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Wool garments being shrunk when washed in a washing machine


Garments have shrunk due to fibres interlocking tightly after being washed in a washing machine generally through using the incorrect detergent for wool.

This also gives the appearance and feel of felt in woollens and can be referred to as felting.

This is not a problem caused by your washing machine and there is no fault with your washing machine if you see this issue.



Cause & Prevention


Felting and shrinkage although different are closely linked. However, felting only occurs with woollens and is associated with wool appearing like felt after repeated washing and wearing. This is caused when woollen fibres interlock tightly so the fabric thickens, looses elasticity and becomes hard. The process is gradual and the fibres tightening also lead to shrinkage of the garment.

In effect shrinkage happens whenever any fibres tighten although the felt like appearance only occurs with woollens.


This process can be reduced by stretching the garment after washing to retain it's original size and drying flat.

Wash garments at the correct temperature and agitation in accordance with the fabric care label. Too high a temperature or using the incorrect agitation will cause shrinkage/felting. We recommend washing woollens in a delicate detergent such as Dreft.


  How You Can Get Help With Laundry Problems

To offer support in helping people to determine the cause of laundry problems please use the washing machine support forum.

It’s fast, free, easy and normally someone will pick up on the post that can assist you often with a few experts chipping in if needed. Just register if you don’t have an account, we don’t mail you, send you spam or any of that stuff.

Post up your question and give images if you possibly can and the guys in the forums will do the rest for you and try to identify the problem you have.

Cost you nothing, might save you some embarrassment or worse, a charge for a service visit that wasn’t needed.

  Photographs Of Damage

If you can post photographs of the damage or problem you are having this can be really helpful in allowing the technicians to see what the problem is.

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