Does Rayon Shrink More Than Once

Rayon is a common material in the textile and fashion industries. It features a unique material that is almost similar to other natural fabrics such as cotton and silk. For its production, Rayon requires a cellulose material that originates from natural materials such as wood.

Most people like this material because of how easy it is to work with, and it’s also breathable making it a great choice, especially during summer. But, on the downside, its elastic recovery rate is poor, making it prone to shrinking. So, does it shrink more than once?

Does Rayon Shrink More Than Once?

Yes, Rayon can shrink more than once. For example, it will shrink if you expose it to too much temperature. Such as washing it in very hot water and drying it in a warm place.

It will also shrink if you dry it in the drying machine when the temperatures are high. Wash it with cold water, and then you can dry it horizontally so that it does not shrink.

How to Wash Rayon to Avoid Shrinkage?

Rayon is a very delicate, thin fabric that requires proper care when washing. If you want it to last for long and not shrink much, you have to ensure that you wash it well. Unlike when dealing with fabrics such as polyester and cotton, it is easy to know what to do with them when cleaning. Unfortunately, it will not be the case when dealing with Rayon.

Most people do not use Rayon. Therefore, they may not know how to deal with it when they encounter it. Caring for Rayon is not hard. However, you should be ready to put in extra effort to ensure it stays in perfect condition.

In this specific section, you will learn how to take care of Rayon properly, from washing to drying and much more. Read on!

Step 1: Washing

When washing Rayon, ensure that you use cold water only. If not, then dry clean it. Typically avoid using in-between temperatures such as warm.

Otherwise, it will make the garment unwearable. If you want to make it cleaner, then you can do so by washing it twice. But ensure that you wash it in cold water.

Also, the best method of washing Rayon is through hand washing. It allows you to be super gentle on the fabric as you wash it and also ensures that you make the fabric as clean as you want.

However, ensure that you do not stretch the material. Otherwise, you may end up not wearing it even once.

Step 2: Drying

When washing Rayon materials, you should never use anything hot. The case also applies when drying it. You should never place the material in a dryer. It will automatically shrink when in there and will also develop wrinkles, making it unwearable.

When drying, hang the material somewhere outside, or best if you do it inside the house. If you cannot do either of these two, use the dry tumble option in your Dryer with no heat. It means that you should not use even the low heat setting since it may still be too hot for the fabric.

Step 3: Hand Wash

Hand washing is the most suitable washing method for Rayon. You can use some detergent for this but ensure that you always use cold water. Also, you need not put any ice in the cold water. Ensure you are gentle when washing, then rinse it well after this.

When drying the hand-washed Rayon, you can hang it in a bathtub, dry it, or use a rack for drying. Also, do not use clips when hanging the fabric.

Clips make the weight on the fabric and the water stretches around the area. So when it dries, the place will be looking stretchy.

Step 4: Ironing

When it comes to ironing the fabric, start by turning over the fabric to the wrong side, then setting the lowest setting or setting it to if your iron has the rayon fabric ironing option.

However, if your iron has a silk setting, do not use it, always ensure you iron your Rayon fabric in a setting lower than the silk setting.

Step 5: Storage

When hanging, hand the Rayon clothes with a hanger in your closet. It will wrinkle if you choose to fold it, requiring you to iron it once more before wearing it. At times even after hanging it, you have to iron it a bit before wearing it.

How to Unshrink Rayon?

Rayon is prone to shrinking if you fail to wash it by hand or use hot temperatures to dry it. It requires specific cleaning techniques such as washing it in cold water to maintain its original shape.

If without knowledge, you wash the Rayon wrongly, such as washing it in the washing machine with your other laundry, then it will shrink.

However, there are ways you can unshrink your rayon fabric—the most common ways being soaking or using a clothes steamer for washing and steam ironing. Let’s look at how one can use these methods.

Method 1: Unshrink Rayon by Soaking

The materials you require for soaking include:

  • Warm Water
  • Baby shampoo
  • Towel
  • Bucket


Step 1: Add Warm Water and Shampoo to the Bucket

Start by pouring the warm water and the baby shampoo into a bucket. Next, stir the water and the shampoo until they form a soapy solution.

