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Kids Clothing Basics: How To Keep Kids Clothes From Shrinking

2017-02-24 view:288

Kids clothes are often nearly as expensive as clothes for adults. In the long run, they are actually more expensive than adult clothing, because kids clothing rarely fits for more than one season. As any parent can tell you, it isn't even uncommon for a child to jump a size or more in the space of a couple of months. To maximize the time your children can wear their clothes, it's important to know the best ways to prevent kids clothes from shrinking.

The old saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," and when it comes to kids clothes, it's certainly true. Carefully checking the product description before you click the order button can save you a lot of aggravation and money. High-quality polyester and cotton blends have built-in shrink resistance. Many 100% synthetic materials, such as Spandex, nylon and acrylics are also virtually shrink-proof.

Cotton is a terrific choice for breath-ability, softness, and appearance; but it can lose a full size if you don't take special steps to prevent shrinking. Items that state specifically that they are "pre-shrunk" will shrink less than those that don't, but err on the side of caution and choose roomier styles and looser cuts nonetheless. Expect cottons that aren't pre-shrink to go down at least a size, and adjust your kids clothing order accordingly. Other natural fibers, like wool, can present similar problems for parents and are often best hand-washed or dry-cleaned.

Since any clothing that includes natural fibers may shrink in the wash, it also pays to be careful when dealing with natural/synthetic blends. For example, never completely dry blended fabrics in an electric dryer. Hanging or line-drying is always the best way to keep blended clothes from shrinking or losing their shape. However, partially drying blended items on a permanent press or low setting, and then line-drying them to finish, can prevent the worst shrinkage if you're in a hurry.

Although electric dryers are the worst culprits, washers can also contribute to shrinkage. Water temperature, in particular, makes a crucial difference. Always wash clothes that are prone to shrinking in cold water. If you encounter a stubborn stain, try pre-treating it and gently rewashing the item. Heavy-duty wash cycles are great for getting dirt and stains out of clothing, but they also add a lot of wear and tear, so it's a good idea to wash play clothes separately and use the lightest wash that will do the job effectively.

If you keep a careful eye on labels when you buy and clean kids clothing, you can reduce the amount of shrinkage your kids clothes experience. The money, time, and frustration this can save parents is huge, and you'll probably be very glad if you start taking the time to buy and wash kids clothes carefully.

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