Originally posted on June 7, 2022 @ 6:00 am
Last Updated on March 26, 2023 by inckredible
There are times you come across a shirt you like at the mall, and even though it has the right hue, design, and print that catches your eyes, it turns out the shirt is one size bigger. It might even be your favorite cotton shirt you have owned and pampered with for a long time, but it’s getting bigger and loose.
Some people believe that loose shirts are cute and they are always eager to style bigger shirts, but we can’t all be the same, can we? I’m sure you have thought if there are ways for you to shrink that new cotton shirt that is one size bigger or recoil that favorite shirt of yours that looks like you are beginning to lose.
There are several ways that a shirt can lose its elasticity and get loose. Many things that people do to their shirts harmlessly and leave the shirt looking and feeling loose.
Your shirts can get loose when you dump your cotton shirts with a lot of other types of materials in the washer at the same time when you hang your shirts with a hanger instead of rolling or folding them.
Your shirt might also be loose because of how you style them. Manipulations like rolling up a cotton shirt sleeve or tying it up at the back as a female to give it more style are ways you break your shirt’s elasticity and get it loose.
Fortunately, there are various ways for you to shrink that shirt and make it look as good as new. You can shrink your shirt using a dryer, an iron, hot water, and even a washer; you can even shrink a shirt with prints. Here is how to get it done.
How To Shrink A Shirt In The Dryer?
Sometimes it’s difficult to make your shirt fit like a glove, but who says it’s impossible. And shrinking shirts to your exact size has been made easy with the dryer trick.
Before you start, you must ensure to check out the label on the shirt for a few details before choosing this method. Different cotton-based materials require different shrinking methods.
If the label shows pre-shrunk, it means it has already been shrunk and cannot be shrunk again. If the label shows 100% cotton, it is safe to be shrunk in the dryer without ruining it.
This dryer method is the safest way to dry cotton. After washing the cotton shirt, you need to shrink it, and you are about to place it in the dryer, seeing that the label says it is safe to do so, make sure the dryer has a heat setting.
Heat is a strong determinant when it comes to shrinking clothes. If you want to just shrink the cotton shirt down a size or two, you can use the mild heat setting on the dryer and pull it out to check consistently until it reaches your desired size.
But if you want to drastically shrink the shirt, you can put your dryer on its high heat setting and allow it to run the entire cycle before pulling it out to check. Repeat this procedure till you get a satisfactory result.
If the shirt you wish to shrink has a higher percentage of fiber than cotton or is blended equally, it would take more than one repetition of this process to reach your desired size, which happens because the higher the percentage of fiber, the longer it takes to shrink.
The procedure for shrinking a shirt made of wool is not so different from shrinking a cotton shirt or a blended shirt. The one distinct difference in this method is that you must put the shirt in the dryer while it’s still damp and choose to run the dryer on low or high heat, depending on the result you wish to achieve.
So also, the method is different when shrinking a silk shirt. Silk materials are very delicate, so you need to check and be sure of several things before shrinking them. So safety precautions such as putting the silk shirt in a mesh garment bag before placing it in a dryer, and set it to a low heat setting, and constant checking are advisable.
Other materials like polyester and nylon are a bit stubborn to shrink, so they would require extra time and heat.
How To Shrink A Shirt In Washer?
Same as any other method, the first step is to check the shirt label to know if it has been pre-shrunk or not. Checking this pre-shrunk factor is important because many manufacturers already put in special treatments on the layers of the shirt to shrink it enough before it gets to you, so trying to shrink a pre-shrunk shirt would be a total waste of time.
After that, proceed to check if the shirt is labeled as safe to be put in a washer. If not, abort the idea and seek another method, as there are many of them going forward.
With all facts checked, try as much as possible not to put a shirt you want to shrink in the washer with other types of shirts that do not need this procedure. As this can ruin your other shirts, it is advisable to put the shirt you are about to shrink alone in the washer, away from your other shirts.
The next step is to set the water temperature as hot and select the longest possible wash duration. If you are looking to get an extremely small shirt after the process, I would advise you to soak the shirt in a little bit of hot water before heading to the washer.
If you want to achieve the best-shrunken state of your shirt, it is better not to confuse the fabric by using a fabric softener. I know that many people are used to putting fabric softener into their laundry for an easy and seamless wash, but for shrinking, it is better to leave it out and use a normal detergent.
While the washing is going on, it is necessary to pop in and check up on your shirt in the washer to avoid over shrinking and check if the process is working on the fabric type and the condition in which the shirt is.
You have to let the shirt dry out in a dryer to complete this process instead of air drying. Airdrying the shirt surely makes the shirt stretch out again, thereby reversing the shrinking process.
It is now pretty easy to reduce the size of a shirt without so much stress, and this method is as easy as it sounds if you follow the instructions step by step. This procedure involves using really hot water, so you have to be careful.
First, as usual, check the label of your shirt to be sure it’s safe to dip in hot water and to know if the manufacturer has shrunk the shirt or not. Most cloth manufacturers tend to often stretch out fabric used so that less fabric is used to make a shirt.
Before you begin this method, you might want to try soaking up the shirt in lukewarm water and hanging it in a warm place, preferably near a heater. This is advised so you can know the high temperature of the water would affect the color of the shirt or not.
If, after this test run, it comes out in the same color, then you can go ahead with this procedure. If not, you have to now look for another procedure to shrink your shirt.
