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4 Methods to Shrink Polyester Clothes (Step by Step Guide)

4 Methods to Shrink Polyester Clothes

Polyester is a fabric that can last for many years with proper care. However, after some time has passed or even right away after your purchase, you might notice that the clothing does not match your comfort level or preferences as much.

In that instance, polyester clothing can be shrunk to better suit you, saving you from having to throw out that ideal item of clothing. Polyester can be challenging to shrink. However, it’s not impossible. Polyester is made to maintain its shape and is resistant to wrinkling, shrinking, and degradation.

So, if you recently bought a pair of polyester pants or a shirt too big for you, here are some tried and tested methods for shrinking polyester clothes. Let’s dive right in!

What is Polyester?

Polyester is a manmade material manufactured from ethylene glycol obtained from petroleum and processed terephthalic acid. This chemical product is subsequently reduced by boiling to create polyethylene terephthalate. Polyester was initially employed in fashion industries in the mid-1960s.

What is Polyester

Since the 1960s, polyester manufacturing technology has advanced to the point where it frequently blends seamlessly with the materials it attempts to imitate. It can be challenging to distinguish between satin made of silk and polyester.

Because polyester is such an affordable material, fast fashion companies frequently use it. Clothing goods, including shirts, sweaters, blouses, skirts, and sportswear like gym shorts and football pants, are commonly made of polyester.

What Factors Cause Polyester to Shrink?

High temperatures and even low heat can cause many different types of fabrics to contract. Polyester and other synthetic materials won’t shrink under typical conditions. So, go the extra mile to make the cloth shrink.

The secret to shrinking polyester clothes is intense heat. There is a limit to how much 100% polyester fabrics can shrink. A temperature of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit is required to shrink garments.

Polyester mixes, in contrast, shrink far more readily. Look at the cleaning label to find out if your garment is combined with another fabric. Fifty percent polyester and 50 percent cotton compose most polyester blends. This information should be understood before using a shrinking method.

How to Shrink Polyester?

Based on the amount of polyester in an outfit and the amount of heat – you can use in the washing, dryer, or another method, trying to shrink polyester will have varying outcomes.

You should be informed that if you frequently shrink 100% polyester clothing, the fabric may become damaged. Try to avoid shrinking your polyester clothes regularly because the high heat required to shrink the fabric may eventually distort and cause harm.

Inspect the care tag on the clothing before you start the shrinking procedure. Use the hottest temperature settings on the dryer and washer if the clothing is made entirely of polyester. You might be able to shrink polyester-blend clothing that contains cotton, wool, or linen by using the low or moderate heat setting.

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4 Methods to Shrink Polyester Clothes

Here are our top fool-proof methods to shrink polyester clothes. Please ensure to follow the exact instructions to prevent the risk of damaging your outfit:

Method 1: Shrinking Polyester Clothes Using a Washer and Dryer

One appliance that is present in almost every home and is used frequently is the dryer. And it is still a helpful instrument for shrinking polyester at home. Both polyester blends and pure (100%) polyester can be treated with this method.

Shrinking Polyester Clothes Using a Washer and Dryer

Step 1: Put your polyester clothing in the washer.

Step 2: Raise your washing machine’s temperature to the highest level and the longest laundry cycle possible.

Step 3: Retrieve your polyester item from the washer when the wash cycle is finished, then put it in the dryer.

Step 4: You should brush out the cloth to remove any extra debris before putting it in the dryer. Additionally, make sure the clothing is only slightly damp and not drenched. If it is soaked in water, return it to the washer and run a further spin cycle to eliminate the extra water.

Step 5: Turn the heat high and place the polyester item in the dryer.

Step 6: Start the dryer.

Step 7: To ensure you have not over-shrunk or harmed the garment, stop the dryer occasionally.

Step 8: Remove the item from the dryer and store it properly after it has finished drying.

Benefits of Using this Method

  • Extremely simple to use.
  • Varying degrees of shrinking.
  • Almost anything can be shrunk with this method.
  • No knowledge or skills are required.

Drawbacks of Using this Method

  • Substantial shrinking potential.
  • Future polyester wrinkles.
  • Power usage is excessive.
  • Not suitable for extensive shrinking.

Method 2: Shrinking Polyester Clothes Using Boiling Water

This is more of a basic approach to dealing with polyester shrinkage. Additionally, using hot water on the cloth can be done in two different ways. You’ll need a big pan to keep the garments submerged during either method.

Shrinking Polyester Clothes Using Boiling Water

Step 1: Wash the clothing initially according to the general cleaning instructions.

Step 2: Put a big kettle of water on the stove to a rolling boil.

Step 3: Directly add the freshly washed but still damp clothes to the pot of water.

Step 4: You must keep boiling for almost sixty minutes. Nearly all common fabrics should settle in the allotted time. Clothes that are reasonably thicker/thinner will require longer/less time.

Step 5: Alternatively, you could just put the clothes in a pot with boiling water.

Step 6: To dispose of the water, boil the water for an additional ten minutes.

Step 7: Allow the garments to cool so they can be dried.

Benefits of Using this Method

  • Checking for shrinking is simple.
  • Less power is consumed.
  • Shrinks are brought on by hot water.
  • Implementation is relatively straightforward.

Drawbacks of Using this Method

  • Boiling too much can be harmful.
  • Timing is challenging to predict.
  • Very warm to the touch.
  • No ability to control shrinking.
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Method 3: Shrinking Polyester Clothes Using Hot Iron

We all need to sometimes or routinely iron our clothes, right? Anyone with a quiet iron must try shrinking polyester on their own. It does serve as a critical method of addressing the proper degree of shrinking.

