Q: I washed a comforter that shrank. What happened?
A: Some natural relaxation shrinkage can show up after cleaning household items such as comforters, bedspreads, and blankets. There is usually a fullness of the backing or shell fabric, causing a puckered appearance. Also, any piping borders, quilting stitches, and seams may be rippled or distorted.
Although many factors can contribute to this type of shrinkage, the major cause is the original fabric not being properly preshrunk or stabilized before the article was constructed. When this occurs, the latent strains of relaxation will appear during any acceptable care procedure.
Some slight shrinkage (approximately 2-4 percent) is to be expected on all household items, but on properly cleaned items that shrink excessively, the manufacturer should be held responsible.