The incredible shrinking violet pants

Dear fabbers, I just wanted to say you were right on the money by calling my new printed pants "diva pants". I did keep them, and wore them and loved them. Then I washed them. And my love changed a little bit. 

The instructions say to hand-wash cold, line dry in the shade. The pants are made of 100% rayon. A little fussy, but not a problem. I put them in the washing machine with 2 other fluid tops of similar colouring, put them on the hand-wash cold setting, line dry. All is well. 

At the end, they were a bit wrinkled, so I ironed them out. They looked a little bit small, so I put them on to see if the fit had changed. THESE PANTS WENT FROM LOOSE TO TOO SMALL TO PULL UP. I couldn't believe it. I've sewed for 20 years, and have bought hundreds of garments. Short of machine felting, I've never encountered that much shrinkage in the wash. I pondered what to do about it (take the darned things back to the store they came from), and read the label a bit more closely. This is what it said: 

"Despite hand-washing, this garment may shrink. Restore to original shape with steam iron on med. heat. If you have any questions about the garment, please call #phone number." 

Has anyone else ever encountered a garment so fussy the manufacturer thinks it necessary to put their phone number on the garment tag, so they can give you specific instructions on restoring a garment to its original size??? 

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7 Comments

  • Glory replied 7 years ago

    Ah - I just had this experience with my brand new ponte pants. In may case I did not read the label and not only washed but dried them. Ooops. I had worn them exactly one time. They shrunk 3 full inches - could not believe it.
    One of our fabbers suggested I wet them and pull them back to size - and it worked!!! They are back to the original length. It is the rayon that causes this.
    So I would say this is worth a try. 

  • kkards replied 7 years ago

    wow....just wow....i cannot believe that they would even suggest hand washing if they know that they would shrink that much. 
    i have to be honest, i dry clean almost everything that will need ironing, so i rarely encounter anything like this. 
    i'm interested in what they say when you call the number.

  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    I would try rewashing or wetting them and then pulling and stretching them back out to reshape them. It may work! Rayon can be really funky that way. Good luck!

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 7 years ago

    That is why I avoid rayon.  I had a shirt that I hand washed - not in the machine - in cold water and it shrank at least 3".  I don't think a manufacturer should use a fabric if they know it will be wearable one time.  That is just too extreme even in this age of disposable fashion.

  • Scarlet replied 7 years ago

    I avoid rayon because it's been so unreliable to wash for me. Sorry about your pants! Never heard of a phone number before!

  • deb replied 7 years ago

    Actually it is the weave of the rayon. A straight weave does not shrink that much but a knit or a cross weave, there will be shrinkage. I always look at the way the garment is woven and size up with rayon.

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    Some rayon & viscose can shrink in the wash but will come back to their original size with ironing. I would try washing them again & ironing them while they are still damp.

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