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#1
Old 10-24-2010, 05:07 PM
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Rayon cardigan shrunk in machine wash, tag said hand wash, return to store?

I bought a new 100% rayon cardigan at Ross store and the tag said hand wash cold, lay flat to dry. I put it in the washing machine in cold water on gentle cycle with my regular detergent, instead of hand washing it b/c I figured it wouldn't make a difference. However, it shrunk considerably in the washing machine. I tried stretching it and wetting it again and stretching it more, but that didn't help. The store's return policy says they will only accept items that are unused, but I feel it is unfair that they sold a product which said was ok to wash in cold water and then shrunk, so they should take it back. Does anyone know if clothing stores ever refund items like this, and what should I say so that I can get a refund? Thanks!
#2
Old 10-24-2010, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrh528 View Post
The store's return policy says they will only accept items that are unused, but I feel it is unfair that they sold a product which said was ok to wash in cold water and then shrunk, so they should take it back.
They said it was OK to hand wash it in cold water. You disregarded those instructions and machine washed it. How are they responsible for that? What would be unfair would be for you to demand a refund, when the mistake was yours.
#3
Old 10-24-2010, 05:20 PM
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It doesn't matter how you wash it; all knit rayon fabrics will shrink if they're not dried properly. You can make an argument about that, though -- the label said to dry flat, and that does NOT prevent shrinkage. Even tumble-drying at low heat will at least prevent growth in the other direction, but the right way to dry knits is block-drying. The best way to this is over a mesh form, but if you don't have one, you can use a dress form or manikin and a fan. Or you can do what I do, and avoid sweaters (well, you can also just buy them a couple of inches longer and tumble dry).
#4
Old 10-24-2010, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Nametag View Post
It doesn't matter how you wash it; all knit rayon fabrics will shrink if they're not dried properly.
Yep, and the problem is likely that the drying process actually began in the washing machine.
#5
Old 10-24-2010, 05:43 PM
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IMHO you're stuck with it.
#6
Old 10-24-2010, 07:17 PM
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First of all, it shrank. (Not, "it shrunk.")

Second of all, I don't know what the return policy is at Ross--I think it's if you took the tags off, they don't take it back. But, as you said, it sounds like a defective product.

Try as I might, I can't think of anything machine washing in cold water would do that hand washing wouldn't, and I frequently "hand wash" things in the machine on gentle in cold water. So it sounds like it was, if not defective, at least very cheaply made.

But then, you got it at Ross, so you're probably not out a great deal of money. You could try taking it back and saying it was defective, but I wouldn't expect a lot since it's outside their return guidelines.
#7
Old 10-24-2010, 07:27 PM
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How is it a defective product? If you bought a delicate wool sweater and washed and dried on "thermonuclear" is it the store's fault when it comes out Barbie sized? You didn't follow directions.
#8
Old 10-24-2010, 08:20 PM
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There's nothing unethical about asking for a refund, as long as you are upfront about the circumstances. ETA: if it really is defective, they probably already got a bunch back from people that hand-washed them and had the same thing happen. So they may well take it back without blinking an eye.

Last edited by Manda JO; 10-24-2010 at 08:21 PM.
#9
Old 10-24-2010, 08:35 PM
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Take it back and ask... the worst they can do is say no.
#10
Old 10-24-2010, 08:44 PM
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Water temperature is not the only factor involved in shrinking fabrics; excess agitation/friction like you'd get with machine washing can also be a factor. Wool is infamous for this, unless you get "superwash"/machine-washable wool which has been treated in a certain way, as are many other fibers.

The garment said "hand wash" for a damned good reason, apparently, and you ignored the instructions.
#11
Old 10-24-2010, 08:50 PM
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I think it's reasonable to ask for a refund if you're honest about what you did.

That said, the agitating action on most washing machines contributes to shrinkage of any fiber that's prone to shrinkage, including rayon. Rayon is weird stuff -- it's made of wood fibers and much more fragile when wet than when dry. I machine wash it myself, but I always buy rayon things in a size bigger than I want it to be.

If you don't want something to shrink when you wash it, a) agitate it as little as possible and b) minimize temperature changes. If you WANT something to shrink, agitate it fiercely in hot water, then sudden cold water (like you'd get if you set your washer on hot wash and cold rinse); then agitate it in hot air (like in your dryer on high).
#12
Old 10-24-2010, 08:55 PM
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You didn't follow the instructions. It said "hand wash only." That was put there for a reason. Why? Probably because it would shrink if machine washed. It did not say "Hand wash unless it's inconvenient to do so, in which case do whatever you want."

The store might take it back to keep on your good side, but there is no way that this is a defective item. You screwed it up.
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#13
Old 10-24-2010, 09:43 PM
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Thank you all for your awfully kind replies!

Thanks, and have a great day!

Last edited by jrh528; 10-24-2010 at 09:45 PM.
#14
Old 10-24-2010, 09:44 PM
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The gentle cycle doesn't use the agitator?
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