Does Viscose Shrink When You Wash It? (Tips To Avoid It)

Keeping kids in clothes is hard enough. They grow too fast to have the ones you bought last for very long. Then when you add in shrinking possibilities, their clothes and yours may head to the thrift store faster than anything else.

Does Viscose Shrink When You Wash It? Yes, it does. It is also prone to mildew and have its fibers weaken when it gets to wet. The best way to care for Viscose made clothing is to make sure you dry clean the fabric and not wash it.

To learn more about the care of viscose made clothes just continue to read our article. It contains the information you always wanted to know about this fabric. Being forewarned helps you to be prepared to look after those clothes made with this fabric.

Tip 1: Remember Viscose is just another name for a variety of rayon. It will shrink if not handled correctly throughout the cleaning process.

Tip 2: Don’t wear a viscose made garment if you are expecting rain or other bad weather containing moisture.

Does Viscose Shrink or Stretch?


Viscose shrinks, in fact, it can shrink quite a bit as one lady found out. Here bolts of viscose lost over 1 foot of material because of shrinkage. The materials she washed measured about 7 feet each.

Most of the time, to clean viscose, you should not wash it in your washing machine. Hand washing is okay but dry cleaning is the best.

Tip 3: You can dry clean your viscose clothing at home using a dry clean garment bag, your dryer and 30 minutes. Just set your dryer to tumble and then hang the clothes up when done.

Why Does Viscose Fabric Shrink?

One reason why viscose shrinks is that it is a cheaply made material and the fibers are not high quality. With a low fiber quality comes a low fiber strength and once the viscose gets wet, it is game over for the fabric.

It can fade a lot if you spill water or some other beverage on viscose made clothing.

Does Viscose Shrink in Cold Water


For some reason viscose does not shrink in cold water. When given directions for hand washing, the instructions are to make sure the water does not get warm or hot. The same goes for washing those clothes in a washing machine except you want the cycle to be on delicate.

Tip 4: Make sure that the soap you use is very mild. Harsh detergents could harm your viscose clothing.

What About Hot Water


The only time you should use hot water when washing viscose made clothing is when the manufacturer puts it in the cleaning instructions. Every other time you should use cold water or dry cleaning.

Viscose is a very delicate fabric that should not be treated like cotton or polyester. Great care is needed in order to not ruin your clothes and have to buy new ones.

Does Viscose Shrink When Hand-Washed?

Generally, it doesn’t shrink when you hand wash a piece of viscose clothing. The key, of course, is to use cold water and mild soap. Also, do not place these articles of clothing inside your dryer.

You should hang dry them to make sure they do not shrink due to too much heat. Viscose should not take that long to dry.

Tip 5: One way to dry your viscose clothing is to hang dry them out in the sun. Then when nearly dry, toss them in the dryer on cool for 10 minutes. This should help keep the clothes nice and soft.

Does Viscose Shrink When Dry Cleaned?

Normally, viscose clothing will not shrink when dry cleaned. There may be exceptions to this but nothing is perfect and shrinkage may occur. The one thing you do not do with viscose clothing is t machine wash it when it says dry clean only.

It needs to be marked by the manufacturer that it can be washed before you toss it into your washing machine.

Tip 6: When handwashing, mix the soap and water by hand and then place the garment into the water mixture. Let the garment soak for about 30 minutes. Then rinse well.

Will Viscose Shrink in a Tumble Dryer?

Yes, the viscose garment will shrink if you use your dryer but this depends on whom you talk to. Some people have found that shrinkage is not that great when they use their dryer on cooler settings, if it happens at all.

You should not be using any heat if you put your viscose blouse, etc., in the dryer. But cross your fingers as your results may vary.

Tip 7: Do not wring out your hand-washed viscose blouse, etc. Wringing the excess water out may damage your clothing item. Instead of wringing it out, lay out the article of clothing on a towel in its natural position and let it air dry.

How do You Wash Viscose Without Shrinking

The safest way to wash your viscose article of clothing is to hand wash it. This may take a little extra time but if you do not want to spend any money on replacement costs, then it has to be done.

Just make sure to use cold water, soak it for a bit and use mild soap. Also, do not wring dry but press the water out carefully.

Tip 8: if you do choose to use your washing machine, turn the viscose clothing inside out and place it in a mesh washing bag. This will protect it from snags and snares.

Does 95% Viscose Shrink?

