Does Silk Shrink in the Dryer? (ANSWERED!)


Yes, silk will shrink in the dryer. Silk has the ability to shrink when it is exposed to high levels of heat, especially over prolonged periods of time. Putting silk into the dryer on tumble dry high will not only shrink your silk garment, but also irreparably damage it. 


This is Does Silk Shrink in the Dryer? (ANSWERED)

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Silk is a delicate fabric that needs to be washed and dried appropriately to avoid being damaged. Silk has a special set of care instructions for drying, washing, ironing, and storing. These guidelines need to be followed carefully in order to properly maintain the quality and sheen of your silk garments. 


Silk has the ability to shrink if it is not dried properly, which means we must take the proper steps to dry silk garments safely


Continue reading to find out if silk shrinks in the dryer as well as to learn the proper way to dry silk. 


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Does Silk Shrink in the Dryer?

Yes, silk will shrink in the dryer. Silk has the ability to shrink when it is exposed to high levels of heat, especially over prolonged periods of time. Putting silk into the dryer on tumble dry high will not only shrink your silk garment, but also irreparably damage it.


The tumble motion created by the dryer will snag and rip your silk garment, so even if you use the dryer on tumble dry low or air dry, you will still end up damaging your silk. 


You should never, under any circumstances, use the dryer to dry your silk garments. The only way to dry silk is to hang or lay flat to air dry in a cool place, out of contact with direct sunlight.


Avoid the dryer when drying silk!


Related: Can You Put Silk in the Dryer?


How to Dry Silk

Air dry silk fabric in a cool, dim place, out of contact with direct sunlight. Either hang silk, or lay flat to air dry on an indoor drying rack. Drying silk properly will help to preserve the quality and sheen of your silk clothing for longer. Never tumble dry silk in the dryer. 


To learn more please refer to our detailed step-by-step guide on How to Dry Silk.


Does Silk Shrink in the Wash?

Yes, if silk is washed using the hot water setting while in the washing machine, it will shrink. Prolonged exposure to heat will shrink silk, which means you should always use the delicate cold water setting when washing silk clothing in the washing machine


If you are washing silk by hand, only use lukewarm water no hotter than 77°F/25°C. By using cool to lukewarm water your silk garment will be protected from shrinkage while also being cleansed from dirt and stains


Learn more by reading: Does Silk Shrink When Washed?


How to Wash Silk Without Shrinking

To properly hand wash silk without shrinking, fill up a basin with lukewarm water and add a few drops of silk laundry detergent. Place your silk into the water and submerge for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes has elapsed, use your hands to mix and agitate the silk in the water. Once finished, remove the silk from the basin and place it under a tap running cold water. Rinse the silk under cold water until the water runs clear and all the soap has been removed. 


To properly machine wash silk without shrinking first turn your silk garment inside out and place it into a mesh laundry bag. Place the laundry bag into the washing machine and add a few drops of silk laundry detergent. Adjust the settings on the washing machine to delicate/gentle and wash in cold water. Adjust the duration of the spin cycle to the shortest duration possible. 


Flat or hang dry your silk in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Never use the dryer to dry your silk clothing. 


Refer to How To Wash Silk to see a more complete description of the step-by-step process. 


Does Silk Shrink?

Yes, silk does shrink under the right conditions. If silk comes into contact with heat for extended periods of time, it will shrink. 


Silk is different from other fabrics in that the actual silk fibers do not shrink, rather the weave does. The weave becomes tighter and more dense, which will give your silk garment the appearance of shrinkage. 


To prevent your silk from shrinking you should avoid using the dryer all together. You should also avoid using the washing machine on the hot water settings. Only wash your silk garments in cold to lukewarm water (preferably by hand), and only hang or flat dry your silk; do not use the dryer. 


Find more details by reading: Does Silk Shrink?


Related: How to Shrink a Silk Shirt


Does Silk Shrink in the Dryer FAQ

Will silk shrink when washed and dried?

Silk will only shrink if it is washed in hot water and dried on tumble dry high. Silk should only be washed with the delicate setting and cold water while in the washing machine. Silk should never be placed into the dryer. Instead it should be hang dried in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight.

How do you shrink silk?

To shrink silk place it into the washing machine on the high heat settings, and then place it into the dryer on tumble dry high. Doing this will shrink silk, however it will also likely damage it. 

Does silk shrink in hot wash?

Yes, silk will shrink when it comes into contact with high heat and hot water. To avoid shrinking your silk in the washing machine, adjust the settings to delicate and wash with cold water. The best option for washing silk is to hand wash in lukewarm water.

What material shrinks the most in the dryer?

The materials that shrink the most in the dryer are rayon, cotton, linen and wool. Fabrics such as viscose, polyester, nylon, and spandex shrink the least in the dryer.