Does Lyocell Fabric Shrink?

Lyocell fabric is a popular choice among fashion enthusiasts due to its unique properties and sustainability. However, one question that often arises is, “Does Lyocell fabric shrink?”

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Lyocell fabric, exploring its characteristics, the factors that contribute to shrinkage, and how to care for Lyocell garments to minimize the risk of shrinkage.

So, if you’re curious about the shrinkage potential of Lyocell fabric, read on to discover everything you need to know.

What is Lyocell Fabric?

Before we dive into the topic of shrinkage, let’s start with an overview of what Lyocell fabric is. Lyocell is a type of cellulose-based fabric that is derived from wood pulp. It falls under the broader category of rayon, which is known for its versatility and softness. However, Lyocell distinguishes itself from other rayon varieties due to its eco-friendly manufacturing process.

The Eco-Friendly Manufacturing Process of Lyocell

One of the reasons why Lyocell has gained popularity in recent years is its sustainable production method. The manufacturing process involves dissolving wood pulp in a solvent to create a liquid. This liquid is then forced through fine holes to form strands of fiber, which are chemically treated and spun into yarn. The solvent used in this process is non-toxic and can be recycled, making Lyocell a more environmentally friendly option compared to conventional rayon fabrics.

The Characteristics of Lyocell Fabric

Lyocell fabric possesses several desirable characteristics that make it a favorite among designers and consumers alike. Here are some key features of Lyocell:

  1. Soft and Smooth: Lyocell has a luxurious, silky feel that makes it incredibly comfortable to wear.
  2. Breathable: The fabric allows air to circulate, preventing overheating and providing a cool and comfortable wearing experience.
  3. Moisture-Wicking: Lyocell has excellent moisture absorption properties, keeping the wearer dry and fresh.
  4. Wrinkle-Resistant: Due to its structure, Lyocell fabric is naturally resistant to wrinkling, making it low-maintenance.
  5. Biodegradable: Lyocell is derived from renewable wood sources, and it is biodegradable, contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry.
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Does Lyocell Fabric Shrink?

Now let’s address the burning question: Does Lyocell fabric shrink? The short answer is, yes, Lyocell fabric has the potential to shrink. However, the extent of shrinkage largely depends on various factors, including the quality of the fabric, the manufacturing process, and how the garment is cared for.

Factors Affecting Lyocell Fabric Shrinkage

While Lyocell fabric is generally resistant to shrinkage, certain factors can influence its behavior. It’s important to consider these factors to ensure you maintain the longevity of your Lyocell garments:

  1. Temperature: Extreme heat can cause fibers to shrink, so it’s crucial to use appropriate water temperatures during washing. Cold or lukewarm water is recommended to minimize any shrinkage risks.
  2. Agitation: Vigorous agitation, such as excessive rubbing or wringing during washing, can cause the fibers to contract and potentially result in shrinkage. Handle Lyocell garments gently and opt for a delicate or hand wash cycle.
  3. Drying Methods: High heat during drying, either through machine drying or direct sunlight exposure, can lead to shrinkage. It’s best to air dry Lyocell garments or use low heat settings if using a dryer.

By taking these factors into account, you can minimize the chances of Lyocell fabric shrinking and keep your garments in optimal condition.

Caring for Lyocell Fabric

Proper care is essential to maintain the quality and longevity of Lyocell fabric garments. Here are some care tips to follow:

  • Washing: Use a gentle or delicate cycle when machine washing Lyocell fabric. Alternatively, hand wash the garments in cold or lukewarm water using a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals.
  • Drying: Air drying is the best option for Lyocell fabric. Lay the garment flat on a clean, dry towel and reshape it if necessary. If using a dryer, opt for the lowest heat setting.
  • Ironing: If ironing is required, use a low to medium heat setting and iron the garment while it’s slightly damp. Place a cloth between the iron and the fabric to avoid direct heat contact.
  • Storage: Store Lyocell garments in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid folding them for extended periods to prevent creases.
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By following these care instructions, you can maintain the quality and appearance of your Lyocell fabric garments and reduce the risk of shrinkage.


Lyocell fabric offers a range of benefits, including its softness, breathability, and eco-friendly manufacturing process. While it does have the potential to shrink, following the proper care instructions and adopting certain precautions can help minimize this risk. By understanding the factors that contribute to shrinkage and implementing the recommended care tips, you can enjoy your Lyocell garments for a long time while maintaining their quality and fit.

Remember, always refer to the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer for your Lyocell garments to ensure the best possible care. With the right approach, you can embrace the comfort and sustainability of Lyocell fabric without worrying about excessive shrinkage.


Q: Can I wash Lyocell fabric in a washing machine?

A: Yes, Lyocell fabric can be safely washed in a washing machine. However, it’s essential to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid potential shrinkage.

Q: Can I tumble dry Lyocell garments?

A: While tumble drying is possible for Lyocell fabric, it is advisable to use a low heat setting or a gentle cycle. Air drying is the preferred method to minimize shrinkage.

Q: Should I avoid hot water when washing Lyocell fabric?

A: Yes, it is best to use cold water when washing Lyocell fabric. Hot water can cause the fabric to shrink, so cold water helps maintain the garment’s shape and size.

Q: Can I iron Lyocell fabric?

A: Yes, you can iron Lyocell fabric. However, it’s important to use a low-temperature setting and avoid leaving the iron in one spot for too long to prevent shrinkage and damage.

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Q: Is Lyocell fabric suitable for sensitive skin?

A: Lyocell fabric is known for its softness and breathability, making it a great choice for individuals with sensitive skin. It is hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin.

Q: Are there any alternatives to Lyocell fabric that do not shrink?

A: While Lyocell fabric may have the potential to shrink, there are other fabrics available that are more resistant to shrinkage, such as polyester and nylon.

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