About Fabric “Let-Out”

Fabric let-out is a term I borrowed from tailoring. I use it to describe a behavior of washed preshrunk cotton and linen fabric. Preshrunk fabric that has been dried in a hot dryer appears to shrink more when supposedly it should not.  Actually, the fabric contracts. As it is used, it “lets out” and restores to its original, preshrunk size.

Wearing your old cotton denim jeans out of the dryer always feels like they have shrunk. With wear, the denim “lets out” and they fit as expected.

We preshrink all manufactured items we sell before shipping. You may find that after machine washing and drying your Home Folklore item, it appears to have shrunk further when you replace the item back on your furniture, furniture seat cushion or pillow insert. This is temporary. In time, the item will let out and recover to its original size.

Though we normally do not recommend pressing except to remove bad wrinkles, you will find that a hot press with steam will also help facilitate let out. In the case of dry cleaning, since water is not used, the item might appear to have grown in size. This is actually the result of having been pressed with a very hot steam after the cleaning. The hot steam press used by most cleaners will flatten the rumply washed fabric and stretch the seams.

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