How to Unshrink Rayon Fabric

Putting on your beloved piece of fabric and discovering it no longer fits like before is disappointing. Rayon materials shrink quickly especially when they’re not washed by hand or taken to a professional dry cleaner.

Rayon is one very popular fabric and is also a versatile one; it mimics the look and texture of cotton, wool, silk, and linen.

This essential fabric fiber is popular in clothing and requires special cleaning techniques to avert any form of shrinking. The good news is that Rayon is also able to keep its original shape when washed in cold water and air-dried.

5 Best Techniques To Unshrink Rayon

Before you dump that shrunken rayon dress in the trash, you should just try out some of the methods you’ll be learning here to get them back to the perfect size.

We have researched and compiled effective clothing hacks to help you unshrink your rayon fabric and any other type of clothing. We’ve also included tips and tricks on how to care for rayon material without dry cleaning.

1. How To Unshrink Rayon By Soaking

Rayon materials are easily pliable when you subject them to warm water because the solution relaxes the fabric fibers thereby making them weak over time.

Handwashing your rayon fabric is arguably the simplest and best way to unshrink any affected rayon material, with the use of warm water and soap of course.

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Pour a 1-liter quantity of water into a bucket and add any of your favorite baby shampoos. Stir the mixture evenly to form a soapy solution. Place the affected rayon fabric into the bucket and submerge it for about half an hour.

Bring it out of the shampoo-mixed water; dip it into cold running water to rinse out the soapy residue.

Wring out as much water as you possibly can by rolling it in a large towel and then spreading it out on a smooth surface. Place your hand on the top and sides of the cloth while pulling it outward to stretch it. Try to continually spread the fabric from time to time as it dries until you get the desired size.

Apply this same technique to any shrunk dress or a beautiful top that was initially a little too big and you’ll find it fits you better while still looking great at the same time.

2. How to Stretch Rayon Using Hair Conditioner

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In case you don’t have any baby shampoo at home, your hair conditioner will work just fine, it helps rayon fibers relax enough for the stretching method. The stretching technique is also an effective way to unshrink jeans.

3. Unshrinking Rayon with a Clothes Steamer

If regular detergent doesn’t unshrink the rayon fabric quite enough, try to use a clothes steamer to unshrink the process. The heated vapor emanating from the steam is effective for stretching out the cloth even further without causing damage.

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  • Hair conditioner
  • Warm water
  • Towel
  • Steam Stretching Rayon
  • Large bucket
  • Clothes hanger
  • Clothes steamer

To start this procedure, you need to first fill a large tub or bucket with warm water (a little below 98.6°F) and add a capful of hair conditioner. Use a bathtub if the rayon fabric is large.

Scrub the fabric gently in the water for about fifteen minutes to loosen the fibers. Rinse it under warm water to ere any remaining residue.

Spread the fabric on a large size towel on a smooth clean surface, and then place your rayon on the top. Ensure you also tap all spots around the material to remove any excess water. Roll the towel up to get as much of the water out as possible.

4. Unshrink Rayon by Steam Ironing

In case you don’t want to go through the soaking and handwashing process, then you can opt for the iron steaming methods.

Get your iron and some water to stretch out the material. But kindly note that this isn’t as effective as soaking; it does unshrink rayon slightly.

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  • Steam Iron Rayon Stretching
  • Steam iron
  • Ironing board
  • Spray bottle
  • Warm water

Fill a bottle sprayer with about 40cl quantities of warm water. Turn the affected fabric inside out and lay it flat on your iron board. Spritz the entire fabric surface with warm water.

Iron the clothing material gently using the lowest heat setting (level 1 or 2) on your ironing machine. Use steam emanating from the ironing machine as you move along the fabric to prevent it from drying.

Put the device aside and use your hands to pull gently and gradually the fabric from the top, sides, and bottom to stretch the material.

5. How to Stretch out Rayon with Clothespins

In an extreme situation where you have a stubborn rayon material in your hands that refuses to unshrink after using all the techniques here, the last option will be to try to use an effective clothespin or opt for a heavy object to hold it in place while it dries.

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  • DIY Clothes Stretching
  • Ironing board
  • Clothespins
  • Large bucket
  • Warm water
  • Mild baby shampoo
  • Dry towels

Pour about a liter quantity of warm water into a large bucket; add a tbsp of your favorite baby shampoo. Dip the rayon fabric into the soapy water and gently scrub, this will help the fibers relax. Rinse it thoroughly under warm water afterward.

Squeeze gently to extract as much of the water out of the rayon as possible, avoid wringing it to prevent any damage. Lay a big towel out on a clean and smooth surface, place the fabric on top, and roll the towel around it, this is to soak up excess water. Allow the cloth to air-dry afterward.

Preventing Future Shrinkage of your Rayon Fabric

Now that you’ve been able to unshrink your rayon material, there are steps to take so as to avoid future shrinkage. You can apply these tips to new rayon materials as well.

Preventing Rayon Shrinkage

  • Washing machine
  • Clothes dryer
  • Mesh bag

Rayon is a fragile clothing material and it shrinks quickly, to prevent any of these from happening, always use the services of a professional dry cleaner, especially if the product label says, “dry cleaning only.”

If you still choose to wash it at home, use the gentle cycle feature with cold water in your washing machine. Using hot water causes the material to shrink (it’s a commonly known fact).

Air drying is the best method to dry rayon material. Spread it on a smooth surface such as your ironing board while it dries.

If you plan to use a dryer to dry the rayon fabric, then place the fabric in a mesh bag and let it dry on a half cycle or low heat before hanging it out to air dry. Don’t dry your rayon entirely in the dryer (it’s bad practice).

Learning how to unshrink different types and grades of clothes, whether they are denim jeans, cashmere sweaters, or rayon shirts, is a money saver after a laundry disaster. The more you practice the techniques the more you get to learn the methods and laundry strategy that works best for you.

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