothes Shrink When You Wash Them?

We’ve all lost a favorite sweater to shrinkage, but why does this happen? What’s the science behind shrinking laundry?

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Why Does Dirty Laundry Stink?
Anyone who has ever tried to stretch a T-shirt or a pair of pants one day too many knows that nose-pinching, eye-watering, neck-twisting dirty clothes smell. But what causes it?”

A Comparative Study on the Felting Propensity of Animal Fibers
“The felting propensity of different animal fibers, particularly alpaca and wool, has been examined. The Aachen felting test method was employed. 1 g of each type of fiber was soaked in 50 ml of wetting solution and agitated in a dyeing machine to make felt balls”

Effect of Laundering on the Dimensional Stability and Distortion of Knitted Fabrics
“The main aim of this work was to systematically investigate the effect of the principal washing and drying variables on the dimensional stability and distortion of knitted fabrics. The work demonstrated that changes occurring after laundering were largely due to alterations in the loop shape, rather than yarn or loop length shrinkage.”


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