Does Cotton Viscose Blend Shrink? (Water Wash or Dry)

Cotton viscose blend is a popular fabric choice for clothing. It is soft, breathable, and has a nice drape. However, some people are concerned that it may shrink after being washed.

So, does a cotton viscose blend shrink? The answer is yes, if not washed properly.

cotton viscose blend shrink

About Cotton Viscose Blend

It is a fabric made from a combination of natural fibers. The exact composition varies depending on the manufacturer, but it is typically a mix of 70% cotton and 30% viscose (wood pulp). 

Cotton is a sturdy fabric that resists wrinkles and holds its shape well. Viscose, on the other hand, is a softer fabric with a silk-like feel. It drapes beautifully and has a luxurious look and feel.

Together, these two fabrics create a strong yet soft material, durable yet comfortable material, and a luxurious feel. 

This blend is often used in clothing because it’s soft, drapey, and has a similar feel to silk (minus the hefty price tag).

Does Cotton Viscose Blend Shrink?

Does Cotton Viscose Blend Shrink?
Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

The answer is yes, if not washed properly. 

The amount it will shrink depends on the blends. Those with a high percentage of viscose in the fabric are likely to shrink more. It shrinks less than 100% viscose but more than pure cotton.

Of course, if your clothes are made of 100% viscose, you might find that they shrink by up to 25% when you put them on a hot wash.

Why Does Cotton Viscose Shrink?

Viscose, a type of rayon often used in clothing manufacturing due to its ability to maintain color saturation, is very moisture-sensitive.

There are a few reasons why this fabric might shrink after being washed.

  • First, cotton and wood pulp are natural fibers that will shrink when exposed to heat and water.
  • Second, the wood pulp in viscose is often treated with chemicals before being spun into yarn. These chemicals can also cause the fabric to shrink.
  • Finally, most viscose fabrics are made with a tight weave, which means they don’t have much give. That lack of stretch can cause the fabric to warp or distort when wet, leading to shrinkage.

How to Prevent Shrinkage

dry cleaning
Dry Cleaning. Credit: canva

The best way to prevent your clothes from shrinking is to read the care label before washing them.

If the label says “dry clean only,” take it to the cleaners! If it says “machine wash cold,” follow those instructions to a T.

Set your washing machine to cold water and use a gentle cycle – no hot water or rough cycles! – then lay your clothes flat or hang them up to dry.

And if you’re worried about shrinkage, you can always hand wash your clothes in cold water.

Do not follow these steps if your care label says not to! 


Can you wash the viscose cotton blend?

Yes, you can. The viscose cotton blend can be washed in warm water using a mild detergent.

You should avoid using bleach or fabric softener when washing the fabric, and it is recommended that you line-dry the fabric to extend its life.

How do you wash viscose, so it doesn’t shrink?

Viscose can shrink up to 25% of its original size, so it is essential to take care when washing it.

To avoid shrinking, viscose should be washed in cold water and hung to dry on a gentle cycle. Do not use bleach or fabric softener, as these can cause shrinkage.

If you need to iron your viscose garment, use the lowest setting possible.

What happens if you put viscose in the dryer?

Viscose is a susceptible type of fabric that will shrink if you wash or dry it. The harshness of the washing machine shrinks the fibers and causes them to pull away from each other.

You can prevent this by handwashing your viscose clothing or taking it to the dry cleaners instead.

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