How To Pre-Shrink Wool... Fast and Easy at Home !

Monday, September 7, 2009
Many of us are ready to sew our fall wardrobes....me too!
So I thought you might be interested to know of an easy yet professional method that I use to pre-shrink wool yardage. It is one of many that I learned during my Tailor Apprenticeship.


First...the fabric! This luscious yardage is from my stash. One of the pieces was purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics several months ago. The green check yardage is 100% tropical wool crepe, the gray check yardage is a blend of wool and silk.

Why pay big bucks to take this fabric to the dry-cleaner to steam shrink it,
when we can do it easily at home?

Wool Yardage
Now the method:

  • Serge or zig-zag the raw cut edges of the fabric.
  • Next, wet some clean thick towels with HOT water until they are very wet but not quite dripping.
  • Now toss the hot wet towels and the fabric into your clothes dryer.
  • Set the dryer on HIGH heat, and tumble the fabric and hot wet towels for 40 minutes.
  • Take the yardage out of the dryer and lay it flat until it is cool.
Align CenterThat's it! Your wool yardage is now ready for the needle!
The appropriate interfacing for this fabric is PRO-WEFT Supreme Fusible.

Wool Yardage After SteamingAlign Center
As you can see above, this "Machine Shrink" method did not visibly change the fabric at all, and it's hand is still soft and smooth. However it did shrink. Each piece was 60" wide and 2 yards long before steam-shrinking. After, the green 100% wool piece measured 59.5" wide and is 2.5" shorter in length. The gray wool/silk blend is still 60" wide but 1.75" shorter in length.