Does 85 Cotton 15 Polyester Shrink?

Yes, an 85% cotton 15% polyester blend can shrink, but typically not as much as 100% cotton fabric.

The cotton fibers are more susceptible to shrinkage when exposed to heat during washing and drying. The polyester fibers have more resistance to shrinking due to their synthetic nature and heat-set manufacturing process[2][5].

Video: Polyester shrinks? Sorry, but it’s true

However, with an 85/15 cotton/polyester blend, the high percentage of natural cotton fibers means there is still potential for shrinkage. You can expect around 3% shrinkage in an 80/20 cotton/polyester blend[1]. So an 85/15 blend may shrink slightly less, but there is still risk.

Video: Stop clothes from shrinking

To minimize shrinkage of a cotton/polyester blend:

  • Wash in cold water and air dry instead of machine drying[7]. The heat of a clothes dryer can activate shrinkage in the cotton fibers.
  • Follow garment care instructions on the label if provided[7].
  • Expect some degree of shrinkage over time, even with proper care. The cotton content means the fabric is not dimensionally stable like 100% polyester.

So in summary, an 85% cotton 15% polyester blend can and likely will shrink to some extent, but proper washing and drying methods can help minimize shrinkage. The small percentage of polyester provides more stability than 100% cotton, but not as much as a blend with higher polyester content. Handle with care for best results.


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