How to shrink clothes yourself at home without damaging?

How to shrink clothes

It has happened to all of us once: we bought a garment on the Internet that catches our attention and when we get home, it is not the correct size. Either we lose weight and we can not continue taking advantage of the clothes we used to use … what can we do now? Is there any solution to not have to give up these garments?

The answer is yes, there is a simple and safe option: shrink clothing so that it loses a few sizes. In this article, we explain how to shrink clothes without damaging them, always using safe and very effective methods. Let’s go there!

How to shrink clothes according to the fabric?

Before starting to explain how to shrink different garments, you need to consider something fundamental: before starting each shrinking process, you will have to read the garment label well. This is essential because depending on whether the clothing is made of one material or another, you will have to avoid some methods or others since some steps could damage certain fabrics.

Although later, we will see in detail the steps you must follow for each type of garment, we want to present you with a small introduction to the different fabrics that you can find in the garments to shrink.

Shrink cotton clothes?

You can shrink the cotton by washing a garment by hand or putting it in the washing machine. Normally, boiling water is used to shrink the fibers of the garment and the dryer is used at high temperatures to finish ensuring shrinkage. However, in the next sections, we will explain how to shrink cotton for different garments.

How to shrink polyester clothes
As with cotton, polyester can shrink quickly with the use of hot water (either in the washing machine or by hand). For polyester garments, the dryer with high temperatures is also a great ally, as shown below.

Shrink wool clothes

Wool is one of the most delicate fabrics that exist. We recommend avoiding the use of dryers and washing machines to shrink it. Although the process with these machines is indeed faster, your garment can end up with a caked and unpleasant touch if it shrinks through washers and dryers. So, next, we will explain how to wash these garments by hand.

Shrink nylon clothes

Nylon is very difficult to shrink since it is a synthetic garment that does not receive heat well. The surest method of trying to shrink the nylon without completely spoiling the garment is to use a saucepan of hot water and immerse the piece inside for an hour. After this time, remove the moisture from the garment with a towel (always very carefully) and dry gradually with a dryer.

Shrink Lycra Clothes

Lycra, also called elastane, is very similar to polyester, so you can follow the same steps that you would use with a garment of that other material. Below we show you some examples.

Shrink viscose clothes

Does the showy shrink? The answer is yes, viscose or rayon is an artificial fiber that can shrink in both washing and drying. To shrink viscose clothes, we recommend washing with hot water (better if it is in the washing machine) and drying the garment with a towel to remove moisture. If you do not want it to shrink too much, it is best to let the garment dry naturally, but if you want to lose one or two sizes, put your garment in the dryer with a gentle program.

Shrink a T-shirt

The first thing you should do before shrinking a T-shirt is to check its label to see what material it is made of. Most shirts are made of polyester and, above all, cotton. Does cotton shrink? The answer is yes because its fibers are sensitive to heat and taper when it comes into direct contact with it. Wondering how to shrink a cotton shirt? Follow these steps:

  • Take a pot large enough to fit the shirt in question.
  • Fill it with water, put it on the fire and wait for it to boil before removing the pot from the heat. If you want to shrink your piece a lot, you had better submerge the shirt while the water is still boiling instead of removing the pot from the heat, as you prefer.
  • Dip the piece in the water and leave it for 10 minutes (if you need more time because the shirt is very big, you can leave it for up to 20 minutes, always keeping an eye on yourself to avoid going over).
  • Take the shirt out of the pot and wait a few minutes not to burn yourself. Then gently wring it out and let it cool on a flat surface. Do not hang it, as the fabrics could stretch again.
  • If you want to know how to shrink cotton clothes by hand, this is one of the fastest and safest options. If your shirt hasn’t shrunk enough, you can always repeat the process and / or leave it longer in the boiling water.

Shrink a shirt in the washing machine

We have already explained how to shrink clothes without a dryer. You may prefer to use this machine or the washing machine to shrink your shirt. Below you will see how to shrink the clothes in the washing machine step by step:

  • The reduction of cotton and polyester garments occurs when the piece in question collides with the machines’ walls, since the movement, together with the temperature, determines the reduction of the fabric.
  • Put the shirt you want to shrink in the washing machine and wash it with hot water.
  • When you have finished the program, but the shirt in a dryer and select a medium heat. Keep in mind that if you are wondering how to shrink clothes in the dryer, it is not the high temperature that dwarfs the garment, but the movement against the walls of the machine. Therefore, a very high temperature is unnecessary and could end up damaging the shirt’s fabric.

