Even the best bamboo sheet sets will shrink when you wash them in hot water for the first time. Shrinking is something that happens with most clothes and bedding. It is a natural and common occurrence that happens with the first wash in hot water. Many garments have instructions on how to avoid shrinkage and protect the fabric. Bamboo sheets are no exception.
Help Your Best Bamboo Sheet Sets to Shrink Well During the First Wash
Your best bamboo sheets can shrink up to six percent with the first wash. Manufacturers know shrinkage will happen and design the sheets a bit larger to compensate for the first wash.
When you get your first set of bamboo rayon sheets, you might think to use cold water to preserve them. However, the first wash should use hot water to cause shrinkage. Why would you want to cause shrinkage? To make them fit your bed better since they were made with extra length for this purpose.
You will not wash your best bamboo bed sheets this way every time but only on the first wash.
Different Types of Shrinkage
There are a few types of shrinkage. The first type is felting shrinkage. Felting shrinkage occurs with animal fiber clothes. This type of shrinkage is often called progressive shrinkage because it happens more and more each time you wash the fibers. The best bamboo sheet sets are not affected by this type of shrinkage.
Relaxation shrinkage occurs when fabrics like cotton, silk, linens, or synthetic performance fiber get exposed to excessive moisture. When the fibers are exposed to the water, they soak it up and expand. This causes the fabric to shrink. Shrinkage only takes up one percent of the overall piece and will not cause too much damage. Relaxation shrinkage does not seriously affect the best bamboo sheets.
Consolidation shrinkage is the type that applies to the best bamboo bed sheets. It results from the combination of moisture, heat, and mechanical action. These factors cause the fabric fibers to release any tension that occurred during the construction of the item. It will relax the fibers and return to its natural state, which happens to always be smaller. This shrinkage occurs during the first wash cycle and dramatically reduces the size of the garment.
Care for the Best Bamboo Sheets During Subsequent Washes
Even your best bamboo sheet sets will shrink for the first wash in hot water. After that, you should not continue to use hot water. Although hot water will not cause further shrinkage, it can cause heat damage to your best bamboo bed sheets.
Moreover, cold water is more effective at dealing with stains and it helps your best bamboo sheets to retain moisture. The high heat from hot water and the clothes dryer sucks moisture from your bamboo bedding and damages the fibers. This decreases the longevity of even your best bamboo sheet sets, since they are categorized as a delicate fabric.
Furthermore, you should wash your bamboo sheets on a gentle cycle. Too much friction from the washing machine can damage fibers too.
Although the sheets may feel stiff when you take them out of the washer, they return to being extremely soft after they have dried completely. Therefore, avoid using fabric softeners and dryer sheets on your bamboo bed linen.