Does the heat from a clothes iron cause the clothes to shrink?

I'm sick of buying clothes and having everything shrink up on me, I say no more! :). So from now on I will only wash the clothes in cold water and hang dry them. But I will need to iron them because they'll be very wrinkled. Will the heat from the iron cause my clothes to shrink at all? Or will it be alright? Thanks much.

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  • 10 years ago
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    Hi Chris,

    Good for you that you've decided to say "no more" to clothes that shrink, I'm sure you'll save a lot of money in the long run.:-)

    As far as I'm aware, ironing shouldn't shrink your clothes, however, if your use a lot of steam it can sometimes affect the shape of your clothes. I think the best thing to do is to use a low heat when you're ironing to avoid any disasters.

    Did you also know that now that now you're no longer using your dryer to dry clothes, you are helping your environment?

    Liz

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  • 10 years ago

    This depends on the material. Cotton is something that tends to be stretched in manufacturer which is why some makes sell preshrunk cotton. Once it has shrunk to its natural length it will not shrink any more. Wool shrinks for two reasons. One you can get relaxation shrinkage like cotton but this is not usually a great problem. The second reason is that wool is a fibre with scales on the surface which make if furry. Heat. agitation and alkaline situations with cause these scales to interlock causing shrinkage and hardening of the fabric. Felt cloth is made this way which is why despite being wool it is very smooth. There are so many man made fibres on the market that it it difficult to make any helpful comments about them. A lot of them can be stretched a bit in manufacture and can there for relax but most of them react to heat in some way and this could be shrinkage. Certainly stick to the makes instructions when ironing particularly iron temperature. If it is a continuous problem maybe you should look at the source of your clothes. Do you tend to buy from the same maker for instance?

    Any that is the best I can do on this forum good luck

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  • 10 years ago

    I don't think the iron will shrink the clothes once they're dry. I once washed and had to hang dry a shirt. When it dried, I ironed it hoping it would shrink some, but sadly it didn't.

    Source(s): Tried it
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  • 10 years ago

    yes, it can, depending on the materials the clothes are made of.

    Check on the garment label to find out what it is made of, and set your iron's heat setting accordingly.

    Many materials also shrink in a dryer, so if you are using one, make sure you check that it is wise to

    use a dryer for the garments you are drying.

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  • 10 years ago

    No.

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