Shrinking Polyester Clothes Using Hot Iron

Polyester garments like shirts, pants, and jackets can only be shrunk using high heat, especially if they are made entirely of the material. It doesn’t shrink as it is an artificial fiber. For the best shrinkage of your garment, try straightening it at a high temperature.

Step 1: The technique entails meticulous preparation of your clothing before ironing. Whether washing by hand or machine, you must use the highest heat setting.

Step 2: Remember to turn the clothing inside out to stop the color from dying. It’s unnecessary to dry the cleaned clothes using natural or artificial methods immediately.

Step 3: Simply place the damp cloth on the ironing table and adjust the heat setting from low to medium. To prevent wet burns on the ironing ground, use a pressing sheet.

Step 4: Keep ironing the polyester until it is completely dry to monitor the contraction. Never use the steam option to keep garments generally wearable.

Benefits of Using this Method

  • Incredibly easy to use.
  • The compression of the cloth varies.
  • It is simple to measure shrinkage.
  • Total control over the heating.

Drawbacks of Using this Method

  • It can take a lot of time.
  • Melting of polyester is possible.
  • Avoid shrinking wet polyester.
  • The high press can be problematic.

Method 4: Shrinking Polyester Clothes to Avoid Fading

When clothes get wet, the dye leaks out of the fibers and causes a color bleed. When a material loses its liveliness and intensity, it ages or fades.

Shrinking Polyester Clothes to Avoid Fading

Although polyester generally resists bleeding and fading better than natural fibers like cotton, it does happen when polyester is exposed to high heat. Here’s a method for shrinking polyester clothing without yellowing it.

Step 1: Turn the garment inwards and add white vinegar to the washer.

Step 2: Use the longest and warmest setting for washing and rinsing while washing the item.

Step 3: The clothing should be taken out of the washer, put in the dryer, and dried for an extended period at the highest temperature.

You may also utilize vinegar and water to shrink leather if you’d prefer that over polyester. However, avoid washing or drying leather items because doing so will permanently harm the material.

Benefits of Using this Method

  • A simple-to-follow method.
  • Disinfects the clothes.
  • Doesn’t require any skills or prior experience.
  • Does not harm the fabric.

Drawbacks of Using this Method

  • It can be difficult to gauge the time.
  • Not suitable if you require greater shrinkage.
  • Power-consuming.
  • Can sometimes leave your clothes smelling like vinegar.

Various Types of Polyester Shrinkage

Are you having problems estimating how much the fabric has shrunk? Naturally, the situation is still uncertain, given your goal objectives. However, to achieve controlled shrinking, you need to take into account the following general guidelines:

● Low Polyester Shrinkage

The trick can be set with a quick hand wash or washer activity. The remainder can be dried using a dryer or with regular air drying. For polyester and cotton blends, this procedure works amazingly well.

● Mild Polyester Shrinkage

Greater heat should lessen significant shrinking for pure polyester. Avoid the procedure for priceless synthetic mixtures as much as possible. Additionally, it may cause more polyester shrinkage.

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● Maximum Polyester Shrinkage

To combat synthetics’ high shrinkage tolerance, intense heat is necessary. It truly is the best approach to get 100% polyester to shrink. More ironing can cause the fabric to retract even more.

Aftercare for Shrunk Polyester Clothes

You must adhere to some rules even after reaching the ideal polyester size. The actions will guarantee that the shrunk synthetic remains cozy, lively, and functional.

Whatever the circumstance, always turn the fabric inside out before washing it. To clean the cloth in a washer, always ensure to activate the permanent press configuration. To avoid wrinkling, the material is cooled during this cycle before spinning.

If you’re cleaning polyester or synthetic materials, you should think about using a liquid fabric conditioner. To maintain the durability of the clothing, static cling should be almost instantly eliminated.

Additional Tips for Shrinking Polyester Clothes

  • Don’t Shrink Too Frequently

Since polyester is heat-intolerant and clothing must be heated to shrink, your polyester garments may eventually become damaged if you repeatedly try to shrink them.

  • Keep Dry When Storing

To avoid attracting fungus, debris, and irritants, store your polyester apparel anywhere clean and dry when not used. For long-term storage, folding or hanging your clothes is preferable.

  • Purchase Clothes that Fit

Look for clothing made of polyester that fits appropriately to prevent making an effort to shrink it. It will be easier for you to keep from recurrently shrinking the clothing using high heat if you find clothes that fit and are a perfect size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does 100% polyester shrink when washed?

Polyester’s synthetic fibers resist shrinkage, so it is unable to shrink under normal conditions.

Is polyester more prone to shrinkage than cotton?

Cotton can wrinkle and shrink easily. On the contrary, polyester is more affordable, robust, and resists shrinkage.

How can a garment with a design be shrunk?

The design on the garment can be preserved by turning it inside out and washing it in cold water. After it has been washed properly, shrink it to preserve the design by drying it at high speed.

Can a blouse shrink without being washed?

Based on the material, a shirt needs to be washed in hot or cold water to shrink. The procedure cannot be completed without it.

Final Thoughts

Polyester can be delicately treated using several techniques, including shrinking. To get the desired result, you simply need to ensure everything is in the right order. And from there, it’s simple to reset the fabric shape so you can reuse or recycle the garment.

We believe we have covered the best ways to shrink polyester clothes in this article, but if you think we missed something, feel free to let us know about any additional tips in the comment section below!

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