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Blue fabrics shrink more than white fabrics (?)

Comedian

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Hello guys,

New member here, occasional lurker from Europe. I registered mostly to create this thread because I cannot helpful answers anywhere else. I don't think such a thread was already created, but apologies in advance if that's the case.

Over the past three years I built up a decent stock of shirts, exclusively from Lanieri. I like their business model, their customer service, the relatively small size of the firm, and even the fact there are always tiny imperfections that make each piece unique.

However, I noticed recently a pattern that makes me hesitate buying more from them: blue shirts, regardless of the fabric, seem to shrink faster than white shirts. 10 months ago, I purchased two Oxford shirts, one blue with Ibieffe fabric, and one white with Canclini fabric. I wore and washed them both the same number of time, but the blue one has already shrunk to an extent where it is difficult to button the collar, and the cuffs don't poke out of my suit sleeves anymore. Same happened with a blue shirt in twill from September '18 and a white shirt in poplin from January '19. The former now looks and feels like one whole size too small, while the second has almost not changed. If anything, I thought that twill was less likely to shrink due to the 'tighter' weaving (but feel free to correct me on that).

Now, I am not a big fan of paying close to 100€ for a shirt that won't even last 1 or 2 years. While fit and fabric quality are important to me, durability matters much more. I loved me first 'real' shirts, purchased from TM Lewin, not because they looked or felt great (they did not), but because they lasted 5 to 6 years, which was an incredible return on investment.

So my question is in two parts:
  • Has anyone experience the same shrinkage difference between blue and white fabrics? If so, do you have any recommendations? I have started cold-washing my shirts instead of using a 30° cycle, but I am not sure it sustainable on the long term (a good shirt is a clean shirt)
  • Has anyone experience that issue particularly with Lanieri products? I understand it is still a young company trying to find new growth drivers, but compromising on the product quality (which I don't believe they do) would be a huge deal breaker for me, but also for most of their clients.
Thank you very much in advance - I look forward to reading your comment!
 

breakaway01

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I have never heard of the actual color making a difference. Unfortunately some fabrics do shrink more with the first wash or two than others. It is very difficult for the consumer to know how a fabric will behave. If shrinkage is going to be a problem, ideally the shirt maker should prewash the fabric before cutting it and making it up into a shirt. Otherwise, washing in cold water and avoiding heat with machine drying help minimize shrinking. My shirts come out clean in cold water washes.

Have you asked Lanieri about your problem? And would they be willing to prewash their fabric before making the shirt?
 

Comedian

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I have never heard of the actual color making a difference. Unfortunately some fabrics do shrink more with the first wash or two than others. It is very difficult for the consumer to know how a fabric will behave. If shrinkage is going to be a problem, ideally the shirt maker should prewash the fabric before cutting it and making it up into a shirt. Otherwise, washing in cold water and avoiding heat with machine drying help minimize shrinking. My shirts come out clean in cold water washes.

Have you asked Lanieri about your problem? And would they be willing to prewash their fabric before making the shirt?

I asked them, waiting for an answer, but I don't expect much from that, other than them telling me to be cautious with thin and fragile fabrics. I'll ask them about their pre-wash process, though. I tihnk they advertise a 80 degrees prewash, but it's not specified whether it's before or after cutting the shirt.
I'll keep going with cold washes then, thanks for the advice
 

breakaway01

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If they really are doing a prewash as they are advertising, I wouldn't expect as much shrinkage as you're describing. I would wonder whether they are consistently prewashing their fabric.
 

Comedian

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I just saw that they were bought by Reda a couple of months ago. Even though I hope they keep their independence and continue to offer fabric from multiple mills, I also hope they'll benefit from the professionalism of a more established brand
 

Shirtmaven

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I have been making shirts for 40 years.
I have never had an issue with blue fabric or any other colored fabric shrinking more or less then white.
I have had shrinkage issues in the past with various fabrics. But not related to color.
Reda produces woolens.
Like Zegna, they would have to buy fabric from a shirtinf mill.
 

Shirtmaven

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Shirtmakers the size of Lanieri do not pre wash fabric. Shrinkage allowence is built into the collar and sleeve measurements.
I pre wash some fabrics for some customers who I have had issues with in the past. Mostly the ones who put their shirts in a dryer
 
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maxalex

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I have had years of good experience in MTM shirts from Proper Cloth. They do a pretty good job of managing shrinkage allowance for various fabrics.

I too live in Europe where drying machines are rare, and I line dry my shirts.
 

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