Does Elastane Shrink in the Dryer? (How to Stretch Elastane) (2023)

Follow the instructions. That simple guideline seems to be difficult for some people as they often ignore the labels on fabrics and clothing and do what they want. Unfortunately, their results are not what they thought they would get and they are left with shopping for new clothing items.

Does elastane shrink in the dryer? If the label on your clothing or bedding made with some elastane says do not put in the dryer then do not put those items in the dryer. The elastane will shrink at best. At worst, the fibers will be damaged by the heat of the dryer and your clothing will be ruined.

To learn more about elastane and if it is safe to place in your dryer, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to handle your clothing that has elastane in them.

Shrinking Elastane 101

Will Elastane Shrink?

Does Elastane Shrink in The Wash?

Does Elastane Shrink in The Dryer?

How To Shrink Elastane

Will 95 Cotton 5 Elastane Shrink?

Is Elastane Stretchy?

Does Elastane Stretch Over Time?

How Much Does ElastaneStretch?

Does Cotton Elastane Stretch?

Does Viscose Elastane Stretch?

How To StretchElastane

Some Final Words

Will Elastane Shrink?

Does Elastane Shrink in the Dryer? (How to Stretch Elastane) (1)

Yes, elastane will shrink. How much depends on the quality of that material. There is no set standard on how much this fabric will shrink when placed in the dryer. One thing is for sure though, if you use your dryer to dry elastane included clothing, etc., do not use high heat.

The high heat will melt the elastic and make it unusable. Also, besides shrinking you run the risk of allowing the elastane to stretch way out of shape. So, drying this type of material is a two-edged sword.

The best thing to do with elastane included clothing or bedding is to hang dry it. This may take longer but not only does it save you on your electric bill, but it also saves you from having to replace ruined clothing. Easy does not always mean using your dryer.

Does Elastane Shrink in The Wash?

It is possible if you use the wrong water temperature. Hot water should be avoided as elastane like other stretch material is similar to plastic. That means that besides shrinking other damage can be done to the material.

The best temperature you can use when washing your stretch garments is cold. This protects your clothing as well as cuts down on your electric bill. Saving money on electricity is important and is as Benjamin Franklin said, a penny saved is a penny earned.

That savings can be applied to more clothing if you happen to ruin your elastane clothing when washing or drying them. Whenever you have synthetic fibers included in your clothing or bedding, you should take care and watch how you launder them.

Follow the instructions on the labels to make sure you are using the right laundry option.

Does Elastane Shrink in The Dryer?

Does Elastane Shrink in the Dryer? (How to Stretch Elastane) (2)

The best place to get your answer is on the cleaning labels of the clothing you buy that has elastane included in its construction. If the label says it is okay to use the dryer then the clothing should be safe from shrinking.

However, everyone’s experience is different and sometimes the label may not have it right. It is the chance you take in this imperfect world. The best thing to do in this situation is erring on the side of caution and use cold water for your wash and hang dry.

Elastine is not the sturdiest material around so you should be careful and let your common sense dictate how you dry those materials. A lot depends on the fabric elastane is blended with as well.

Play it by ear as trial and error may be your best friend when cleaning elastane.

How To Shrink Elastane

The answer to this question is rather simple. To shrink elastane all you need to do is add heat. But you cannot add too much heat or you risk melting the plastic fibers used to make this fabric.

If you are purposefully trying to shrink elastane, you need to know that there is no guarantee in how much it will shrink. There is no off button to the shrinking process and the material may get too small for you to wear.

The first step in shrinking elastane clothing is to use hot water in the washing machine. If that doesn’t shrink it enough, then you need to up the temperature in your dryer. But again, we must warn you there is no way to control the shrinking when you do this.

Some people have said that the best way to shrink clothing with elastane in it is to take those items to a tailor or dry cleaners and have them alter the clothing.

Will 95 Cotton 5 Elastane Shrink?

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That is 95% and 5% and the process is the same as it is with any other material blended with elastane. Use the higher water and dryer temperatures when you clean the clothing.

About 60 minutes in the dryer should do it if you use cold water wash. But like we have continually said, you are taking a big chance trying to shrink something made with elastane.

You get what you get and at one point the shrinking will have gone too far. That is if you do not get the right amount of shrinkage and you do the process over and over. This raises the question as to why you would want to purposefully take that risk.

Sometimes it is just better to flatter yourself and reward your weight loss effort by buying a new clothing item made with elastane in your new smaller size. That will motivate you to continue losing weight.

Is Elastane Stretchy?

