How to Shrink Clothes to Fit

A fabric’s fibers are usually stretched thin during manufacturing clothes due to the high tension in the material. So, if you buy a cloth and notice that it’s bigger than your standard cloth size, it is easier for you to shrink them, so the clothes can easily suit your body size.

Shrinking clothes helps the fabric relax, making the yarns or threads shorter and returning the cloth to a more natural state than when it was under tension. 

What Methods Can You Use To Shrink Clothes

Clothes on a Hnager

Before adopting any of the methods outlined below to shrink your clothes, you should check the fiber content to avoid damaging some fabric types that don’t shrink.

You should also check whether it’s labeled as “pre-shrunk” clothing because pre-shrunk clothing will most likely not shrink any further, no matter what you do with it.

Shrinking new clothes will produce better results than shrinking old clothes that have gone through multiple washes.

After examining these facts, you can use the following ways to shrink your clothes.

Machine Wash The Clothing Item

Washing Machine

With a regular machine wash, certain fabric types, like cotton, will shrink. Still, when deliberately shrinking your clothing items, it is more effective to adopt certain tips and tricks to get your clothes shrunk, like putting your washing machine on the hot water setting and then machine-washing the cloth.

The hotter the setting you use, the more shrinkage could occur. Certain clothing items must pass through multiple machine hotwashes before it is shrunk to the desired size.

It would help if you turned your clothes inside out during this process to preserve their colors, as the heat can cause fading.

You Can Dry The Clothing Item Using A Tumble Dryer

Tumble Dryer

Immediately after hot-washing your clothing items, you can place them in the dryer for further shrinkage. Do not air dry the clothing items you’re actively trying to shrink, as the air cools off the fabric on time and prevents it from shrinking.

Set the tumble dryer to the hottest setting available and let the cloth dry completely; the intense heat will cause the needed shrinkage.

You can let the cloth undergo the drying process repeatedly using the tumble dryer so that enough shrinking can occur.

It is better to let the cloth shrink gradually by taking it through multiple drying processes than just leaving it for a long time in the dryer, as it can be damaged or even become too small.

Soak Clothes In Hot Water

Another way you can shrink your clothing items is to soak them in boiling water. Completely immerse the cloth you want to shrink in a bucket of hot water.

Then, leave the cloth in the bucket for a few minutes and bring it out when the hot water in the bucket has become cool. After which, you wring the water out to see how much shrinkage has occurred in the cloth.

However, if using this method for denim material, put the denim cloth in a bowl of hot water and leave the heat on.

The denim can boil for a few minutes before turning it off because denim fabric usually takes a long time to shrink.

Iron Clothes With A Steam Iron

Steam Iron

Using a steam iron is a very effective way to shrink your clothes. Using the steam function in irons with a good water supply tank works very well when shrinking clothing items made from wool, cashmere, organza, loosely woven fabrics, and many other fiber types.

Fill the iron with enough water and place it in the hottest setting to effectively shrink your clothing. You should also know that while using the iron method to shrink your clothes, opt for the press function to prevent damaging the cloth.

Also, you can’t use the ironing method to shrink delicate fabrics like silk and rayon if you want to avoid water spots.

Lay the cloth you want to shrink flat on the pressing board and use the iron on every part of the clothing item. Instead of the usual gliding method, perform this in an up-and-down pressing motion and leave it to dry.

Delicate fabrics, like silk, need to be ironed with a  piece of cotton material between the cloth and the iron.

Do Not Stick To The Manufacturer’s Warnings

Cloth Label

If you deliberately want to shrink your clothes, you don’t need to go by the book. Each cloth has its care label with its washing and drying instructions, which, under normal circumstances, you need to stick to. 

However, if you want to shrink your clothing, you needn’t follow any instructions. Ignoring this rule ensures that the cloth gets shrunk as desired.

You should also remember that even though you ignore the fabric care label, you should still be somewhat careful to avoid damaging your clothes.

How Can I Shrink My Clothes Without A Dryer

Heat is essential to get your clothes to shrink, and you can get the heat required to shrink your clothes without a dryer.

Throw the cloth in the washing machine to shrink your clothing items without using a dryer.

Then, select the hot water setting and set it for the most extended wash cycle. Remove the cloth and squeeze it very well during the wash cycle.

(As I mentioned, if you’re shrinking delicate fabrics like silk, you shouldn’t squeeze them too much.)

After squeezing, you can put it on the clothing line to air dry. Please do not put your colored clothes out in the sun, as exposure to direct sunlight will cause them to color fade. 

Once you’ve washed the cloth with the highest heat setting possible, you are not placing it in the dryer again to shrink it. Instead, you repeat the washing process until you get the clothes to shrink as desired.

How To Shrink Clothes After Weight Loss?

If you’ve lost weight after buying a pair of pants you love so much or a dress you’ve ordered online, there are different ways to shrink your favorite clothes so you can keep wearing them comfortably.

You can use the following methods to shrink clothes after weight loss.

  • Wash And Dry Machine-Washable Clothing At High Temperature

This is usually the first option to shrink clothes effectively after you’ve lost weight. Many fabrics get shrunk using this method; you just need to adjust the setting on the washer to hot settings and wash the fabric on a long wash cycle. The heat gets to the fabric very well to make it contract.

After the hot wash, place the cloth in the dryer for a while to completely dry; the hot air will help its shrinking process.

Some fabric types that are more difficult to shrink, like polyester, will require you to repeat the process.

  • Soak Cloth In Hot Water

Another simple and effective method to shrink your clothes after weight loss is to soak them in hot water for some time.

The method ensures your clothes shrink evenly, and you can use it for cotton clothes and delicate fabrics like silk clothes.

The more difficult the clothes are to shrink, the longer the time you should leave them in hot water.

However, this method isn’t the most efficient for dark-colored clothes because their color bleeds out, causing the clothes to fade.

Leave a comment