Saturday, June 19, 2010

The London Shrink

Sorry, this isn't going to be about psychotherapy.  It's about preshrinking wool fabrics.  I'm not a big fan of dry cleaners, so I'm going to do the London shrink method.  It's surprisingly easy, and today was the perfect day for it -- hot and not too humid.  I tore an old twin sized cotton sheet down the middle, soaked it and wrung as much water as possible out of it.  The strips of sheeting are then laid onto the folded wool which has had its ends basted together.  The two layers are then folded toward the center forming a loose package of wool layered with wet cotton.  Additional damp sheeting covers the entire package to prevent it from drying out too fast.  Since it was quite hot and dry today, I went even further and covered everything with plastic sheeting.  The fabric sits for 3 hours and the moisture is gently absorbed into the wool.  The sheeting is removed and the slightly damp wool is smoothed flat by hand.  I can't believe how much softer this process has made the hand of the fabric.  Where the fabric was basted there is now a puckered edge.  Proof to me that the fabric really did shrink.  I don't think the fabric should require anything more than a light steaming.  Hard to believe, but I'm inching closer to cutting out the coat.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi
    how much do you think the fabric shrank by? I am currently wrestling with some front facings that may have shrunk - they are now 1/2" shorter than the fronts of the cape I'm making. Blah!

    Very interesting blog! Thanks!