February 21, 2022 8 min read

There are a few ways to shrink t-shirts and the result depends on how you want the shirt to fit. If you're looking for a fitted perfect look, use a heat gun and be careful not to burn your fingers or ruin the design. This is also helpful if you have hand-washed your tee in cold water and it still hasn't shrunk enough.

Whether you're ordering shrink garment for a club, a sports team, or your own personal wardrobe, there are some important things to keep in mind. If you want to shrink your shirts, the process is pretty simple, however, there are still some things you should know to make the process go smoothly. The tips in this article will help you shrink your shirts perfectly every time.

So, keep reading if you want to become an expert and know all about how to shrink your shirts.

Before You Begin Shrinking Your Shirt

You've been purchasing these shirts for years and now you're ready to buy a bunch for your family. The prices at the clothing store are so much cheaper than anywhere else so it's a no-brainer. But now you have a problem - the shirts are way too big for your family members. You could just hem them up, but that would be a ton of work that needs to be done. It would be a huge waste of time. Let’s find out the main steps together.

What Causes Shrinkage of Shirts

Shrinking is a way that manufacturers or launderers can make clothing smaller. The two main causes of shrinkage are the manufacturing process for the fabric and the laundry process for the clothing. The manufacturing process: clothing is sewn and then shrunk and heated before being sent to stores and sold to customers. This removes any loose threads and makes the shirts fit the size specified. The manufacturer will want to reduce the cost of making clothing so they will shrink the shirt.

Shrink a Shirt

Tailoring a shirt can be a difficult task for those who have never done it before. Sometimes the best way to do this is to shrink the shirt down to the right size. This reduces the need to take in the seams of a shirt and can be done without permanently altering the shirt. However, shrinking a shirt is not as simple as it may seem. There are different ways to shrink.

The Differences Between Shrinking Tees to Fit, Fitted, and Regular TShirts
According to the fashion trendsetters at Vogue, you should be wearing your clothes until they start to fall apart. But if you don’t want to spend hours shopping for new clothes every few months, there are some things you can do to lengthen the life of your clothing. One of the simplest is to purchase t-shirts that are made to shrink in the dryer. That way when they get too big, just pop them in the dryer and they’ll shrink back to size. But when deciding which type of t-shirt to wear, there are a few things you need to know.

Materials You'll Need to Shrink T-Shirts

two persons wearing tshirts

What you need: A cotton t-shirt - it should be 100% cotton fabric. A tub or a bucket - a metal tub is best because it cools quickly. You can also place a metal dish inside a plastic dish to cool the hot water faster. Tongs - you'll need tongs for laundry tasks such as sorting and hanging clothes. Boiling water. T-shirts are a great item that you can wear every day, but over time they'll start to stretch out and lose their shape. With some simple tricks, you can shrink t-shirts so they fit better.

Depending on the water temperature you will need hot or cold water. In your home, you can just pour boiled water on your t-shirt and wait until it becomes cool. After, you need to place it into your washing machine and wash it. After placing it into the dryer and getting the result-you shirt will be smaller. 

Instructions For Shrinking T-Shirts

There are two ways to shrink shirts. The first is to wash them in cold water, then put them in the freezer. Once they are completely frozen, it will take them longer to dry. Wash them again in cold water to remove the ice. The ice pushes the water molecules closer to the fabric while freezing it. When washing in cold water, this process removes some of the water molecules while shrinking them. The second way is to take the shirt and put it in the dryer with a wet towel. This creates the same effect.

Determine the Correct Temperature for Fabric

Keep in mind that the fabric type will change the shrinkage rate. Some fabrics will shrink faster than others. Some fabrics will never shrink at all. Consider your wool cotton or polyester garments before choosing a way to shrink them. Some fabrics might shrink inconsistently, meaning that the fabric will shrink in some areas, but not in all.

What T-shirt Fabrics Can I Shrink?

