When purchasing new clothes, it’s important to know how they will hold up after multiple washes. This is especially true for budget-friendly brands like Old Navy, where customers may be concerned about the longevity and durability of their clothing.
If you are a current Old Navy customer or are considering purchasing their clothing, then this article aims to provide valuable information on the shrinkage potential of their garments. So, let’s put this question to rest and find out if Old Navy clothes indeed shrink.
The Truth: Can Old Navy Clothes Shrink?
Old Navy clothes can shrink, but how much they shrink primarily depends on how they are cared for. The fibers used to make the clothes, combined with the clothing’s construction, processing, and fabric type, will determine how much they shrink or stretch after washing and drying.
Old Navy use a lot of cotton, especially in their t-shirts and other casual clothing. Cotton is susceptible to shrinking when exposed to high temperatures such as those in hot water washes or dryers. However, Old Navy usually uses pre-shrunk cotton, but it can still shrink slightly under extreme conditions.
Similarly, denim products like jeans from Old Navy are also typically pre-shrunk but can shrink somewhat if they are washed in hot water or dried in a high-heat setting. The shrinkage for jeans is typically less than that for cotton t-shirts.
On the other hand Old Navy clothes made with blended or synthetic material, including polyester, spandex, or rayon, tend to shrink less than natural fibers like cotton.
That said, every type of clothing can be susceptible to some extent of shrinkage, regardless of quality. However, shrinkage is often minimal and may not significantly impact the overall fit and look of the garment.
Causes of Old Navy Clothing Shrinkage
Clothing shrinkage, including that of Old Navy garments, occurs due to several factors, most often associated with the fabric material and the washing or drying methods used.
The fabric plays a significant role in clothing shrinkage. Different types of materials will shrink differently. Old Navy clothing is often made from natural fibers like cotton, wool, and linen. These materials are prone to shrinking because their fibers naturally tighten when they’re washed or exposed to heat.
How you wash your clothes can also lead to shrinking. Hot water can cause the fibers in the fabric to tighten up, leading to shrinkage. This is particularly applicable to natural fibers like cotton.
The heat of a dryer can also cause clothes to shrink, especially with high heat settings. The tumbling motion in a heated environment can cause fibers to constrict and clothes to lose their original size over time.
Lack of Pre-shrinking
Pre-shrinking is a process where fabric is forced to shrink before being made into clothing. If not done, the fabric is likely to shrink during subsequent washings. Not all Old Navy clothes are pre-shrunk.
Natural Fiber Composition
Some natural fibers like cotton, wool, and silk are more prone to shrinkage. This phenomenon is related to the molecular structure of natural fibers, which tends to revert to their original, compact structure when exposed to heat and moisture.
Since most Old Navy garments are made with cotton, they are more likely to shrink than synthetic fabrics.
The manufacturing process used can also influence shrinkage. Before its construction, if the fabric is not preshrunk correctly, or if the yarns used in making the fabric are not relaxed, the final garment is more prone to shrink.
Improper washing and drying methods can cause Old Navy clothes to shrink. Washing in hot water and drying at high temperatures could harm the garment’s size. The heat can often cause the fibers to tighten, resulting in a smaller piece of clothing.
While Old Navy aims to offer affordable clothing, sometimes, this affordability could come at the expense of using lower-quality materials. Such materials may not be able to withstand regular washing and drying, leading to shrinkage.
Absence of Shrinkage Control Finishes
Some clothing brands use shrinkage control finishes on their garments, which are chemicals that help resist shrinkage. If Old Navy does not use these finishes on certain clothing items, those items may likely shrink after being washed and dried.
How to Prevent Old Navy Clothes from Shrinking?
Keeping your Old Navy clothes in good condition and preventing them from shrinking involves careful attention when washing and drying them. Here’s how you can avoid Old Navy clothes from shrinking:
Read the Care Labels
Each clothing item from Old Navy has a specific set of washing and drying instructions that you should follow meticulously. The labels mention the temperature of the water, the dryer setting, and the kind of detergents and bleaching agents that can be used.
Cold Water Wash
Although many Old Navy clothes can withstand warm water, washing in cold water is a safe decision to prevent shrinking. Cold water also protects the color of the clothes from fading.
Use Gentle Cycle and Detergents
A slower speed cycle uses less agitation therefore less friction and heat are created, reducing the chances of the clothes shrinking while washing. Also, some detergents are too harsh for certain materials and may cause them to shrink or fade. Always use a gentle and clothing-friendly detergent.
Avoid the Dryer
The heat from the dryer can cause your Old Navy clothes to shrink. It’s better to air-dry them instead. If you must use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting or the ‘air fluff’ or ‘delicate’ option.
Some clothes, especially sweaters or knitted items, should be dried flat to maintain shape. Hanging them up can stretch the fabric and distort the fit.
Heat can cause fabrics to shrink, so iron your clothing carefully. Use the appropriate heat setting for the garment’s fabric type.
Tips for Maintaining Old Navy Clothes
Old Navy clothes need to be given proper care to ensure that they last long. Here are some authentic information and tips for maintaining your Old Navy clothes:
Understanding Laundry Symbols
Reading the care labels on your Old Navy clothes is a crucial first step. Laundry symbols give directions about washing, bleaching, drying, ironing, and dry cleaning. Hence, understanding these symbols will help you to take care of your clothes effectively.
Use Cold Water
A general rule of thumb is to wash your clothes in cold water unless specified otherwise on the label. Most Old Navy clothes are made from cotton, which can be washed safely in cold water. Cold water also helps preserve the color of your clothes and increase their life span.
Avoiding Harsh Detergents
Harsh detergents can damage the fabric and color of your Old Navy clothes. It’s advisable to use gentle detergents or those specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Always dissolve the detergent in water first before putting it in your clothes.
Turning Clothes Inside Out
This is a useful tip for maintaining Old Navy clothes with prints or embellishments. Turning such clothes inside out before washing can help minimize damage to these renderings.
Using a Delicate Cycle
Using the delicate washing cycle for clothes made of delicate materials helps prevent damage. This cycle uses less agitation and can be gentler on your clothes, extending their life.
Avoiding Excessive Drying
Using clotheslines or drying racks instead of machine dryers can extend the longevity of your Old Navy clothes. If using a dryer, use the lowest heat setting possible. Overheating can cause shrinkage and weaken the fabric fibers.
Once the clothes are clean, be sure to store them properly. Folding heavy garments such as hoodies and jeans can prevent stretching. Knitwear should be folded, not hung, to avoid deformation. Also, store clothes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Prompt Stain Removal
Make sure that you deal with spillages and stains as soon as they occur. The longer a stain is left, the harder it will be to remove it. You can use gentle soap and water to dab the stain, but avoid rubbing as it could cause the stain to spread.
After conducting my own personal experiment and researching various sources, it is safe to say that Old Navy clothing does have the potential to shrink in the wash. However, with proper care and following the instructions on the garment’s label, shrinkage can be minimized.
Any clothing need proper care and following brand’s recommended washing instructions is a must to maintain the quality and fit of your dress. If you love Old Navy brand or considering purchasing from them, knowing how to properly care for your clothes is essential for long-lasting wear.