How to Shrink a Shirt?

How to Shrink a Shirt?

Have you ever gone to your favorite clothing store and found a divine shirt in your favorite color? The only problem is it’s too large for you and your size isn’t available.

Believe it or not, we all have that one shirt in our wardrobe that we love but can’t wear because it’s too big or loose on us.

Either we have bought it cause it was in our favorite color or it was given to us by someone who hadn’t seen us in a while. Or maybe your favorite shirt stretched out after wearing them. 

Fortunately for you, we did some research on how to get an oversized T-shirt to your desired size. 

Rather than tucking into a pair of jeans or tying it in a knot, you can simply shrink a larger shirt to your size perfectly, right at home. 

Say goodbye to drowning in fabric and say hello to a shirt that fits you perfectly.

In this guide, we will talk about how to shrink the various fabrics and how much can you shrink a shirt. So, without wasting any more time let’s start working on shrinking your garment.

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How to Shrink a Shirt?

The easiest way to shrink a garment is to wash them in boiling water and put them into the dryer right after. The hot friction will cause most fabrics to shrink.

What Kind of Fabrics Can We Shrink?

Some fabrics shrink faster than others. A high percentage of cotton means a T-shirt will definitely shrink faster. 

Other natural fabrics such as wool, linen, and silk can also shrink but they will take more time to shrink than cotton. Synthetic fabrics such as nylon, spandex, or polyester don’t shrink that much.

Therefore, you must check the label for fabric content before putting an effort to shrink the garment.

How Much Can a Shirt Shrink?

As said before, cotton fabric is the easiest to shrink. In fact, you can shrink a cotton shirt up to twenty percent of its original size when you put it in boiling water. However, this percentage does not apply to all-natural fabrics.

Polyester fabric shrinks less than three percent when put in a hot water. Other fabrics such as Nylon, acrylic, and polypropylene heavy fabrics can shrink 3 to 4 percent depending upon the condition. 

Rayon, a fabric that is made from wood pulp can shrink up to ten percent from its original size.

How to Shrink a Shirt?

You can shrink an oversized t-shirt by putting them in the washing machine, using a dryer, or putting it in a large pot of hot water.

You need to find out the fabric of the shirt before trying out the shrinking method. You may also need to try out the different methods to find the right technique to shrink your T-shirt.

Using a Washing Machine

The easiest way to shrink a shirt is by putting it in a washing machine and washing it in a long, hot water run. 

Set the hottest temperature and put the shirt that you want to shrink in the washing machine. Also, if you have the option select the ‘longest’ or ‘extended’ wash cycle.

To make sure your shirt is as small as possible, soak them in hot water before the wash cycle.

If you have more garments to shrink, you can place them together, just make sure they belong to the same color circle. You can add some detergent while shrinking your t-shirt, just avoid putting fabric softeners.

To avoid over-shrinkage, you might need to pause the machine every 5-10 minutes and check the condition of the shirt.

However, every time you pause the washing machine, some heat will be released, and this will slow the shrinkage process.

Using Hot Water

The easiest way to reduce the size of a shirt is by dipping it in hot water. This method can reduce cotton t-shirts by as much as three times and can even make the polyester shirt a little smaller. 

Submerge the shirt in a bowl and the boiling water. Leave the shirt into the bowl until the water gets cold. Repeat this, until you have reached your desired size. 

It is the most effective way to reduce the size and the easiest one to perform as well.

In a Dryer

The hot air and the friction in the dryer can shrink the size of the shirt. Most fabrics shrink in the dryer. Here’s how to shrink different fabrics-

Cotton- Put the shirt with 100% cotton fabric in the dryer on regular heat and let it run through the whole cycle. The heat and friction caused by the dryer will make the cotton shirt smaller on its own.

Polycotton- For cotton blend fabrics such as polycotton, use a hot water cycle before placing the shirt into the dryer. Then, use high heat settings and let it run through the whole cycle. 

Wool- Wool garments are a little harder to shrink. Just dampen a wool garment a bit using a spray bottle and place it in a dryer on a short and gentle cycle. 

Polyester- Put a polyester shirt on your washing machine for the longest and hottest cycle. Transfer the shirt to the dryer without losing the heat and use the extreme settings on your dryer. 

How to Shrink a Shirt Faster?

The fastest method to shrink a shirt is by using the boiling water method. This method will dramatically change the size of the garment. 

Of course, this method is also one of the easiest methods to shrink a garment as you just need to submerge a shirt into boiling water. Just make sure you are extra careful as it could burn your skin if you accidentally touch the hot water.

If you really want to shrink your shirt in a hurry, definitely give this method a try.

Will my Cotton Shirt Shrink Every Time I Wash It?

No, a cotton shirt won’t shrink every time you put it in a washing machine. Just make sure you use cold water.

Also, instead of putting a cotton shirt in a dryer, it is better to air dry cotton shirts, polos, and sweatshirts. 

If you wash your cotton T-shirt in a hot water, it can shrink up to 5 percent of its original size. This may or may not happen every time.

So, it’s important to avoid washing cotton garments if you don’t want to shrink them.

Final Words of Wisdom

You don’t have to give up on your oversized shirt and you also don’t need to eat a bunch of tacos to fit into them.

Knowing how to shrink a shirt can be helpful if you have a big-sized shirt waiting to be worn in a closet. A bit of water and heat can do the work. 

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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