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February 5, 2016

T-Shirts Deconstructed

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From threadbase: "We washed, dried, measured, and weighed 800 of the most popular men's t-shirts available online. The shirts included a wide variety of price points ($5-$50), sizes (XXS up to 6XL) and fits ('slim,' 'tall,' 'relaxed,' etc.). We thought we'd share some of the data that has surfaced from our project so far."

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T-Shirts Widen and Shorten Over Time

T-Shirts change in consistent ways over time. Each time a T-shirt is washed it shrinks, and each time it is worn it expands. The expansion in the chest is almost 2x more than the expansion in the length and most of that expansion happens in the first two hours of wear.

What surprised us was that over the course of many wash cycles, the chest and waist will drift wider and the length will drift shorter. The figure above shows the evolution of 10 different t-shirts over 16 washes, averaged to one line.


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Caption for the figure above:


It's the Dryer, Not the Washer, That Shrinks T-Shirts

One thing you hear everywhere is that washing clothes in hot water will cause them to shrink. While hot water may cause shrinkage in wool garments, for cotton and polyester T-shirts the washer settings don't make a big difference. The biggest determinant of shrinkage is whether the shirt went in the dryer or not. (We wash and dry all t-shirts using a warm wash and normal/warm dry cycle).


The threadbase website is a treasure trove of T-shirt information and facts you won't find anywhere else. 

Fair warning: There goes the day.

February 5, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink


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