Do Curtains Shrink When Washed?

Your curtains might be long overdue for washing, but you might be asking, will they shrink if you wash them? In this article, we have researched and asked the experts that exact question, and this is what we found out.

It will depend on the type of fabric used for the curtain and how you wash them. But in general, curtains do shrink after every wash. Fabrics such as cotton and linen are notorious for shrinking after every wash as they are natural yarns.

In most curtains, you can find shrinkage percentages expected per wash tagged on them. You can expect minimal shrinkage if the curtain is made out of synthetic fabric like polyester compared to natural ones.

Are you interested to learn more about curtains shrinking during washing? Then continue reading as we discuss other additional questions that will help with your curiosity. We will also be suggesting some cool and informative posts at the end of this article, so finish reading until the end.

Washed curtain hanging on a dryer rack under sun, Do Curtains Shrink When Washed?

How much do curtains shrink in the wash?

Before throwing your curtains in the washer, confirm first if they can indeed be cleaned this way. It is because most curtains are dry-cleaned only.

Housewife's hands washing white day curtains in the blue basin in the bathroom

Each curtain will have a different shrinkage rate every time you wash them, even if you have them dry-cleaned. It will depend on the brand and the type of fabric used. Usually, it is indicated in the tag of the curtain, but the range averages anywhere from 3%-4%.

You should also be careful with dry cleaning as it can also cause damage to your curtains, especially if done improperly.

We suggest that when having your curtains dry cleaned, go to a laundry shop that specializes in these kinds of stuff, especially if your curtains are expensive. It will save you money in the long run, and you will be sure of the service.

How to avoid curtains from shrinking during washing?

Shrinking is unavoidable in curtains, especially if they are made of natural yarns like cotton and linen. Synthetic ones, on the other hand, like nylon and polyester, are more impervious to shrinking but will not 100% avoid shrinkage.

When it comes to shrinking, not all fabric is created equal. If you want to shrink some new clothes, check the label to find out what it's made of before you buy them. Some fabrics, like rayon, cotton, or linen, shrink more readily than synthetics like nylon or polyester.

Well, you might ask, why do they even shrink in the first place? Multiple factors usually cause shrinkage, but the main culprit to this is the presence of humidity and the changing temperature where the curtain is situated.

Can I Unshrink curtains?

Do not worry about curtains shrinking as they usually come with extra fabric, either tucked or folded on the edges of the curtain. So that when it shrinks, you can still get back the lost size by untucking the edges.

This will depend on the curtain where the extra fabrics are located, either at the side or the bottom edges. It is also possible that all edges have extra fabric, even the one on top.

How often should I wash my curtains?

Wet beige curtain hang on the clothes line to dry in the sun

Naturally, curtains will attract dust over time. It will depend on the environment where it is situated. If it is in a room where there is constant dust, then it will have to be changed more often.

It is recommended by some to have your curtains cleaned once every 3-6 months. But for some experts, they should be washed as less as possible, or they shouldn't be washed at all.

There is such a thing as in situ cleanings, where the curtain will not be removed from where it is hung while it is being cleaned. There will also be no need for drying time as water is rarely used in this type of cleaning. Services like this are usually premium and best used for expensive curtains and carpets.

Another way of preventing dust build-up in your curtain is by having air purifiers. Air purifiers filter air indoor air to remove pollutants and particles like dust.

There are also HEPA filters or high-efficiency particulate air filters that clean and reduce up to 99.97% of dust particles in the air. These help greatly to reduce the frequency of needing your curtains to be washed or cleaned, as constant washing fades the design of your curtains.

Can I wash my drapes?

Like curtains, the same principles also apply to drapes. You should first find out of the fabric used in the drapes can be hand washed or machine washed. Drapes are also commonly cleaned through dry cleaning.

When washing drapes and curtains, it is best to use mild detergent as strong ones can damage them. If you are using a washing machine, make sure that it is in a gentle cycle.

Steaming can also be an option to kill the build-up of bacteria and germs on your drapes and curtains that could be causing them to stink.

If you notice any mold build-up on your drapes and curtains, it would be best to hire professional services to do the cleaning for you. Not only will you be sure that the job will be done properly, but you will also save time and effort. You will, however, have to pay for their services.

Again, we reiterate, make sure to go to a trusted cleaning service, preferably with experience and expertise in this type of cleaning, not just your regular wash shop service.

Curtains vs Drapes (What's the difference?)

When you say curtains, these are usually used to cover small windows and are of thinner and lighter fabric. They can be long, but most of the time, they are short and used mainly for window coverings. Some curtains can also be shorter than the window.

Interior image of a contemporary living room

Drapes are usually heavier and longer fabrics that touch the ground. You will see them mostly on big glass walls, doors, and windows.

Glass window and shading curtain

In review

Curtains will shrink to an extent every time you wash them. It is usually indicated on the tag of the curtain how much it will shrink approximately per wash. Of course, improper washing will cause the curtain to shrink more than what is estimated and can also damage its overall design.

Most curtains are also dry cleaning only, particularly those that are of the expensive kind. It is best to do the recommended way of cleaning indicated by the manufacturer before washing it to avoid any damage to the curtain.

Below are some related articles that can help solve your curtain inquiries. Go ahead and have a look at them.

How To Hang Curtains On A Brick Wall Without Drilling

Are Shower Curtains Supposed To Be Inside Or Outside?

Will Sheer Curtains Protect Furniture And Prevent Fading?