Step 2: Place the Rayon in the Bucket

Place the rayon clothes in the bucket. Let it dry or soak there for a few minutes.

Step 3: Run Cold Water on the Rayon          

After removing the Rayon out of the water, run it under cold water to rinse the soap on it.

Step 4: Hang It

Start by taking out as much water as possible from the material. You can do so by rolling it in a towel. Then hang it on a flat surface.

Step 5: Stretch the Fabric

Stretch the parts of the fabric by pulling its top and on the sides. Continue stretching the fabric as it dries until you get the size you want. You will finally find that the Rayon clothing fits much better.

Method 2: Unshrink Rayon by Using a Clothes Steamer

The steam and the heat in a clothes steamer come in handy when stretching the fabric. It, however, does not cause any damage due to heat. The materials you require include:

  • Large bucket
  • Warm Water
  • Hair conditioner
  • Towel
  • Steamer
  • Clothes hanger


Step 1: Add Warm Water, the Conditioner, and the Fabric to the Bucket

Start by adding the warm water and the conditioner to the bucket. Use a large bucket or a tub if you have a large fabric. Then rub the cloth in the water for a few minutes.

Step 2: Rinse the Fabric

Run the fabric under warm water to rinse away the conditioner. Then place it on a large towel and pat it to remove the excess water. Also, roll the towel around the fabric to get rid of as much water.

Step 3: Pull the Top and Bottom of the Material

Place the fabric on a dry towel, then pull its top and bottom outward to unshrink it. Let it air dry completely for some time, then flip it over and pull the top and bottom.

Step 4: Steam the Fabric

You should then hang the fabric with a clothes hanger. Then apply warm moisture on it using a clothes steamer.  As you steam, one hand should be stretching out the fabric. Do so until the fabric gets to its original shape.

Method 3: Unshrink Rayon by Steam Ironing

The items you require for this include:

  • Steam iron
  • Ironing board
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle

When steam ironing, you need to fill up the bottle with warm water. Then turn the rayon material inside out.

Lay it flat on the ironing board. Then sprinkle the warm water on the cloth, after which you should start ironing the material gently. Ensure you are using the lowest heat setting.

After this, set the iron aside. Next, pull the cloth on the sides, the top and bottom, to stretch it. If you need to stretch the fabric further, repeat the process. Once you finish, leave the fabric on the surface to air dry.

How to Prevent Rayon Shrinkage?

After unshrinking Rayon, you have to ensure you take the necessary precautions to prevent future shrinkage. Here are some of the tips you can use to prevent Rayon shrinkage.

1. Take It to a Dry Cleaner

Rayon shrinks, so take it to a dry cleaner if you want to prevent it from shrinking. Such should be so only if the label says dry cleaning only.

2. Use a Gentle Cleaning Cycle

If you are going to wash the fabric at home, ensure you use the gentle cycle. Also, ensure you use cold water in the washing machine. Warm water will make the material shrink.

3. Air-Dry It

Air drying rayon material is the best way to dry it. You can place it on a rack or a flat surface as it dries to avoid shrinking.

4. Place the Material in a Mesh Bag When on the Dryer

If you want to use a dryer to dry the rayon fabric, ensure you place it in a mesh bag. Also, use a half cycle on low heat before putting it out for air drying.

Why Does Rayon Shrink?

Rayon is typically a natural fiber made from chemicals. They bring in the texture in it hence the reason why it may look like other expensive fabrics.

Subjecting it to hot water damages it; therefore, the fibers in it shrivels up. As a result, the rayon fabric will shrink. If you can protect the Rayon by using cold water when washing it, it will not shrink.

How Much Does Rayon Shrink?

There is no specific number or percentage that can account for the shrinking rate of Rayon. How much it shrinks depends on various factors, but usually, it does not shrink so much.

The amount it will shrink will depend on how you handle the material. Such include washing it, hand washing or machine washing, and the temperatures you subject it to when drying or washing it.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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