Fabric Pre-Washing

Pre-Washing / Pre-Shrinking fabric is a simple process that assures whatever the final product is, it stays the same size that it was manufactured as.

When simple precautions are taken during the manufacturing process, a finished window covering, slip cover, costume or garment helps consumers and manufacturers feel assured that fabric shrinkage will not create problems in the future.

In fact preshrinking is a step that should not be missed!  Preshrinking, even if it can’t completely eliminate all shrinkage, it can certainly reduce the residual shrinkage to a much lower percentage.

While the amount of shrinkage you see on a finish product depends on the type of fabric, typically with preshrinking you can expect the following outcome:

% of Shrinkage by Fabric Type

  • Cotton:

    Denim or Twill 12 to 16

  • Cotton:

    Calico/Canvas/Flannel/Sheeting 10 to 14

  • Rayon:

    Twill or Sheeting 10 to 14

  • Ramie/Cotton:

    Twill or Sheeting 9 to 12

  • Ramie:

    Twill or Sheeting 8 to 11

  • 100% Nylon or Polyester

    0 to 2

Shrinkage in fabric after sewing any item, can lead to gathered seams.  This is caused as the “WEFT” (Vertical run of the threads) shrinks ‘more’ than the “WARP” (Horizontal run of the threads) – the ‘more’ is technically inaccurate, since the % of shrinkage is the same; however the length of the WEFT is much longer than the length of the WARP causing the shrinkage to be more noticeable.  This can be greatly reduced by prewashing, which is where we fit in!  Wagner’s European Fabricare offers preshrinking of fabric, our service includes either wash, dry and roll or wash, dry, iron and roll – all to your specific requirements.

Alternatively there is, Decatizing – a method used on fabrics not designed to be cleaned with water – i.e. dry cleanable fabric only such as wool or silk.  It is a method of giving the fibre the opportunity to ‘relax’ after weaving, since most weaving is done under tension to get the most yards per material used.

The difference in length of the WEFT and WARP is why you may have even greater issues with shrinkage of window coverings and slip covers.

While the textile industry is consistently doing everything it can to provide the best services to consumers possible, we help manufacturers by following proper protocol in fabric preshrinking.  Whether you are creating a costume, window covering or having your design ideas brought to life, Wagner’s can help ensure the end quality of your item is a reflection of your original design and your commitment to quality.

Let Wagner’s European Fabricare help you and your business’s reputation for quality flourish.  Contact us today for rates and turnaround times.


Tsawwassen Storefront:

Monday to Saturday: 9:30am - 5pm
Closed: Sunday & Stats

Tilbury Storefront:

Monday to Friday: 8am – 4pm
Closed: Saturday, Sunday & Stats


108 – 1077 – 56th Street
Delta, BC V4L 2A2

Tilbury Industrial Park:
34 – 7621 Vantage Way
Delta, BC V4G 1A6