Have you ever been in a position where you brought a great new printed t shirt and realised that it shrunk after the first wash. Well folks we have all been in that position so here we will explain why t shirt shrink and some do not.
Cotton has a natural property of shrinking more than other material like polyester etc but the question is really why some cotton t shirt shrink more than others. All t shirts are made more or less the same way in which they are knitted on a circular knitting machine like on a Fukuhara machine or Mayer & Cie - once this raw fabric is made its the next step which is the most crucial in controlling that shrinkage. The dyeing treatment process is critical to controlling the cotton fabric shrinkage less than 5% which is the International norm for any 100% cotton fabric. However if you want to make a cotton fabric have 0% shrinkage then it needs to be preshrunk or mercerized treatment. Now in the fabric dying process there is a compaction process which stabilises the cotton fabric and hence control shrinkage considerably - now if the dyeing mill uses machinery like Tubetex for compaction then that can bring the shrinkage down to 2%.
Now most brands like Gildan have opted to have all their cotton t shirt pre shrunk so that makes their t shirts not shrink after 1st wash - so if you buy a printed t shirt with Gildan then most likely that t shirt will not shrink.
So next time you buy a t shirt from the store always ask if this is a pre shrunk tee?