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shrinking fleece

rjf | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I ordered 3 yards of fleece from Malden Mills to make a new bathrobe.  Does anybody have an idea of how much shrinkage I should expect?  I want it to cover my ankles but not hit the floor.  The old one is just right but I made it so long ago that I don’t remember how long I made it and can’t find the little piece of paper with the dimensions.                           rjf


  1. stitchmd | | #1

    The best approach with any fabric is to preshrink it by washing or dry cleaning as you plan to do with the finished garment. That way there are no surprises. I just finished a polartec item and I washed the yardage before I cut it out. It is also easier to tell which is the right side after washing as the wrong side pills somewhat. You wouldn't want to find you had a piece cut and sewn wrong side out after the first wash. This stuff sews like a dream, better than cheaper fleece, definitely worth the extra $. I had no problem ripping out mistakes and it fed through the machine better. The cheap stuff is less springy, so goes through as more bulk, often pushing its way out from under the foot.

    1. rjf | | #2

      Hmmmm.  Thanks for reminding me there might be a right and wrong side.  On the quick look I took, there was no obvious right or wrong.  Washing first sounds like a good idea.  Boy, I haven't really sewn in awhile.   How quickly we forget.     rjf

  2. ElonaM | | #3

    Malden Mills, bless them, has a website with FAQs and such about sewing with their fleece. Here's the URL for the basics:


    1. rjf | | #4

      Thank you, thank you!  That answered more questions than I knew I had.  Now all I have to do is finish all the projects I've started.  Why do we always have more projects than time?                  rjf

      1. ElonaM | | #5

        It is a tribute to our imaginative and hopeful natures.

    2. Anneliese | | #8

      Thanks for the Malden Mills site, just what I needed.  I came on this forum because I can't get to my packed Threads magazines and have problems sewing fleece.

  3. yaelshuman | | #6

    Polar Fleece should not shrink at all because it is made of poyester fibers. One of other responses suggested pre-washing. I agree that you should always wash fabric before sewing with it. Some times fabric is not washed before you find it in the store. That means that there could be excess dye or the residue of a  finishing process still on your fabric when you bring it home. There is no way to tell if this is the case so it is always a good idea to wash it in cold water before you start. That Vashti

    1. rjf | | #7

      I went to the Malden Mills website and they also said, No shrinkage, but there is a right and wrong side.  You can tell the right side from the way the selvage curls.  It curls up to the right side.  I wouldn't have thought about that because at first glance, both sides appear the same but when you check the selvage side, it is different from the other side.  And I could see a difference in color depending on whether you looked up or down the piece.  The nap does affect the color.      rjf

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