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How To Wash Viscose Without Shrinking | The Laundress

viscose shrink
Test Item

Can you wash viscose? Does viscose shrink? These are common questions we get on viscose fabric care. To answer them, yes, viscose does shrink if it is not washed properly. Handwashing this fabric at home will help prevent viscose from shrinking and keep it long-lasting, too.

How to Wash Viscose Material

First, check the care label to make sure your viscose rayon item is suitable to be washed. Often, rayon is mislabeled or partially labeled, so when in doubt, perform a water test in an inconspicuous area. If your viscose dress passes the water test, treat it as a delicate item when washing using the following steps.


For a stain on silk, first treat the affected areas with Stain Solution for color-rich stains or a damp Wash & Stain Bar for oil based stains. Work silk stain treatment gently into the fabric with a finger or Stain Brush, plus cool water if needed.

Does Viscose Shrink
viscose shrink

To handwash, submerge the item and soak for up to 30 minutes. Rinse the item well with cool water – do not wring – instead, press the water out of the item and lay it in its natural shape on a flat surface, drying rack, or clean towel to dry.

Machine Wash

If you opt for machine washing, you should turn the viscose item inside out, and place it in a Mesh Washing Bag to avoid snags and tears.

Select the delicate cycle on the washing machine, and make sure the water temperature is cold and the spin is on low.

Add the appropriate amount of Delicate Wash according to the machine and load size.

viscose shrink
viscose shrink
Dry & Finish

Lay the item flat in its natural shape on a drying rack or hang to dry. Do not put it in the dryer, as it may shrink!

To remove wrinkles, we recommend steaming for the best and safest finish.

If you don't have a steamer, you can iron viscose by hovering over the item and using the steam setting.

To freshen items between wearings, spritz with Delicate Spray.


Knit items like tops should be stored folded to prevent stretching or distorting. Woven items such as pants can be hung.

Always store items clean and store in a breathable cotton storage bag to protect items from pests. Storing in plastic encourages yellowing and can trap mildew-causing moisture, a prime environment for pests.

Storing in plastic encourages yellowing and can trap mildew-causing moisture, a prime environment for bugs.

All techniques are based on textile science. Not all garments perform and react as science would predict.

viscose shrink