Unfortunately, it is still possible for 95% viscose to shrink. Some people say it won’t but it will depend on how you wash it. Even with the added fabric, hot water is not viscose’s friend.

Also, you do not want to put the item in a heated dryer. Keep the viscose blend away from heat as the blend will not protect the viscose fibers from shrinking due to heat.

Tip 9: do not iron your viscose clothing item, unless it has a steamer function. Hang the item in its natural position on a clothes rack to dry and use a steamer to remove wrinkles.

How to Shrink Viscose and Elastane


The experts say that it is impossible to shrink viscose and elastine in a controlled fashion. How much the clothing will shrink at any one time is anyone’s guess. The reasons for this are due to manufacturing, finishing treatments and washing conditions.

If you try to do it on purpose, you may shrink the clothing item too far and not be able to wear it.

Viscose and Polyester

The two fabrics actually have two different purposes. Usually, viscose is used for undergarments and outerwear like shirts, dresses, and blouses. Polyester is used more for performance wear, party wear and other uses.

These are just some of the differences that separate the two fabrics. One being that viscose is not as strong as polyester. Another is that polyester resists mildew while viscose does not.

Tip 10: As the garment dries, gently pull and shape it back to its original size. If you leave it crumpled, you risk giving it hard to remove wrinkles.

Viscose and Nylon


Nylon is totally synthetic fabric that is not always good if you heat up or workout a lot. Even though many athletic clothes are made from nylon, its strength does not keep you from getting uncomfortable when you sweat.

Viscose is a weak fabric which is why it is used for more delicate items of clothing. It may not be good for hot situations because it does not absorb sweat very well.

How to Shrink Viscose Dress (legging, sweater, skirt)

Viscose is a very hard fabric to control. Its shrinkage rate will depend if it is 100% viscose or if it is blended with other fabrics, While you may want to shrink those items you want to wear that are made from viscose, it is not a good idea.

Too much heat may make it shrink too much. One person lost about 1 foot of material due to shrinkage so be careful if you try it at home.

Does Viscose Shrink a Lot

Yes, it does. Unless you wash by hand or send it to the dry cleaners, you can expect some to a lot of shrinkage. The rule of thumb has always been to buy a size larger than you normally take but with viscose that may not be enough.

Some versions of the fabric have been known to shrink a lot even after it has been pre-shrunk before wearing.

How Much Does Viscose Shrink? (viscose shrinkage percentage)

It is not an exact science and your shrinking experience with viscose may not match up with the numbers we place here. Currently, you should experience a 3 to 5% shrinkage rate but that is not set in stone. Some people have had 25% in the first wash.

Some clothing items may shrink more than others and it would depend on a variety of factors. Some of those factors include the quality of the fabric, if it was pre-shrunk or not, the heat of the water and so on.

Does Viscose Shrink More Than Cotton


The going consensus is that viscose will shrink a lot more than cotton will. Some people have experienced up to 25% or more shrinkage when they wash their viscose clothing.

Cotton can shrink about 2% in a majority of cases but others have experienced up to a 20% loss after washing. So while viscose shrinks more than cotton, it is not too far off of the latter fabric when it does.

What to do When Viscose Shrinks

You have a couple of choices. You can use it as a hand-me-down and give the article of clothing to your daughter or you can send it to the thrift store and hopefully, someone will buy it.

Then you can save it and use the smaller viscose item in a quilt. Then you can throw it away and learn your lesson. The final thing you can do is to learn how to stretch it. Viscose is rayon and it can be stretched using the right procedure. You just have to be careful when you do it.

Viscose Shrink Fix


This is not advisable as viscose can shrink a lot. Sometimes up to 25% or more. If you try to control the shrinkage, you will be frustrated as it is something that is very hard to control.

Also, other factors come into play as well. The quality of the fabric, the manufacturer’s finish treatment or pre-wash attempts and a lot more. Buying something to have it shrink to fit is not always going to be the best way to have clothes that fit.

Some Final Words

Yes, viscose will shrink. Most fabrics will when washed for the first time. But that is due to the heat of the water you use in your washing machine, the heat of your dryer and if you ignore the cleaning instructions given by the manufacturer.

There are other factors involved that cause the viscose fabric to shrink and it can shrink quite a bit. The best thing to do is dry clean your clothes or hand wash them yourself. That way you can avoid viscose clothes shrinkage.

The only good news we have is that viscose can be stretched back to size. Just be careful when you do it so you do not ruin your blouse, shirt or dress.

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