How to Shrink Polyester and Spandex? An Easy Beginner's Guide
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How to Shrink Polyester and Spandex? An Easy Beginner’s Guide

You can shrink polyester and spandex fabric using a few techniques without having to worry about the fabric’s durability.

Although it’s possible that the polyester and spandex fabric shrinks a little bit in the dryer, it always seems to come back tight. Alternatively, you could soak it in the bathtub, but when you try to wear it, it grows enormously again. You might therefore attempt to make these materials fit perfectly.

In this article, I’ll go over a few different techniques for reducing the size of your polyester-spandex clothing.

Common Ways to Shrink Polyester and Spandex

You can shrink the size of your polyester-spandex clothing in four main ways. Below, I’ve gone into more detail on each of them.

Tailor Your Clothing

How to Shrink Polyester and Spandex? An Easy Beginner's Guide

I advise using tailoring to make your polyester spandex clothing smaller. While it may not technically come in the category of “shrinking”, tailoring gives you complete control over how you want your clothes to look.

A polyester-spandex blend can be tailored because polyester and spandex can both be tailored separately. The majority of professionals would have no issues handling this material.

And the cost of the tailoring won’t be excessive. Your clothing’s majority of the components can likely be tailored for $20 or less.

Wash and Dry at Higher Temperatures

How to Shrink Polyester and Spandex? An Easy Beginner's Guide

Place the item (or items) in the washer, and wash them in hot water for about 45 minutes. When the wash cycle is complete, take out the clothing and put it in the dryer. Dry on the highest heat setting, and after the clothing is dry, dry it for a further 20 minutes.

If your clothing hasn’t shrunk to the size you want it to be, try it on and repeat the high-heat wash and high-heat drying process. When necessary, repeat the previous steps after putting your shirt back on.

Iron Immediately After Washing

How to Shrink Polyester and Spandex? An Easy Beginner's Guide

Combinations of polyester and spandex can also shrink by being ironed right after washing. If you don’t have a dryer or don’t want to use one, I would suggest using this method.

Place the polyester-spandex item in the washing machine. Wash the clothing in hot water, and as soon as the cycle is finished, lay it flat on an ironing board.

Make sure your iron is set to the highest heat setting. In order to prevent burning the polyester, use a pressing cloth. The garment should be ironed while still damp. Dry it completely before ironing it. Your polyester-spandex clothing might have shrunk significantly, depending on the blend’s ratios.

Soak in Hot Water

How to Shrink Polyester and Spandex? An Easy Beginner's Guide

Neither a dryer nor an iron, nor even a washing machine, are necessary for the final technique. Fill up a bucket with some boiling water. Take your clothes made of polyester and spandex and soak them in the bucket. When the water feels lukewarm or cold to the touch, repeat this procedure.

Your polyester-spandex blends would significantly shrink if this process were repeated three to four times.

Other Ways to Shrink Polyester and Spandex

  1. Cold Wash: Polyester and spandex fabrics can also shrink when exposed to cold. Cold water and a gentle cycle can be used to cold wash them.
  2. Use a Dryer or Air-Dryer: Polyester and spandex fabrics can shrink when they are dried. They can either be air-dried or dried using a low setting on a dryer.
  3. Use a Chemical: Using a chemical, you can also shrink spandex and polyester fabrics. The molecules’ bonds can be weakened using a chemical.
  4. Use a Garment Steamer: Using a garment steamer, you can also shrink polyester and spandex fabrics. Utilizing a hot setting, you can steam iron spandex and polyester fabrics.
  5. Use a Vacuum Cleaner: Using a vacuum cleaner, you can also shrink spandex and polyester fabrics. Utilizing a low or medium suction setting, you can vacuum polyester and spandex fabrics.

Why Doesn’t My Polyester and Spandex Fabric Shrink Well?

How to Shrink Polyester and Spandex? An Easy Beginner's Guide

Polyester and spandex fabrics don’t shrink well for a number of reasons.

  • One explanation is that polyester and spandex fabric has a tendency to be thicker than other fabrics; as a result, water has a harder time penetrating these materials.
  • The second reason is that polyester and spandex are synthetic fabrics, which means they don’t absorb water as well as other fabrics do.

How Much Shrinkage to Expect from Polyester-Spandex Blends?

After being treated with hot water, blends of polyester and spandex frequently shrink by 5% to 25%. Due to the fact that both materials are synthetic in this instance, the shrinkage is much less than that seen in blends of polyester and cotton.

But keep in mind that this estimate is based on my average observations, and the amount your clothes shrink will depend on the blend’s proportions.

Summary: Shrink Polyester and Spandex

There are four common methods that you can employ in order to shrink your polyester-spandex clothes:

  1. clothing that is custom-made.
  2. temperature-intensive washing and drying.
  3. ironing at a high heat setting a wet polyester-spandex garment.
  4. putting the clothing in boiling water to soak.

We also offered some advice on how to use a heat gun, the dryer, the bathtub, and other methods to shrink polyester and spandex fabric.


What Are the Risks of Shrinking Polyester and Spandex Fabric?

The process of shrinking polyester and spandex fabric carries some dangers.

  • The possibility that the fabric won’t be as resilient as it once was is one risk.
  • Additionally, polyester or spandex may crack if it shrinks too much.

Does Polyester Spandex Stretch?

Blends of polyester and spandex have a tendency to stretch, but they do not do so over time. The dimensions of these garments remain the same because they are synthetic.

Do Polyester Spandex Shirts Shrink?

Under direct heat application, polyester-spandex shirts have a tendency to shrink. This can involve high-temperature ironing and tumble-drying.

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