“Dry Flat” simply means putting your garment on a flat surface and letting it air dry. You can put a clean towel beneath to protect the fabric and the flat surface both from water and dirt.
Drying a fabric flat causes the chance of shrinkage (Dimensional stability) of its material to reduce considerably. It is an instruction you will find on the label of your garment.
What Does Dry Flat Mean?
Labels on clothes can be annoying for most people and it is pretty normal. If you are like the most, you would simply cut them off and forget about the label’s real purpose. Normally on a label, the company’s name, information on washing and drying, and so on are written down.
The information on the drying process is very important as all clothes are not the same. At the moment, instead of the issue of washing things, we are interested in the issue of further drying and the corresponding inscriptions that you might see on the label.
If your garment has a label saying “dry flat”, it simply means that after being washed, the item must be placed on a flat surface with a towel beneath it and let it dry naturally.
Dry Flat Meaning
If you see the garment label saying “dry flat”, you should follow the instruction instead of throwing it in the dryer. All you have to do is to lay the cloth on a flat surface and allow it to air dry.
There are several ways to dry a garment. The information on drying things is typically found on the label the cloth comes with. Although, it is often cut off and thrown out which can result in a disaster if you are not aware.
We recommend air drying because it prevents shrinkage and keeps woolen from felting. Although, you can also air dry on a hanger depending on the garment. However, for thick items like a sweater, the moisture in the garment may stretch your item.
Knitted items lose their shape when you hang them on a hanger. The “dry flat” instruction is typically for such garments. These types of items are placed on a flat surface such as on top of a clean towel or the bed. You must place your item in such a way that it forms its natural shape.
The Symbol for Drying Flat
As stated before, you may see the sign and its signature “Dry Flat” on your garment. This implies that you have to dry your thing strictly on a horizontal surface. Fabrics such as wool or knitwear are better suited for this type of drying.
The flat drying method is implemented in this type of fabric. Because the fact is that when you dry them vertically, they will stretch out and lose their original form.
Although, recognizing the symbol for flat drying is rather simple. All you have to do is to find the label and you will see a small square on it. At the center of this square, you will also see a horizontal strip. From below there should be the inscription itself. The symbol is rather distinct and it is difficult to confuse this with other symbols.
Purpose of Drying Flat
As your garment goes through the drying process, it is going to take the shape of whatever it is on. Therefore, if you have an item that you do not want to waste time reshaping with an iron or steamer, you should let that lay flat and dry. This is similar to the case where you put your wet hair into a braid. Once it dries, your strands will have imprints from during the process of going wet to dry.
Therefore, if you lay the clothes on a drying rack, they will exhibit a bend from the rack. Moreover, to your disappointment, you cannot put these clothes on a hanger either. These clothes have additional weight causing them to stretch out if hung up when wet. Furthermore, you cannot avoid worn-out collars and bumps in the shoulders in such a drying process.
How to Properly Lay Flat to Dry
The most frustrating part of the flat drying method is the amount of time it takes for the garment to become dry and wearable. To properly implement the “dry flat” process, get a clean towel or a sheet and lay it on a floor or table. Place your garment on top of the towel and let it dry. Be careful you must never hang the garments that read flat dry.
You can make use of the ceiling fan or a nearby table fan to facilitate drying. It might take a while, but you can expect your item to dry overnight.
In case you want to cut down drying time, lay your garment flat on a dry towel and roll the towel like a burrito. You will be squeezing out the excess water without wringing the item by rolling it this way.
You can also remove water is by putting the item in a mesh bag and putting it in the washing machine. This way your garment will dry in half that time.
Furthermore, make sure you don’t put your item in direct sunlight when drying flat because the color might fade. Also as stated before, place a towel between the item and the flat surface to soak up water from the item.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
- How long does it take to dry flat?
It is difficult to predict how long it will take your garment to air-dry. That is because it depends on fabric type, air temperature, and the presence or absence of wind. But you can expect it to take two to four hours for most types of fabric on a warm day with a light breeze.
- Where can I lay flat to dry?
You can lay your fabric flat over a towel on a table, counter, or maybe the guest room bed. You can make use of a table fan to let the fabric dry for a couple of hours.
- Can I dry the flat in my bedroom?
Drying clothes inside the house often can be alarming for your health. The continuation of it can lead to the growth of mold and dust mites.
It should be clear by now that cutting off the label and throwing it out is not a good move in general. “Dry Flat’’ is a vital instruction if you do not want your garment to stretch and lose its fit. Drying as instructed will save you from the unwanted trouble of ironing or steaming the fabric.