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How To Shrink Clothes On Purpose? 4 Ways

Use the proper technique if you want to shrink clothes. Here’s how to effectively shrink clothes on purpose.

To prevent their clothing from shrinking, most people take all reasonable precautions. Nevertheless, there are circumstances in which the method is useful. It can sometimes be necessary because we frequently find ourselves wearing tops or shirts that are too big or have extended hemlines. As a result, you must purposefully shrink your clothing.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can employ. Let’s discuss how to shrink your clothing when necessary and address some of your questions.

How To Shrink Clothes On Purpose?

Shrink Clothes With Boiling Water

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  1. Water in a big pot is being heated.
  2. Turn off the heat and insert the garment that needs to be shrunk. The garment should be completely submerged, so use a wooden spoon to check.
  3. Depending on the fabric, keep the garment in for about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Before removing it and wringing it out to determine how much it shrank, allow it to cool.
  5. Dry it off in a dryer or by hanging it outside to dry.

Things To Remember:

  • Cotton – In comparison to other fabrics, cotton easily shrinks and occasionally bleeds color. Therefore, be sure to store them separately, especially if they contain whites.
  • Polyester – Polyester does not shrink as quickly as cotton, making it somewhat difficult to shrink. The process is still the same, though. Considering that these take a while to shrink, you might need to repeat this procedure a few times.
  • Denim – Compared to cotton, denim shrinks much more slowly. Roll your denim jacket, jeans, and other clothing. and throw them into the pot of boiling water. When the garment has boiled for 20 to 30 minutes, turn off the heat. After allowing them to cool, wringing them, and hanging them to dry.
  • Silk – Since silk is a protein fiber, it contracts more quickly because it shrinks the moment it is exposed to higher heat in any form. Boiling water should be used to wash the item, then the heat should be turned off right away. Before hanging it to dry, let it cool.

Shrink Clothes Using The Washing Machine And Dryer

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  1. Place the clothing washer that you want to shrink.
  2. Set it to the hot water setting.
  3. Decide on the longest cycle length for the program.
  4. Take them out and dry them in the dryer.
  5. Pick the dryer’s highest heat setting as well.

Things To Remember:

  • Silk – If silk fabrics are repeatedly exposed to high heat, they will easily shrink and lose their shine. Therefore, when washing them, always use a mesh and a moderate heat setting. Use a gentle heat setting while drying them as well because they can shrink quickly. When washing silk clothing, stay away from detergents with chlorine or bleach in them as they remove the sheen.
  • Denim – You can use the highest setting because denim can withstand intense heat. If your washer has a denim setting, that would be even better. It might take a few times before you see any noticeable effects.
  • Polyester – Polyester clothing can also be set to the highest temperatures, but you should first double-check the fabric’s quality because high heat can make clothes look old and worn out pretty quickly.
  • Cotton – If you are trying to shrink a delicate item of clothing, start with a lower setting and then repeat as necessary.

Shrink Clothes Without A Dryer

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  1. Put the clothes you want to shrink in the washer.
  2. Set it to the hot water position.
  3. Set the program to run for the longest cycle possible.
  4. Remove them, ring them out, and hang them to dry. As long as you wash your clothes in hot water, you can shrink your clothes without using a dryer.

Things To Remember:

  • Cotton – Avoid hanging colored cotton clothing in the sun; instead, hang them where there is adequate heat and sunlight. This problem won’t affect white people.
  • Polyester – The most maintainable and washable material is polyester. You only need to hang it up to dry naturally. If necessary, carry out the steps again.
  • Denim – Use the highest heat setting on the washer since you won’t be using a dryer.
  • Silk – It is best for you to stay away from drying silk clothing in a dryer. Take it out of the washer, but don’t squeeze it too hard. Allow any extra water to drain naturally. Place it on a hanger and let it dry naturally.

Shrink Clothes With A Hair Dryer

How To Shrink Clothes On Purpose? 4 Ways
  1. In the washer, place the clothes you want to shrink.
  2. Set it to the hot water position.
  3. Set the program to run for the longest cycle possible.
  4. To get rid of any extra water, take them out and wring them.
  5. On occasion, you might be in a time crunch or experience unfavorable weather. Don’t worry; we have a solution for that as well.
  6. Get your hair dryer out and set it to the highest heat setting. A flat surface or an ironing board should be used to spread out the garment.
  7. Concentrate on one component at a time, then let it dry.
  8. Because of the hot air from the dryer, it takes a little bit longer than the other methods but is more efficient.

Things To Remember:

  • Cotton – With a hair dryer, cotton, linen, and other delicate fabrics shrink the quickest and easiest.
  • Polyester – To prevent static, just be careful not to place the dryer too close to the item.
  • Denim – Your best option is denim, which takes much longer to make than regular clothing.
  • Silk – It’s best to air dry your silk clothing because silk shrinks and reacts to heat more quickly than other fabrics.

Shrink Clothes With an Iron

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An iron can be used to apply heat in the absence of a tumble dryer.

