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How To Pre-Shrink Trims


We've all seen shriveled up trim on a garment. We've pressed with all our might to get it smooth. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Pre-shrink your trim before sewing and prevent this problem!
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: varies

Here's How:

  1. You will need a piece of plastic canvas, water and possible a lingerie laundry bag (or stocking).
  2. Very loosely wrap the trim around the canvas, securing each end in a square. Sometimes, you will need to secure the trim with a safety pin.
  3. Soak the trim and plastic in a sink or bowl of water, the same temperature as you will be using to wash the finished garment, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Use a Towel to blot out all excess water and moisture. Do not wring or twist the fibers.
  5. Place the entire item into the dryer. In some cases I use a net bag, similar to those for lingerie, to prevent tangling. Do Not put the plastic canvas in an industrial or very hot dryer. I have never had a problem with it, in my home dryer.
  6. Always pre-shrink the fabric you will be applying the trim too.


  1. If you do not have plastic canvas, you can use the cardboard base that the trim comes on. This will shrink with the trim but usually falls apart and can not be put in the dryer.
  2. Watch your rubbish for a piece of plastic you could wrap the trims around. Use a paper punch to make a spot to anchor the trim.

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