Yes, it is and it can be known better by its other names. Elastine is not always known as elastane, it is also called Lycra and Spandex. This material is stretchy but made from synthetic fibers. That means you have to be careful how you wash it.

This material is made from what is called a long polymer chain named Polyether-polyurea copolymer. You may not like who invented this fabric and where it was invented but it happened and nothing can be done about it.

The fabric was invented by a German during the Nazi era, 1937 to be exact, by Otto Bayer. It was created to replace the rubber. Initially, the material was used on Nazi fighter planes and other applications.

There was no intention of using this polymer in clothing but Dupont inherited the formula and right to it after the war and decided that was the wrong course of action to take. There are toxic chemicals used in creating this fabric so be careful.

Does Elastane Stretch Over Time?

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Unfortunately, like the lack of control in shrinking this fabric, there is no control stopping it from stretching out of shape. Over time, and use you will find that this material will stretch out of shape.

This may not be a big deal if there is only about 5 or 10% of elastane content. But if there are large amounts of this fabric in your clothing items, then you will have to repurchase those clothing items eventually.

Remember, elastane was created to replace rubber and rubber stretches so expect your elastane items to lose their shape. What causes this problem is the ability to spring back to its original size is ruined.

When that ability goes expect your clothing to continue to stretch out of shape to the point you cannot modestly wear them anymore.

How Much Does ElastaneStretch?

This is hard to say exactly as different forms of elastane may stretch different ways. Some have said that it is capable of stretching up to 80 to 85% but that may not be the results you get. A lot will depend on how much of the elastane material was blending in with your favorite clothing fabric.

The real issue with elastane is not how far it will stretch but that many people are using that stretch as an excuse to wear clothing sizes that are too small for them. When this happens the stretch is taken out of the fabric and the product fails.

Wearing clothing that is too small is also not that healthy for a person and elastane should not be seen as a figure control tool. Remember the old girdles? That thought may have you thinking twice about using elastane in the same manner.

Does Cotton Elastane Stretch?

Does Elastane Shrink in the Dryer? (How to Stretch Elastane) (5)

Denim is cotton and the way they make stretch denim today is by adding in elastane to the construction process. That means that a cotton and elastane blend will stretch when you need it to stretch.

How much stretch you get depends on the weave and threads used. Stretch denim jeans seem to be the fad these days but those jeans will only stretch so far before the elastane fails and refuses to snap back.

If they stretch too far, you can try shrinking them in hot water but you may only get 1 size down by doing that. Shrinking overstretched elastane may not be worth the effort. But it is your call. You should take steps to protect your body and make sure you buy the clothing that fits properly.

Shop carefully when looking at cotton and elastane blends. You may find that they do not launder well and you are stuck with clothing that is too small for you.

Does Viscose Elastane Stretch?

Usually, the blend goes like cotton and is a 95% viscose and 5% elastane content. This makes viscose clothing stretchy and lets you maneuver as you need to around the office and home.

Adding elastane to viscose means you stay comfortable and still able to move without feeling any discomfort. This combination also keeps the breathability factor at optimum levels.

But that is not all. This blend should also be washable so you can avoid high dry-cleaning bills. Make sure to follow the cleaning label’s instructions and keep the water temperature to the cool end of the scale.

This means that you can use a Lycra and Spandex viscose blend in the same way since those names refer to the same material. The key is going to be on those cleaning labels for all those fabric blends.

When it comes time to wash your elastane blended clothing it is not a time to be a rebel and go your own way. Your clothing budget may not be able to afford the replacement expense. There is nothing wrong with cleaning clothing the old fashioned way

How To StretchElastane

Does Elastane Shrink in the Dryer? (How to Stretch Elastane) (6)

There are two main ways to stretch elastane materials. The first is to use a little heat and pull on the fabric in the direction you want it to stretch. Of course, the amount of stretch you get will depend a lot on the blended fabric or if the elastane is 100% or not.

The second way to stretch elastane is to sew one end on your project and then pull on it as you continue to sew the fabric in place. This requires the use of one hand and you need to be careful not to stretch the fabric you are attaching the elastane to.

Another method you can try is to use fabric weights. Hold down one end with a heavy object and then place those fabric weights at key points to continue the stretch. Or you can use baby shampoo and soak the material for about 30 minutes using the shampoo and warm water.

Finally, you can wet the material and put the clothing item on. That will relax the fibers and help them stretch out to your normal size.

Some Final Words

Elastine has its own quirks since it was invented to replace rubber. This material saves on costs as rubber prices change almost daily. It is handy when you need to reach something a little high up or low down.

The only thing you have to watch out for is the shrinkage rate and the stretching factor. Proper care helps avoid both.

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