Does 100% Flax Linen Shrink? (Must Know This)

Flax linen is one of the most luxurious fabrics around. It is not only classy looking and high pitch quality, but it is also breathable and soft, and it naturally absorbs water without seeming damp. 

Hence, the number of linen sheets and clothes increased in American homes recently is no surprise. 

Flax linen might be top quality, but like natural materials, it shrinks when you wash it without proper care. But is it the same with 100% flax linen?

Yes, even 100% flax linen shrinks. It might be disheartening to hear that even 100% flax linen shrinks, but do us a favor – can you keep an open mind? Although it might be disappointing to hear that flax linen does shrink, it only shrinks by about 4%. Since the shrinking margin is so little, restoring your linen is possible. 

After reading all that, your hopes must be high since you’ll wonder how to prevent flax linen from shrinking. 

Hence, keep on reading this article if you want to learn how you can prevent your linens from shrinking. 

Can 100% Flax Linen Shrink?

Does 100% Flax Linen Shrink

Yes, it can. Although your flax linen might be 100% pure, it can shrink if you don’t take proper care of it.

And for some reassurance, 100% pure flax linen doesn’t shrink as much as cotton. Furthermore, pure flax linen will only shrink if you wash it incorrectly.

The first wash cycle is the most vulnerable period of pure flax clothing. 

With that in mind, you certainly don’t want to put your flax linen in a washing machine only to get a small size of your clothing. 

Hence, learning how to keep your flax linen from shrinking is paramount. If you’re interested in learning how you can keep your pure flax linen safe, go ahead and read the next subtopic:

How To Prevent Linen From Shrinking?

The first and most promising method to prevent shrinkage is to select high-quality linen products for your clothes and bedding. 

Additionally, ensure the manufacturing company has already prewashed your fabrics before the purchase. 

It is best for manufacturing companies to handle the first washing cycle because they specialize in this kind of stuff. 

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Furthermore, manufacturers know that every material must shrink, and they know how to minimize shrinking while maintaining the perfect wash cycle. 

Shrinking in organic clothes is natural. Hence, manufacturers produce their garments and bedding with that in mind. 

You may have noticed that your garment or bedding is over the specified size. 

Manufacturers do this expecting your garments and beddings to shrink. Hence, when they shrink, they come to the perfect size. 

However, preventing shrinkage is the best measure. Thus, ensure you properly take care of your flax linens. 

Pure flax linen fabrics are ideal for those sunny days because it’s so breathable and free. However, sunny days have an annoying track record of making you sweat. 

Thus, ensure you check the instructions on your flax linen fabric before throwing it into the laundry machine with the rest. 

If you’re not well vast in washing flax linens properly, you can use the following as a guide: 

The Best Way To Wash and Dry Flax Linen

You certainly want the best for your flax linen fabrics, and you want to extend their lifespan. 

By learning how to wash and care for your flax linen fabrics properly, you can enjoy the softness and coziness it offers you and your family. 

First, use safe and nontoxic products to wash your flax linen. The fibers of your flax linens are delicate; treat them as such. 

You can use mild unscented liquid soap while washing your flax linens to care for your fabric properly. 

Buying a separate detergent for your flax linens can be annoying, but using a powerful detergent while washing your fabric will damage the fibers and won’t last long. 

A nontoxic soap can be beneficial, especially if you suffer from allergies. It not only saves you from allergies, but it also leaves your flax linens smelling fresh. 

Also, don’t use bleach on your flax linens if your fabric is stained. Bleach is a strong agent which imposes too much force on your fabric fibers and damages them. 

Instead, you can dip your fabric in a solution of OxiClean and water for six hours or more. 

Watching how you wash your flax linen fabric alone isn’t enough; you must also note how your flax linen dries. 

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The key to maintaining the quality of your flax linen is to ensure it dries up completely. 

If your flax linen fabrics are constantly damp, it gives way for bacteria and mold to form and grow on your linens. 

Hence, ensure that your sheets, towels, clothes, and any other thing in your house that is flax linen dry up completely. 

You can also opt to air dry your flax linens. Nothing beats some fresh air drying your flax linens. However, if you air dry your linens, ensure the sun’s intensity is low.

Additionally, dust and mold spores in the air can become trapped in your flex linen fibers, depending on where you live. 

These spores can become a serious issue for asthma and allergic patients. Alternatively, you can dry your clothes using a low setting in a dryer. 

You can make the experience more soothing by using wool dryer balls to keep your fabrics soft and fresh. 

Below is a table that highlights the pros of air-drying clothes and using a dryer: 

Air DryingDrying Machine
Helps you save on energy billsYou can dry anything at any time of the day
Environmentally friendly Helps you save time

Why Does 100% Flax Linen Shrink?

Manufacturers make flax linen from flax plants, and you may not know this, but manufacturers have already stretched these fabrics. 

Hence, when you wet your clothing, it returns to its original form, which results in a bit of shrinkage. 

If that happens with water at room temperature, you can only imagine what heat will do to your fabric. Hot irons, hot water, and hot dryer temperatures can ruin the size of your fabrics for you. 

Unlike some fabrics you may have encountered, flax linen weaving is loose and breathable, with space between them. 

Hence, if you add some hot temperature to the mix, the fibers will contract and fill that space. 

Thus, always watch the temperature when washing, ironing, or drying your flax linen when it is damp. 

And if you’re wondering if flax linen shrinks on its own over time. No, flax linen doesn’t shrink unless something causes it. 

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Shrinkage always happens due to improper washing, drying, or steaming. And to that effect, most manufacturers specify the temperatures at which you should handle your fabrics. 

If you didn’t know before, the little leaflet on your fabric specifies the material and what temperature you should handle them while they’re wet. 

How Much Does 100% Linen Shrink?

That depends on the amount of heat you apply to the linen. Applying medium heat causes the fibers to shrink slightly, and you should notice a 4% shrinkage. 

However, if the heat is excessive, you can see numbers as high as 10%. 

How Can You Fix Shrunken Flax Linen?

You tried to prevent your flax linen from shrinking, but your efforts were futile; what now? 

In this section, we will address that question. It’s easy to make mistakes while washing your clothes, especially when rushing. 

Putting your clothes in the laundry machine and setting the wrong timer or temperature will mess up your material entirely. Thus, learning how to unshrink your material can come in very handy. 

First, you should rewash your flax linen and ensure you use factory-recommended washing instructions. 

Next, lay your garment on an ironing board. Ensure you place a towel on the ironing board before you place your garment. 

Start ironing your fabric from the center and iron it outwards. Also, ensure you start at a low temperature and apply little pressure. 

You must follow these recommendations because they will help you stretch your flax fibers and restore them. 

However, these methods may not restore your garments completely, but they will considerably affect the shrinkage. 

Additionally, it also protects your fibers and keeps them from damaging further. 

Does 100% Linen Shrink When Put in the Dryer?

Yes, but it depends on the temperature setting of the dryer. However, in most cases, users complain of shrinkage when they put their linens in dryers. 

So what causes this exactly?

Most users end up with a skinny piece of fabric because they always forget to turn down the heat. 

100% pure flax linen doesn’t do so well with heat. 

Hence, the fabric shrinks and ruins garment fibers. The best way around this is to tumble dry low in the dryer or to line dry your clothes.

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