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Does Cotton Shrink?

You may have heard that cotton shrinks.

Are you ready to be surprised?

It’s a myth that cotton shrinks

I can already hear you… “I put that shirt in the washer and it shrank! I know it must be true!

So, let’s dig a little deeper. Have you ever worn your favorite pair of jeans for a few days (weeks) in a row? What happened to them? They felt looser, right?

And then you put them in the washing machine. They shrank, didn’t they?

Cotton tank top

The Lillian tank top, knit in cotton. Project page here.
What really happens is that cotton stretches, and then goes back to its original size when you wash it.


How to plan your knitting/crocheting

It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re knitting or crocheting with cotton. I love using cotton… but it’s going to stretch!

Think twice before you make a long, heavy garment, as this will increase stretching. And rest assured that it’ll ‘shrink’ when you wash it… but do a test swatch just to make sure!