Will Canvas Shrink In The Dryer

If you enjoy working with canvas, either as an artist, hobbyist, or simply have an appreciation for the material, you may have pondered the possibility of canvas shrinking in the dryer. In this piece, we will delve into this inquiry and provide some insight.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is a heavy-duty plain-weave fabric, typically made of cotton or linen, although it can be made from various synthetic materials as well. It is known for its durability and toughness, which makes it popular for a multitude of uses from painting to clothing, bags, and more.

Can Canvas Shrink?

Yes, canvas can shrink. Being a natural fiber, like cotton or linen, canvas is prone to shrinkage under certain conditions, especially when subjected to heat and moisture. This is a crucial factor to consider when treating or cleaning canvas materials.

Will Canvas Shrink in the Dryer?

The short answer is yes. A dryer generates both heat and tumble, which can reduce the size of the canvas fabric. This is why it’s recommended to air dry if possible, or if you have to use a dryer, use a low heat setting and remove the item while it’s still slightly damp.

How to Prevent Canvas From Shrinking in the Dryer?

If you need to dry your canvas in a dryer and want to prevent it from shrinking, here’s a quick guide:

  1. Wash cold: Always wash your canvas in cold water. Hot water can cause the fibers to contract, leading to shrinkage.
  2. Low heat: If you must use a dryer, always use the lowest heat setting. High heat can force the fibers to contract and lead to shrinkage.
  3. Air dry: Wherever possible, allow the canvas to air dry naturally. This is the most effective way to prevent any shrinkage.


So, in conclusion, while canvas can indeed shrink in the dryer, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening. By following the tips mentioned above, you can help protect your canvas items and keep them in their original shape and size for a long time.