Shrinkage Test of Fabric

Shrinkage is the process in which a fabric becomes smaller than its original size, usually through the process of laundry. Cotton fabric suffers from two main disadvantages of shrinking and creasing during subsequent washing.

There are two types of shrinkage occurs during washing

1) Length wise
2) Width wise

Cause :
Due to high tension during preparation of fabric which result in excess stretch in yarn. This type of shrinkage is known as London shrinkage. Due to swelling of fibers for fiber structure.
Glass plate
Working Procedure:
The sample which is done shrinkage test, spread on table. Then a glass template put on sample fabric which is square size. There are six mark on glass template and distance between two mark is 35 cm. Marking the sample fabric by unchangeable marker. Then sample is sewn by hand sewing machine. Sample is ready for washing. Simple wash the fabric at 60˚c temp for 90 min. after washing the fabric is taken out. Dry the sample as per any of the method. It can either be Line Dry or Flat Dry or Tumble Dry. To find the dimensional change read the Shrinkage/Stretch on 3 points on the Wrap side and 3 points on Weft Side. Get the mean value of wrap-wise and weft wise readings to get the Accurate Shrinkage or Stretch.

Shrinkage is determined as;
Shrinkage % = (length of fabric before wash)-(length of fabric after wash))/ (length of fabric after wash) *100


length of fabric before wash = 35 cm

length of fabric after wash = 33 cm

Now, Shrinkage % = {(35-33)/ 33} * 100

= 6%

Here, Shrinkage is 6%. Normally shrinkage is acceptable less than 5%. But it can be change in case of buyer requirement. 
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant, entrepreneur, blogger and researcher on online business promotion. He is working as a consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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