Screw cotton and the ugly plant it rode in on.

I am fed up.

I have tried cold water. I have tried other detergents. I have tried air-drying and stretching the fuck out of the things. Nothing works. Every time I buy a new shirt, it’s completely fucking ruined after one use, because it shrivels up like George Costanza’s nutsack upon contact with a single drop of water, causing my gut to hang out the bottom.

What the fuck am I supposed to do? Go around looking for shirts that are six sizes too big? I refuse to wear polyester. That shit makes me itch.

So let me in on the big fucking secret and tell me how to get cotton fucking shirts and make them NOT FUCKING SHRINK TO A SIZE UNFIT FOR A MALNOURISHED MONKEY INFANT.

Thank you.

How odd. I buy 100% cotton all the time and have never had this problem.


a. Don’t buy cotton. Try linen instead (doesn’t shrink as much). Or spandex (stretches to fit) (yeah, that’s a good look…), or

b. buy them oversized and let them shrink to fit, or

c. deal with it. Cotton shrinks. Life goes on.

Cold water, hang to dry. I’ve never had major shrinkage problems.

Your gut hangs out? They make long variations in most larger sizes.

Get a smaller gut.

Let’s emphasize the real answer once again. Cold water, hang to dry. Heat is bad for cotton, shrinkwise. But it will still shrink a little bit anyway. Basically, if the shirt fits perfectly in the store, it won’t once it’s washed. But you don’t need to buy 6 sizes too big, just one.

If you use cold water and hang to dry.

I’m not sure I even agree with needing to buy one size larger. All of my shirts are 100 percent corron, and all fit pretty much the same as they did when I bought them. My secret? Well, I use cold water and hang to dry. :wink: Oh, and you might want to look into getting an iron. You’re going to need it.

That’s a good suggestion and it remains an ongoing project. Some progress has been made but it takes time.

I wonder why they don’t sell cotton garments pre-shrunk so one doesn’t have to deal with this. Unfortunately for me opportunities for air-drying are slim because I must use a laundromat and it’s pretty damn cold outside these days anyway. :frowning:

In order for garments not to end up all goofy-looking when they shrink, you need to shrink the pieces individually before assembling the garment, which causes them to unravel, or wash the uncut cloth, which would require a really huge washing machine for any noticeable length of cloth.

I’ve made clothes for the SCA out of silk noil, and we pre-shrunk it by washing it before cutting it out. From that point on, it was machine washable, because it was done shrinking and more machine washing wouldn’t change the fit.

This is impractical for large-scale operations.

Take a shirt out of the washer. Fold it in three, lengthwise, with the arms behind the back. Tightly roll it up, starting with the collar. Take it home, put it on a hanger, and hang it on the shower curtain bar.

Will still need ironing, but not much.

Are these dress shirts? Get your dress shirts laundered. You’ll never make them look right at home unless you’ve got one of those clamshell presses and all.

I’m absolutely puzzled. I wear 100% cotton shirts to work every day, and have never had serious shrinking problems. I wash in warm water and dry on medium or low heat. Air drying? Ha!

Are all your shirts of a particular brand? Might that brand… er… how shall I put this… be more “value oriented” than others?

No offense, but are you not aware that you’re supposed to buy cotton clothes a tad big, since they shrink a tad the first time you wear them?

I’m with you. Wash in warm, throw those bad boys in the dryer, hang them up when they’re dry, put them on when I get the urge. They’ve never NOT fit.

To avoid shrinkage, I’m moving this thread out of the heat and agitation of the Pit and onto the gently swaying clothesline of MPSIMS.

These are mostly cotton polo shirts, actually. I’m far too important to wear dress shirts or anything else that requires laundering by trained professionals. (But then again my recent experiences make me question my own competence in this field.)

Humans have been wearing cotton for millenia, and you are just now getting around to bitchin’ about it now? Come on man, get with the program.

I have some net frames that work a treat for drying clothes – you lay 'em flat to dry, plus the frames (PVC and netting) can be disassembled to stuff under the bed. This is because I’ve found that hangers tend to stretch the shoulders of whatever article of clothing I hang on them wet. :frowning:


Cotton’s a bitch. I keep having to buy long jeans and I’m a short girl. I used to be able to wear my jeans until they fell apart at the ass and knees, but no more. Now it’s just wearing them until my ass no longer fits into them due to washing.

Linen as a substitute? Wrinkles like a mofo, IME, even with liberal applications of starch.

You don’t need a clothesline to air-dry clothes, friedo. Just get one of those folding drying racks as seen here. And regarding wrinkling - I just put wet clothes in the dryer for 5 minutes, then hang them to dry, and they don’t need ironing. Softens them up a bit, too.

But if anyone has any better ideas for washing cotton I’d love to hear them.

  • EmeraldGrue, lifetime 100% cotton wearer

I’ve noticed that clothing bought from discount-style places shrinks way more. Cotton shirts I’ve bought from Mervyn’s shrink like hell and sort of wad up upon themselves like the Nazgul King after Eowyn face-stabbed him. Cotton shirts I order from L. L. Bean keep their size and shape even after multiple trips through the dryer, so they’re worth the extra money, say I. Mr. brown has cotton shirts from L. L. Bean so old that they’re falling apart at the seams, but they never shrank up.