Fill your steam iron to the brim because the extra steam will make it hotter. As some fabrics may be harmed by steam or produce water spots, it is always a good idea to perform a test in a discrete area first. Silk and rayon are not recommended for steaming.

Put a cotton cloth between the iron and the delicate fabrics. Use an up-and-down pressing motion similar to that used when sewing, as opposed to gliding across the fabric.

Tips to Remember When Shrinking

  • Despite being made of cotton or denim, not every article of clothing will shrink. If the manufacturer’s care label says the item is pre-shrunk, it is unlikely to shrink further
  • Not all items will shrink equally. For instance, pants may become shorter in length but not wider. If the legs are shrunk, they will get shorter but not narrower. When you wear them, the waistband will contract but also slightly expand. Because they shrink more slowly than their horizontal counterparts, the fabric’s vertical fibers. (The Levi’s 501 exception is a pair of jeans that is made to shrink completely in the washing machine before the first wear.)
  • Nylon, fur, or leather cannot be shrunk at home. Bring these to a tailor to be altered.

Best Fabrics to Shrink

Cotton shrinks the most easily of any fabric. Other fibers may produce erratic results, and man-made fibers may not shrink at all.

How To Shrink Clothes On Purpose? 4 Ways
  • Cotton– 100% cotton is a natural fiber and is the easiest to shrink in its first wash.
  • Linen– It is simple to shrink linen because of its open weave. Compared to cotton, it often shrinks more.
  • Wool– Another natural fiber that easily shrinks in heat is wool. We have all unintentionally shrunk a lovely wool sweater. A wool fabric that has shrunk may look thicker and may pill.
  • Silk– Heat will cause silk to shrink, but it may also develop ripples or wrinkling. Since this fabric is delicate, care should be taken when attempting to shrink it. You might find that silk and lace shrink at different rates when combined.

Why Do Clothes Shrink?

Fiber Type

According to Gagliardi, the type of fiber has a significant influence on potential shrinkage. Wool and cotton, two fibers that readily absorb moisture, are more prone to shrinking. On the other hand, synthetics are hydrophobic and significantly less likely to shrink.


How much tension a yarn is subjected to during the weaving or knitting of fabric is another element that may cause shrinkage. If a finish is not used to stop it, tightly stretched yarns used to make fabrics will shrink when they become wet.

Shrinkage is also influenced by the amount of tension the fabric is under during processing. The fabric held in tension during production will relax when it gets wet, a process known as relaxation shrinkage, just like yarn does.

Similar to yarn, a finish can be used in fabric production to lessen the impact. The majority of any relaxation shrinkage, if any, will typically be visible on a garment the first time it is washed.

How To Shrink Clothes On Purpose? 4 Ways

Quality Of Clothing

The likelihood of shrinkage decreases as clothing quality increases. The majority of people don’t want their clothing to shrink, so higher-quality manufacturers frequently use special finishes and production methods that prevent shrinkage.

They want it to retain its original appearance after being washed and worn numerous times.

Find Out The Fabric Type

Different types of fabric have different shrinkage characteristics. Before you buy any new clothing, make sure to read the label to find out if it can be shrunk. Some fabrics, such as rayon, cotton, and linen, shrink more easily than synthetic materials, such as nylon or polyester.

Natural fibers like cotton, wool, and silk typically shrink more easily than synthetic fibers. It’s not just the fabric your clothes are made of; it’s also how they were made.

Before you start shrinking, make sure that the label doesn’t say “pre-shrunk” or something similar. Saving time, money, and frustration by avoiding these fabrics.

Conclusion: Shrink Clothes on Purpose

Depending on the fabric, you must choose the appropriate technique if you want to intentionally shrink your clothing. Give yourself enough time to complete all three steps because some fabrics need to be washed, dried with heat, and then dried by air.

Now you know how to shrink clothing you can grab those favorite jeans or sweaters and make them fit better.


How Can I Shrink Clothing Without Affecting The Color?

  • When washing clothing, add salt to the water to help the dye stay in place.
  • The colors of the clothing may fade if they are exposed to sunlight, so air dry them in the shade.
  • When washing them, use detergents that protect color.

Does Cold Water Shrink Clothes?

Although you may be reluctant to wreak havoc on the delicate fibers of your garment, heat is typically what causes fabrics to shrink. Synthetic fabrics, for example, may start the process in cold water, but they will require heat from the dryer to finish.

Cold water should not be used if you are concerned about the fabric being harmed during the shrinking process. The good news is that most clothes will still fit you well even if they’re a little big if you style them correctly. For that discounted sweater, there’s still time!

How Can I Stretch Clothes That Have Shrunk?

  • Lumid water should be added to a bucket.
  • Then, soak the clothing for about 30 minutes while adding fabric conditioner.
  • Hang them to dry after giving them a good rinse with regular water. Of course, stay away from the dryer.
  • Done! You stretch your shrunk clothes!
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