Shrink a Shirt Safely

We have already seen how to shrink cotton or polyester clothes in the previous section. However, there are some more elements that you should take into account:

  • Polyester shrinks just like cotton, however for these methods to work, you need to make sure that your garment is made with a minimum of 70% cotton.
  • Turn the garment over before washing to better protect colors.
  • Check that the garment does not have stains, because the boiling water would make them fix on the fabric completely.
  • Also note that hot water often weakens the fabric’s fibers, so your clothes will need more care.
  • If the shirt is colored, we recommend adding a cup of white vinegar in the washing machine to maintain the tones.

If you are going to wash your shirt in the washing machine, we recommend selecting a normal cycle with hot water. Then, put the garment in the dryer (if you don’t have it, you can leave it in the sun) and select a medium-high temperature. If you are going to wash your shirt by hand, that is, with boiling water, we recommend following the steps in the previous section.

Shrink dress pants

You might be wondering how to shrink your clothes one size if your goal is to put on those pants that you have never worn for being too big. If you want to know how to shrink dress pants, consider the material they are made of.

If they are cotton pants, you can follow the steps discussed in the previous sections. However, if they are made of polyester, you will have to learn how to shrink polyester clothes safely so as not to damage the pants. Take note:

  • Turn the pants over to prevent them from fading.
  • Put it in the washing machine and select the longest wash cycle with the maximum load of hot water.
  • Use detergent and liquid softener so that the pants are not so stiff.
    Once the cycle is finished, put the pants in the dryer with a long cycle and high temperature. If not, you can let them dry in the sun.
    Finally, you can iron the garment to fix the notch, using a medium temperature without steam.

Shrink jeans

If the pants you want to shrink are jeans, you will have to follow other steps, so follow the instructions below. We explain how to dwarf this garment in the washing machine:

  • Select a long wash cycle with hot water and enter the denim. To avoid getting too stiff, you can add a little detergent and fabric softener.
  • When you’re done, immediately put it in the dryer and select a high temperature on a long cycle.
  • Let the jean rest for about 10 minutes in the dryer when the cycle has finished.
  • Try on the garment and repeat the process if you think necessary.

Shrink Jeans Without a Dryer

Many people do not have a dryer at home or do not dare to put certain clothes there. Therefore, below we explain how to shrink clothes without a dryer and enjoy your jeans again.

  • Bring a pot full of water to a boil and when you see that it reaches the boiling point, dip the jeans.
  • Do not turn off the fire at any time, as they must be boiling for approximately 25 minutes (it will also depend on the power of your fire).
  • Do not cover the pot and make sure the pants are always soaking. For this, you can help yourself with a wooden spoon.

Let the jeans dry a little in the sun and with an iron on a moderately hot temperature, iron your jeans until they are completely dry.

Shrink a wool sweater

We recommend that you avoid putting the wool sweater in the washing machine and also avoid the use of boiling water since these would damage the wool and end up with the softness of your sweater. If you want to preserve the pleasant touch of the wool and that it does not become clumpy, it is best to put the sweater to soak in a bucket full of warm water. Not hot.

Shake to soak all corners of the jersey well, as the water must go everywhere. When the water is completely cold, remove the jersey and wipe off the moisture with a towel. You must perform this process carefully to not deform the garment, so cover the jersey with the towel and apply pressure.

Let the jersey dry on your table, on a completely dry towel. Every time you see that the towel is wet, change it for another one. This may take approximately 5 hours.

Shrink cotton or polyester jersey

We have already explained how to shrink polyester clothes and how to shrink cotton clothes in the first steps, when we have explained how to wash shirts and shirts, so if the sweater you want to shrink is of the same material, we recommend that you follow the steps above, as it is the most effective method to dwarf garments.

Care for shrunken clothes?

Almost all methods of shrinking clothes require the use of high temperatures, which can weaken the fibers. Therefore, you should pay more attention to shrunken clothing and take into account points such as the following:

  • Wash each garment upside down on the seam side to preserve color.
  • Use non-abrasive detergents and softeners and, if you can, get those that protect colors.
  • When you put the clothes in the dryer, always try to use a medium temperature and remove the clothes once the cycle has finished, that is, do not leave the clothes inside.
  • If the clothes have been subjected to a shrinking process several times, wash them in delicate cycles with special detergents for this program.
  • Whenever you can, dry clothes naturally and not in the dryer.

You already know how to shrink clothes from home. However, it should be remembered that with some of these methods, the shrunken garment can change color or texture, depending on the fabric and design. For this reason, if your goal is to keep the clothes as you bought them and it is a very delicate fabric, you should go to a dressmaker to help you.

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