How much shrinkage will occur in 100% cotton Wrangler jeans which are labeled 36 inches, but are 38 inches in length when new? Will washing them in cold water eliminate shrinkage and will washing them in hot water increase shrinkage? Will drying them in the dryer versus hanging them to dry make a difference? I don't want to cut them off too short and they need to be 30 inches long.
I don't know about the shrinkage, but turn the extra under and tape it in place (secretary's hem) and wash them a few times until they remain one length. Washing them in cold water may keep them from shrinking, and hot water probably will cause them to shrink, but I wouldn't be in a hurry to cut them off.
I agree with Chloelizabeth about the hemming. As for the dryer vs. hanging to dry-yes the dryer will shrink them. Hanging, if you hand press at time of hanging will help a lot to reduce wrinkles also. I hang my husbands' pants by the hem-separating the legs on 2 lines, if drying on clothes line, but if weather doesn't cooperate then I put them on two hangers and separate the hangers on the shower curtain rod. After hanging I hand press and they come out most times so that the iron is not even needed.
Wash them the way you plan to wash them on a regular basis first. Then do your measuring and cutting.
I think drying them in the dryer causes the most shrinkage, but I certainly can't be bothered line drying my jeans. They are plenty long enough to allow for some shrinkage. I would do what Beth suggests, wash them first, a couple of times, and then see if they have shrunk down to 36. This will give you a better idea of how much they will shrink. I find that that jeans tend to shrink over time -- not just on the first wash or two, so I do them an inch longer on the inseam than I think I need.
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