Textile Shrinkage Test Methods: A Step-by-Step Guide

Textile shrinkage testing is an essential process in the textile industry. It determines the amount of fabric shrinkage during washing, drying, or ironing. This information is crucial for manufacturers to ensure that their products meet quality standards and for designers to predict how a garment will fit after laundering. Without proper testing, fabrics can shrink unpredictably, leading to ill-fitting garments and dissatisfied customers. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of standard textile shrinkage test methods and guide you through the step-by-step process of conducting a textile shrinkage test. We will also discuss how to interpret the results accurately and introduce you to using a shrinkage ruler for precise measurements. By understanding these methods, you can ensure that your textiles maintain their shape and size throughout their lifespan. So let’s dive into the world of textile shrinkage testing!

Standard Textile Shrinkage Test Methods

Textile shrinkage testing is critical for manufacturers, designers, and enthusiasts. It helps to determine how much fabric will shrink when washed or exposed to other conditions. Several standard textile shrinkage test methods are used in the industry, including JIS L1909, ISO6330/5077, and FZ/T70009.

JIS L1909

JIS L1909 is a Japanese Industrial Standard that outlines the method for determining the dimensional change of textiles after washing. The test involves cutting a fabric sample to a specific size and washing it according to a set procedure. After washing, the sample is allowed to dry before its dimensions are measured and compared to its original size.

One advantage of using JIS L1909 is that it provides consistent and reliable results. However, it can be time-consuming and requires specialized equipment such as an electronic balance and precision ruler. Additionally, this method may only be suitable for some types of fabrics.


ISO6330/5077 is an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard that specifies a method for determining the dimensional change of textiles after washing and drying under specified conditions. This test involves cutting a sample of fabric to a specific size and subjecting it to multiple wash cycles at varying temperatures.

One advantage of using ISO6330/5077 is that it simulates real-world conditions more accurately than other methods. However, this method can be expensive due to the required equipment, such as a tumble dryer and washing machine.


FZ/T70009 is a Chinese national standard that outlines the method for testing dimensional changes in woven fabrics after washing. This test involves cutting a sample of fabric to a specific size and subjecting it to multiple wash cycles at varying temperatures.
One advantage of using FZ/T70009 is that it provides reliable results while being relatively simple and inexpensive compared to other methods. However, this method may only be suitable for some types of fabrics.

shrinckage washing machine

Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Textile Shrinkage Test

Textile shrinkage testing is essential for manufacturers and designers to determine how much fabric will shrink after washing and drying. Conducting a textile shrinkage test makes it possible to predict the fabric’s performance in different situations, ensuring that it meets the required standards and expectations. In this section, we will provide a step-by-step guide on conducting a textile shrinkage test.

Preparing the Fabric Sample

Preparing the fabric sample is the first step in conducting a textile shrinkage test. Cut out a rectangular fabric measuring at least 20 cm x 20 cm. Make sure all sides are straight and parallel using a ruler or square. Record the dimensions of the sample before washing.

Washing and Drying the Fabric

Once you have prepared the fabric sample, wash it according to your chosen test method’s instructions. For example, if you follow JIS L1909, use water at 60°C and agitate for 30 minutes. If you follow ISO6330/5077, use water at 40°C and agitate for 45 minutes. After washing, dry the fabric according to your chosen test method’s instructions.

Measuring the Shrinkage

After washing and drying:

  1. Measure the dimensions of the fabric sample again using a ruler or square.
  2. Measure both the lengthwise and widthwise dimensions of each side of the sample accurately.
  3. Record these measurements in your notebook.

Calculating the Percentage of Shrinkage

Finally, calculate the percentage of shrinkage by comparing pre-wash dimensions with post-wash dimensions. The formula for calculating percentage shrinkage is:
Percentage Shrinkage = [(Pre-wash dimension – Post-wash dimension) / Pre-wash dimension] x 100%
For example, suppose your pre-wash length was 30 cm, and your post-wash length was 27 cm. The percentage shrinkage would be:
[(30 – 27) / 30] x 100% = 10%
Repeat this process three times for each direction (lengthwise and widthwise), then average these values to get an overall percentage shrinkage value.
By following this step-by-step guide on conducting a textile shrinkage test accurately, you can ensure that your fabric meets industry standards while meeting customer expectations regarding quality performance after washing and drying cycles.
In addition to this guide’s steps mentioned above, other factors can affect textile shrinking, such as fiber content or weave structure; however, these topics go beyond this article’s scope but could be explored further in future essays or research papers related to textiles’ properties and behavior during production processes like dyeing or finishing treatments.

Using a Shrinkage Ruler for Accurate Measurements

A shrinkage ruler is an essential tool for accurately measuring fabric shrinkage. It is a specialized ruler that has been pre-shrunk and calibrated to measure the amount of shrinkage in a fabric. To use a shrinkage ruler, you need to cut a sample of fabric from your test swatch, ensuring it is at least 5 inches square. Then, you wash and dry the sample according to the instructions for your specific test method. After washing and drying, place the sample flat and align the edges with the lines on the shrinkage ruler. The ruler will have markings that indicate how much each line represents in terms of percentage shrinkage. You can then measure the amount of shrinkage by comparing the original size of the fabric to its post-wash size, as indicated on the ruler.

Using a shrinkage ruler offers several benefits over other measurement methods. First, it provides accurate measurements not influenced by variations in tape measures or rulers that may have expanded or contracted due to temperature changes or other factors. Second, it allows for consistent measurements across multiple tests, ensuring reliable results and minimizing errors.


In conclusion, understanding textile shrinkage test methods is crucial for textile manufacturers, designers, and enthusiasts. By conducting a shrinkage test using standard methods like JIS L1909, ISO6330/5077, or FZ/T70009, you can accurately predict how much your fabric will shrink after washing or drying. This information is essential for ensuring that your final product meets the desired size and fit requirements.
When choosing a test method, consider factors like the fabric type and the final product’s intended use. Each method has advantages and limitations, so selecting one that best suits your needs is essential. Once you have conducted the test, interpreting the results correctly is vital. Understanding the percentage of shrinkage for your fabric can help you make informed decisions about adjusting patterns or selecting different fabrics.
Using a shrinkage ruler is highly recommended to ensure accuracy in your measurements. This tool lets you measure lengthwise and crosswise shrinkage precisely, giving you a complete picture of how your fabric will behave after washing or drying.
In summary, by following our step-by-step guide to conducting a textile shrinkage test and using a shrinkage ruler for accurate measurements, you can gain valuable insights into how your fabric will perform over time. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions about selecting fabrics and adjusting patterns to create high-quality products that meet your customers’ expectations.

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