Does Linen Shrink in the Dryer?

Does Linen Shrink in the Dryer?

Does linen shrink in the dryer? Yes. In fact, linen fabric shrinks not only when machine-dried but also during washing. To keep its original size and overall quality, one must follow the proper care instructions of different fabric types.

This is where flax linen comes in. This machine-washable fabric has straightforward washing instructions, making it a favourite material for clothing. Many people love flax linen because of its soft texture and long-lasting durability. They also love the fresh feel of the linen fabric on their clothes and beddings.

Still, the question remains. Can you put linen in the dryer without it shrinking? Is there a way to save linen from shrinkage?

How Do You Make Linen Fabric?

Linen is one of the oldest natural fabrics around. To better understand why it shrinks, it would be best to talk about how flax linen is manufactured.

It comes from the natural fibre of the flax plant grown in different areas around the world. Following the plant’s history, you’ll find that the Northern parts of Europe produce the best quality flax linen.

After harvesting flax, the plant fibres undergo a production process called retting and scutching. Retting is when flax is soaked in water to separate the plant fibre from its stem. Scutching is when you crush the woody parts of the branch to separate the natural fibres from the flax.

After removing the flax plant fibres comes the heckling. This process will use a combing technique to separate the short flax fibres from the long ones. Then, they are spun into yarns before being made into a flax linen textile.

The crystalline structure of these flax plant fibres gives this linen fabric its excellent strength. Its durability makes it ideal for linen clothing, bed linen, and more. What’s even more impressive is that the linen fabric gets softer and firmer as it ages.

Why Do People Love Flax Linen?

Linen has been around for years and is a predominant fabric in the textile industry. Flax linen comes from the natural fibres of the flax plant’s stem. It is more robust than cotton, making it an excellent fabric for clothing, beddings, and more.

The lengthy process of converting the flax plant into luxurious linen fabric is worth the wait. Here are other reasons why people love linen so much.

Breathable, Hypoallergenic, and Moisture-resistant

Flax linen comes from the stem fibres of the flax plant. These cellulose-based fibres are breathable, hypoallergenic, and resistant to moisture. In fact, it can absorb moisture up to 20 percent without making you feel wet.

The organic fibres of the flax plant are naturally hypoallergenic, making it an ideal choice for allergy-prone individuals. Additionally, it is the perfect fabric of choice to keep you cool in hot climates.

Breathability is vital in beddings to better regulate body temperature. Your sleep environment affects how well you sleep, which is significant to your overall health.


Linen is one of the most sustainable fabrics in the textile industry. A flax plant is usually planted in a cool climate and does not need irrigation or fertilization.

Harvesting happens 100 days after planting. Plant fibres from the dried stems are separated while the leaves and seeds are removed.

As you can imagine, nothing is wasted in a flax plant. You can eat the seeds or use them to produce oil. Linen is also biodegradable when disposed of.

Does Not Need Special Care

Unlike its counterparts, linen fabric is easy to care for. One of its biggest selling points is the straightforward way of washing and maintaining its freshness. To keep its excellent feel and appearance, you can choose between handwashing, machine washing, or dry cleaning.

Why Does Linen Fabric Shrink?

Flax linen is one of the fabrics that go through relaxation shrinkage. This change happens because of the way the manufacturers stretched the plant fibres during the production process.

The fibres in linen fabric relax when they come in contact with water. Therefore, it causes it to return to its original size, giving the impression that it has shrunk. Different water temperatures also play a significant role in the overall look of linen items.

However, not all flax linen has the same reaction when exposed to water. You may notice some changes when you wash flax linen in cold water. In comparison, cleaning it in hot water shows significant linen shrinkage.

Does Linen Fabric Shrink When Washed?

Most of the time, flax linen shrinks after the initial wash. For this reason, some manufacturers prewash the linen fabric before selling it to the public.

Prewashing minimizes linen shrinkage on its subsequent washes. Also, you’ll find that washing linen fabric in a washing machine is possible as long as you follow its washing instructions.

As you probably already know, most flax linen fabric in the market comes with care instructions. The provided methods ensure that you get the most out of your linen clothes, linen bedding, table linens, and more.

How to Wash Linen Fabric

Some say that linen fabric is best washed in cold water. Others argue that you should wash it in lukewarm water using mild detergent. It will be best to clean it using the gentle cycle in your washing machine if you are unsure of the linen fabric’s quality.

Avoid using hot water when washing linen garments and other linen items to prevent shrinkage. You’ll also want to segregate light-coloured fabric from coloured linens. Lastly, do not overload your washing machine.

Your method of washing can affect the fibres of your linen fabric. Thus, some choose to handwash their linen apparel. Dry cleaning is another option for those concerned about different water temperatures.

Does Linen Shrink in the Dryer?

You already know that hot water will cause linen shrinkage. The same happens if you use a high drying temperature when tumble drying your flax linen. The high heat in your tumble dryer may even cause the fibres to break completely.

In that case, will linen shrink in the dryer? For prewashed linen fabric, you can dry them on low heat or follow the dryer setting for sheets.

However, it’s important to remove the linen from the dryer while it’s still a little damp. Then, for wrinkle-free linens, place it on an ironing board or a flat surface and iron the fabric on a low to medium setting.

Always check the manufacturer’s care instructions to minimize the possibility of shrinking your linen fabric. Air drying is another effective option to prevent linen shrinkage. Hang your linen items on a drying rack until all the absorbed water is removed.

Listen to the Manufacturer

Can linen go in the dryer? Does linen shrink in the dryer? These are the questions we typically ask when it is time to clean our linen items. To ensure you enjoy the benefits of your linen fabric, make it a habit to check and follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

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