As with all new garments, especially underwear, you should wash new pads prior to using them. And there is another reason for this: New cloth pads are similar to new towels; after the first few washes cotton absorbency will increase, which is exactly their job to do! We have observed, to increase the absorbency of new pads, wash them 2-3 times with soap, soak them overnight or machine wash, and it will help so the liquid gets absorbed into the inner layers of the pad.
Initial shrinkage is also normal to natural cotton material in the first few washes. We have added a few centimeters to each new pad to compensate for this. And we suggest that after washing, you pull your wet pad into shape before hanging it to dry, just as you do with other cotton clothing.