Does Pima Cotton Shrink?

Hi Ladies,

I mentioned on Laura's recent Pima Cotton Tshirt Thread that I had a 100% Pima Cotton Dress on it's way to me :)  Well it arrived today (2 sizes) and am trying to decide which size to keep.

Both fit.  However, if the 34 were to shrink at all with washing I think I would have a dress I couldn't wear.  The 36 is probably more the fit I tend to like.  It's still a slim line like in the picture but the cocoon shape is just a little more pronounced, with a bit of room to move.

So my question is, does Pima Cotton shrink?

The washing instructions are to hand wash in cold water and it can be tumble dried on cool.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

By the way, the brand is Jarbo based in Seattle, Washington.  The range is really stunning and we have a boutique in Melbourne that carries their range.

xxx Deborah

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  • DizzyLizzy replied 6 years ago

    I don’t know the answer to your question but I love the elegant simplicity of the dress a lot. From what you’ve said I would say the 36 is more appropriate.

  • replied 6 years ago

    I have never had an issue with shrinkage, but I do not dry my clothing in a dryer.  I hang to dry nearly everything.  Is that something you could do?  

    I'll watch what others say.  

  • Scarlet replied 6 years ago

    If you are worried about shrinkage I would not put it in the drier or wash in hot water. If you don't mind that approach, you should be fine.

  • binkle replied 6 years ago

    It's not that it is pima cotton - it is the pima cotton that this manufacturer is using. So given their directions, I'd say yes, beware of shrinkage.  And I'm sure their cool wash, low dry directions are also meant to keep the color from fading.  Cool wash and NO dryer, at least for the first few washings.  Maybe a short time at low temp dryer to fluff it up a bit, once most of the moisture has airdryed out.  Might be a major lint magnet if it goes in the dryer though.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    Won't shrink in the wash  - but WILL shrink in the dryer. 

  • replied 6 years ago

    Like it, just don't put in the dryer like Angie said it will shrink.  

  • Laura G replied 6 years ago

    My general rule is that bad things happen to clothes in dryers, so I hang everything. Sorry, I know that doesn't answer your question. It seems that every clothing label now says 'keep it out of the dryer' and it's hard to know if it's warranted for this particular garment or they just put that on every label. 

    This is what Science has to say...

    Actually it just says what I said, Bad Things Happen in (hot) Dryers. 

  • Gigi replied 6 years ago

    You could try emailing the manufacturer and asking them your question.

  • Runcarla replied 6 years ago

    My experience is that Pima cotton does not shrink, but knits sometimes ‘grow’ with wear and body heat.

  • replied 6 years ago

    I would wash it exactly the way binkle described although I think it might need the dryer fluffing right from the first wash. Knits can be stiff or wrinkly when air dryed.
    Honestly this is a tough shape for me in a knit, especially a dark one. 

  • Joy replied 6 years ago

    I agree with Laura that bad things happen in the dryer to cotton knits. Not only will there probably be shrinkage, there can be pilling of the fabric, pulling and catching on anything from a zipper to snagging on a rough spot on the dryer that you did not know existed. That said, I am trying to shrink a knit dress in the dryer right now.
    The dress looks like your style.

  • JP replied 6 years ago

    Cotton in general will shrink if it encounters heat, in a woven fabric it will only shrink in the warp (length of the fabric) but in a knit it's different. So, it's better to not use the dryer, I don't put any of my clothes in the dryer. Also, with cotton, color fading is an issue, so you need to wash it in cold water to prevent that. I really like the shape of the cocoon dress.

  • Deborah replied 6 years ago

    Thanks so much ladies.  Appreciate your collective wisdom.

    Runcarla, that was my other concern.  I have some cotton yoga pants and they stretch out so much that I could have sized down.  I am also wondering if the dress might do that??

    Anyway I have decided to keep the 36, I really like how it drapes on my body and the shape.  I have made a mental note of no dryer (unless I need to shink it lol) 

    Much appreciated. xxx

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