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Got Shrinkage? Here's How It Can Happen On A Man's...Dress Shirt

Posted by David Whitehurst on Mar 16, 2011 5:15:00 PM


The age-old problem of shrinkage in men's.......... dress shirts needs an explanation.

If you ever wonder why your dress shirt might on.

It's amazing what can go wrong with a dress shirt!



Shrinkage in dress shirts is an unusual problem since the manufacturer has already allowed for the normal 2% shrinkage. Manufactured shirts are normally designed so when they shrink 2% they will be at the promised size. If your dress shirt shrinks all over, you probably have a defective shirt and the manufacturer should be held responsible.

But what happens when you have that shirt laundered a few times and it eventually shrinks either in the sleeves or the collar?

I have seen this situation occasionally and often on custom tailored shirts. 

This may be the result of the cuff or collar interfacing shrinking while the outer fabric does not, causing the shirt to seemingly get smaller in only 1 area, say on the collar, but the body still feels right.  What's going on?

The interfacing is an inner layer of fabric covered by the outer fabric found on cuffs, collars and placket in dress shirts.  The interfacing gives the cuffs and collars extra strength and body in these important parts of the dress shirt.  But I believe sometimes the interfacing is not pre-shrunk causing this problem.  When the outer fabric has been pre-shrunk but the interfacing has not, the cuffs or collars (or both) can shrink.

Should this happen, I suggest you measure the collar (or the sleeves if this is what shrinks) and see if the shirt still measures its original size.  If the collar or sleeves have shrunk, return it to the retailer or tailor for adjustment. 

If you have 2 similar shirts and only one shrinks, assuming they have both been laundered the same way, there must be something going on with the one shirts that fails.  This too, is a manufacturer's problem.

Of course, if you (or your dry cleaner or commercial laundry) have not followed care label instructions and the dress shirt shrinks, then you (or your dry cleaner or commercial laundry) are responsible.

If the collar or sleeves have not shrunk, get on the scale and see if you have grown a little.

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Topics: dry cleaners, Dress Shirt Defects, Dress Shirts

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