The different types of fabrics used to make t-shirts can be shrunk in a number of ways. The most common way to shrink a t-shirt is to put it in the dryer. Cotton, polyester, and blends of the two can be shrunk this way. Rayon can also be shrunk in the dryer, but it is a less common fabric for t-shirts. If you want to shrink a t-shirt that is made from a different type of fabric, you can put it in the washing machine with hot water and a small amount of detergent.

How to Shrink a Cotton T-shirt?

So, how to shrink a cotton tee? For example, if you want to shrink a cotton v-neck t-shirt or a whisper cotton v-neck you should know that there are a few different ways. One way is to put the shirt in the dryer on the hottest setting and wait for it to shrink. Another way is to soak the shirt in hot water and then put it in the dryer. Cotton is a natural fabric, so its shrinking will not bring you many problems.

How to Shrink T-Shirts in Hot Water

Did you know that you can shrink t-shirts in hot water easily? It’s true! with this method, all you have to do is fill a pot with hot water, place the t-shirt in the pot, and wait a few minutes. The hot water will cause the shirt to shrink in size. This is a great way to make your t-shirts fit better or to make them look more fitted. Just be sure to keep an eye on the shirt, so that it doesn’t shrink too much.

girl in black tshirt

How to Shrink T-Shirts With the Help of Ironing

What if you could easily shrink your T-shirts without having to go through the hassle of using a washing machine? Believe it or not, this is something that can be done with the help of an iron! Here is a guide on how to shrink T-shirts using an iron. With this method begin by taking your T-shirt and turning it inside out. Next, place the T-shirt on a hard surface such as a counter or table. Now, take your iron and place it on the T-shirt in the area that you would like to shrink. Apply pressure to the iron and hold it there for about 15-20 seconds. Once you have done this, remove the iron and check to see if the T-shirt has shrunk to the size that you want. If it has not, you can repeat the process until it has.

How to Shrink Silk T-Shirts

Silk is a natural fabric made from the cocoons of silkworms. It is often used in clothing due to its softness, breathability, and durability. Silk t-shirts can be expensive, but there are ways to shrink them if they are too large and you desire to give them a certain style. First, soak the shirt in warm water for about 30 minutes. Next, wring it out and put it in the dryer on the hottest setting. It should only take a few minutes for the shirt to shrink to the desired size. SO, as you see it is not difficult to shrink a tee made of silk fabric.

Final Thoughts

Hope our information has given you a better understanding of how to shrink shirts and that now you can start looking for t-shirts that work for you and know how you can make them fit better. While a certain method of shrinking tees might not be an art that needs to be perfected, knowing what to focus on and how to do it will certainly make all the difference to your wardrobe. Whatever is your shrinking method always look at the label of your shirt before getting started. We wish you perfect results and a happy shrinking.

Commonly Asked Questions

How do you shrink a T-shirt that's too big?

Hand washing it with hot water and mild detergent helps get a snug fit. There's also fabric shrinkage available at local laundromats-you throw a few items in the drier, but use the warm setting. You can also pay someone else to do it. Shrink.com is one company whose sole business is to make products smaller. You can bring in your shirts, sheets, and dresses to them, and they will put them through their process for about 12 hours for $2 per pound.

How do you shrink a shirt in boiling water?

If you were to shrink a tee using boiling water you would need to gather a few things. First, you need to buy a shirt that will “shrink”. They often times have this word on the tag that is located on a shirt collar. If they do not have that word on the tag, you can still wash the shirt and see if it shrinks. The next step is to go and boil some water. The water needs to be around 100-120 °F (38-48.9 °C). Many washing machines warn against washing your clothes with hot water, but that does not apply to this process. Then, you need to make sure that you have a moderate amount of laundry.

Can you shrink printed T-shirts?

Yes, it’s possible. Definitely, you can. It’s very simple. You wash the item in cold water and at a very low temperature in order to prevent shrinking. We can also trust the professionals of ironing, to do it for us. In this situation, there are some tips that we have to use during the ironing process. To start ironing, we have to wait for the clothing to cool down a little before stretching it. The ironing process does not have to be of the high. In this situation, we don’t have to press the clothing too much to make it larger.

Author - Olivia Poglianich
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the surf, watersports and outdoor adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.



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