Having done all this, grab a pot or a kettle and fill it with enough water to dip the shirt in. Allow the water to come to a steady boil and pour it into a sink or a bowl. Put in your cotton or wool or polyester shirt and allow the water to cover it up. You can use a spoon to turn in the shirt and make sure it’s sitting properly in the bowl or sink of hot water.
It is advised to cover the bowl or sink to trap the heat and speed up the process. If you wish to wash the shirt while doing the shrinking process, you can put enough detergent in hot water before turning the shirt into it.
Allow the shirt to sit in hot water for 5-20 minutes, depending on the level of “shrunkeness” you want. If you want a shrunken shirt, leave it in for 20 minutes. If you don’t want it to shrink so much, you can carefully pull the shirt out of the hot water with a spoon after 5-10 minutes.
Allow the shirt to cool off before touching it with your hands to not burn yourself, then spread it out to check if it’s to your desire. Afterward, you will rinse in lukewarm water if you put detergent into the hot water before drying in a most effective dryer.
If you cant get to utilize a dryer, you can spread out a towel, lay the shirt on it, and then turn it over once a side is dry. You cannot hang this shirt in cool air to dry after this procedure because it would only reverse the shrinking process.
How To Shrink A Shirt With Ironing?
If you do not have a washing machine and want to shrink your T-shirt, you should consider trying the ironing method. It can be utilized in a number of ways, like immediately after you wash it.
The ironing method is tested and trusted, whether it’s the steam iron or the regular pressing iron. The former works best when the shirt you want to shrink is dry, while the former works when the shirt is sufficiently wet or moist.
If you plan to pull this off with a better success rate, there are a few procedures and steps you need to know and do to ensure you get much bigger results. To accomplish this, you need to:
- Wash the T-shirt, either with your hands or if you have a washing machine.
- Dampen the T-shirt using preferably warm water. You can douse it or use water from a spray bottle
- Turn the heat of the iron to match whichever fabric you want to shrink.
- Ensure you utilize an extra cloth, a “pressing” cloth, to place over the shirt if it may become damaged by the direct heat from the pressing iron. Fabrics that say 100% cotton does not need this precaution.
- Carefully run the iron smoothly over the specific areas of the shirt you wish to shrink, e.g., the sleeve, bottom, and neck. Spend a while doing this. You cannot and should not rush this part of the process to avoid fabric damage.
- Continue to run the iron over the selected portions. Make sure you do not let it rest on a particular spot for too long. It can cause uneven shrinking and, worse, burn marks.
- Repeat slowly and carefully until you see the desired results. You cannot rush this method for any reason whatsoever.
The ironing method is a trusted method and can be used in place of the dryer method, which would involve tumble drying under intense heat. But the disadvantage of using the dryer method is that in the dryer method, the whole shirt is bombarded with heat at the same time, and there can be uneven drying and shrinking.
With the ironing, you control the amount of heat each part will get and ensure you get maximum shrinkage, evenly spread out the whole shirt. If you have a steam iron, it is relatively easier and eliminates the dousing or spraying of the water part, and you are always ready to go.
How To Shrink A Shirt With Print Design?
Did you get a print T-shirt that is too big or a little oversized? And you just wish you could shrink it down a few sizes? Well, there are a few ways you can try to accomplish it. Even though it can and will be tough to do so, it is not impossible to shrink a T-shirt with print.
The first issue with shrinking a T-shirt with print is that it is challenging to shrink it because of the risk of cracking or fading the prints. You know that the design print will have to follow suit in shrinking the fabric, and sometimes, it cannot.
If you wish to shrink a T-shirt with print, you should follow a few safety measures that will make it a lot less risky an endeavor. Here are a few measures that guarantee success:
- You must ensure that you turn the T-shirt inside to protect the print from direct heat or sunlight exposure.
- Make sure you use boiling water in a pot.
- If you are using a washing machine, set it to slight heat.
Following these instructions is the first phase of this shrinking process. So, how do you shrink a T-shirt with print? You are probably waiting for this question. So, stay tuned to the instructions for shrinking a T-shirt with print.
You do not need to use washing, whether by hand or by machine:
- Turn the t-shirt inside out.
- Wet the parts of the shirt you wish to shrink, e.g., bottom opening, sleeves, neck, or perhaps the whole shirt. This way, you protect the print from cracking.
- Toss the shirt inside a dryer, set it to the highest possible temperature setting, and run it for 15 to 20 minutes. Or you can wait for when it gets dried.
- Add extra clothes along with it to act as a buffer against the intense heat.
- Bring the T-shirt out, let it cool, and confirm if it fits you.
- Repeat the process until you get the desired fit for you.
You mustn’t wring the T-shirt with print, for any reason whatsoever. If it is still wet when the 20 minutes is up, just let it air dry instead. You can also try placing the wet T-shirt inside of a towel so it absorbs the moisture, then lay it out to air dry.
Ultimately, ensure that as you wet the T-shirt before placing it in the dryer, it is only the parts you wish to shrink and not the print design.
It can be a drag to buy a T-shirt, and it will be too big or oversized. When this happens, we often panic and return or sell them. But what if you could still wear it? What if you could make it come down a few sizes to match yours? That’s where the methods outlined in the article above come in handy.
If you have tried some of these methods of shrinking your shirt and it still doesn’t work, it means it’s probably not 100% cotton which can be very much unshrinkable. Shirts like these are difficult to shrink but not impossible. All you need is to follow the suggested procedures outlined for each method and shirt type.