Fabric sizing is a material added to textiles during production to increase stiffness, body, and smoothness. Although size helps textiles retain their shape throughout the manufacturing and makes them simpler to work with, it can also cause stiffness and impact the drape and feel of the completed product.
Whether you’ve purchased pre-sized fabric or added sizing to your textiles, you may wonder how to remove it. Thankfully, there are various ways to remove sizing from cloth, each with advantages and disadvantages.
In this post, we will look at some efficient ideas and procedures for removing size from fabric so that your completed products have the necessary softness, drape, and texture.
How To Remove Sizing From Fabric
Sizing is a chemical added to textiles during production to make them stiffer and smoother. It is widely used on cotton, linen, and other natural textiles to simplify cutting and sewing. But, if you’ve ever purchased an item of clothing that feels scratchy and stiff, it might be due to size.
Eliminating sizing from cloth might be difficult, but it is certainly doable. In this post, we’ll look at different techniques for eliminating sizing from cloth.
Method 1: Washing
One of the easiest ways to remove sizing from fabric is to wash it. Fill the washing machine with standard detergent and run it through a normal cycle. Add a cup of vinegar to the wash cycle if the cloth is really stiff or scratchy.
Another alternative is to soak the cloth for 30 minutes in warm water with baking soda before washing. Stir a cup of baking soda into a large bowl or basin filled with warm water until it dissolves. After that, add the cloth and soak it for 30 minutes. Wash the cloth as normal after soaking.
If the sizing is particularly stubborn, you may need to wash the fabric multiple times to remove it. Be sure to check the care label on the fabric to ensure it can be safely washed.
Method 2: Boiling
Boiling is another effective method for removing sizing from fabric. To do this, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the fabric to the pot and let it boil for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After boiling, remove the fabric from the pot and rinse it with cool water. Avoid wringing or twisting the cloth too much, since this might harm the fibres.
Method 3: Steaming
Steaming is a gentle method for removing sizing from fabric that is particularly delicate or prone to shrinking. To do this, fill a steamer with water and heat it until it produces steam. Then, hold the fabric over the steam for several minutes, making sure to cover the entire surface of the fabric.
Lay the cloth flat to dry after steaming. You may need to repeat the operation numerous times to remove the sizing altogether.
Method 4: Ironing
Ironing is another method for removing sizing from fabric. To do this, place the fabric on an ironing board and set the iron to a low heat setting. Place a clean, damp cloth over the fabric and iron over it, applying gentle pressure. The damp cloth’s steam will help soften and remove the sizing.
You may need to repeat the operation numerous times to remove the sizing altogether.
Method 5: Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaning is another option for removing sizing from fabric. Take the fabric to a professional dry cleaner and explain the issue. They may use special solvents and techniques to remove the sizing without damaging the fabric.
Not all fabrics can be safely dry cleaned, so check the care label on the fabric before taking it to a dry cleaner.
Method 6: Commercial Sizing Removers
If none of the ways above work, try a commercial-size remover. These products, available at most fabric and craft stores, are mainly developed to remove sizing from cloth.
Just follow the directions on the packaging to use a professional size remover. In general, dilute the product in water and soak the cloth in the solution for a set time. After soaking, rinse with cold water and air dry the fabric.
What Is The Composition Of Fabric Sizing?
Fabric sizing is a material added to textiles during production to increase stiffness, smoothness, and body. Fabric sizing composition varies based on the kind of size, the manufacturer, and the intended purpose. Most fabric sizings, on the other hand, comprise a mix of the following ingredients:
- Starch: Starch is one of the most common ingredients found in fabric sizing. It is a carbohydrate derived from plants such as corn, wheat, and rice. Starch is used in sizing because it adds stiffness and body to the fabric, making it easier to cut and sew.
- PVA (polyvinyl alcohol): PVA is a synthetic polymer commonly used in fabric sizing. It is a water-soluble, colorless, and odorless material that can be easily dissolved in water to create a clear solution. PVA is used in sizing because it forms a thin film on the fabric’s surface, which helps to reduce fraying and increase stiffness.
- CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose): CMC is a water-soluble polymer derived from a natural plant polymer. It is commonly used in fabric sizing because it has good adhesive properties and can help increase the fabric’s stiffness and body.
- Silicone: Silicone is a synthetic polymer often used in fabric sizing to provide a smooth and silky feel to the fabric. It is a water-resistant material that can repel water and help to prevent staining.
- PEG (polyethylene glycol): PEG is a water-soluble polymer commonly used in fabric sizing. A viscous liquid can easily dissolve in water to create a clear solution. PEG is used in sizing because it can help reduce friction between the fabric’s fibers, making it easier to cut and sew.
- Polyacrylate: Polyacrylate is a synthetic polymer often used in fabric sizing to increase the stiffness and body of the fabric. It is a water-soluble material that can be easily dissolved in water to create a clear solution.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a chemical used in fabric sizing as a cross-linking agent. It helps to bond the sizing molecules to the fibers of the fabric, which can increase the durability of the sizing.
Overall, fabric sizing is a complex mixture of ingredients designed to add stiffness, smoothness, and body to the fabric. While the composition of sizing can vary depending on the specific type of sizing and the intended use, most sizings contain a combination of starch, PVA, CMC, silicone, PEG, polyacrylate, and formaldehyde.
Removing size from cloth may be simple with the correct equipment and procedures. To prevent harming the fabric, identify the sizing used on it and try any cleaning chemicals or procedures on a tiny, inconspicuous area before attempting to remove it.
Washing the cloth with hot water and soap, using vinegar or baking soda to break down the sizing, or using a professional size remover are all efficient techniques for eliminating sizing. To guarantee that no residue is left behind, carefully follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and thoroughly rinse the cloth after removing the sizing.
Following these instructions, you may adequately remove size from your fabric and create the ideal softness, drape, and texture.