Gray put on an inexpensive long-sleeve t-shirt for play, and I swear the sleeves were half way up to his elbows. Then I looked at his waist, and it barely covered the top of his jeans. Now he just wore it a few weeks ago, and I know he hasn’t grown that much in 14 days. I took a look at the label – 100% cotton but there was no indication as to whether it was preshrunk or not. I had washed it in warm water and placed it in the dryer – both of which the care label said to do. I asked Mike Smith, our Vice President of Operations, about it, and he said that it would be considered excessive shrinkage and that the fabric was more than likely not preshrunk.
So how do you know if an item is preshrunk or not? Sometimes the label will indicate whether the fabric has been preshrunk, but if it does then by law they are also supposed to indicate the percentage of residual shrinkage left in the garment. I took a look at many of my cotton t-shirts and tops – most of which were of higher quality – and not one said anything about preshrinking. That’s because, according to Mike, these days most t-shirts and cotton garments are assumed to be preshrunk. So the answer is – you really don’t know for certain but if it is a quality garment, then the fabric has probably been preshrunk.
For more information about cotton garments, check out our Helpful Hints section.