How to Shrink Polyester–Step by Step

Well, I prefer polyester fabric instead of cotton and trust me, I have very valid reasons.

Probably you are aware of it as well that polyester fabrics are relatively less susceptible to stains and wear-out. Thus, it becomes the consumer’s favorite go-to material for their daily wardrobe routine.

One more thing that hooks me in polyester is the consistency of its price, which barely fluctuates. So yeah, it’s affordable yet comfortable to wear, and you can personalize polyester T-shirts for your DIY fashion mantra.

Now, speaking of polyester, you can’t avoid the fact that it’s shrink resistant, and that can be the very much reason that you stumble upon buying polyester T-shirts.

On the flip side, when you don’t find your perfect fit or the garment is too baggy to wear, you want it to shrink!

Ironic, isn’t it?

Hence, I have outlined some pro tips on polyester shrinking step by step! Check them out!

Some Crucial Facts About Polyester

There are some takeaways of polyester that should be acknowledged before your further assessments.

## Resistance

And the first thing that hits my mind is the water-resistance characteristic of polyester yields.

Because when the fabric tends to inhibit water absorbency and defends itself from any stretch or shrinking as well as blemishes the idea of shrinking, it seems next to impossible.

## Keep in Mind Its Color Retention

Also, polyester works wonders in retaining the color as new as ever for a long period. Hence you need to provide your utmost vigilance while shrinking polyester so that it shrinks without fading the colors.

## The Complexities of Polyester Shrinking

Well, not only polyester but also other woven fabrics that are water-resistant follows the same criteria when it comes to shrinking —and it is “heating.”

But only heating won’t be enough to shrink it adequately as the heating method differs according to your preference as in how much shrinkage you’re expecting.

For instance, the method of minimum shrinkage will oppose the process of maximum or average shrinkage. Thus, determining the ideal way to shrink polyester is necessary.

## Diversity Between Solid Polysteer and Polyester Blend

Unlike other materials, synthetic ones like polyester can’t shrink under suboptimal circumstances. The heating, drying, and cooling everything needs to be accurate and precise.

Because materials which are solid polysester or 100% polysester-madehas diverse attributes than a blend polyester material possesses. And depending on the qualities, the heating process will vary.

For instance, the blended polyester, which incorporates 50% cotton, will need a washing machine and the dryer to get it done where the temperature will be minimal.

On oppose to that, 100% polyester garments require a minimum temperature of 140 to 150-degree Fahrenheit.

5 Easy Methods to Shrink Polyester — Explained!

The only downside of a polyester fabric comes as a disappointment, which is its inability to shrink or stretch.

Because polyester made materials are supremely widespread and it includes t-shirts, footwear, beddings, upholsteries, bodycon, nightgowns, even undergarments.

Hence the expectation increases with the outrageous popularity. That’s why discovering the most effective ways of shrinking it becomes paramount.

And to break it down to you, I have 5 methods that will allow you to shrink polyester without fading the color or damaging the external properties of your fabric. Hence you can eat the cake and have it too.

Method 1: Minimal Shrinking

This method is applicable for those who want to shrink the polyester garment at a minimal portion. And to start with it, you need to have 3 things.

  • A washing Machine
  • Dryer
  • The garment

Once you have all the necessary elements, it’s time to start the process.

  • First thing first, you need to have the garment inside-out and then locate the article of your clothing in the washing machine
  • Now turn it on and set the option in hot water rinse or hot water wash
  • Wait till the warm water wash cycle is completed, and using a thing or wearing gloves bring it out
  • Now it’s time to place it inside the cloth dryer in moderate or medium drying setting. Put it out when it’s done and check whether the garment is shrunk or not. If not, then opt for medium shrinking.
  • One thing you need to keep in mind when shrinking minimally is to keep the heating and drying intensity low or medium.
  • Also, avoid using detergent or any sort of cleaning solution in the washing machine region if the garment isn’t dirty.

Method 2: Medium Shrinking

Now, this method works on moderate polyester shrinking, such as minimizing the width and length of your garments evenly from the high waist to chest and shoulders.

To progress, you will need the same three stuff, which are the washing machine, the clothing, and the cloth dryer. When you have all of them in hand, start with these steps.

  • Turn the garment inside out to prevent damage and color intensity from fading away
  • Now set the washing machine at its utmost heat setting for the most extended cycle and embed the article of your clothing inside
  • When one entire cycle is done, bring it down and place it inside the cloth dryer
  • Allow tumble drying at the largest setting
  • Once you are done start — assessing the garment to ensure its shrinkage
  • You can also provide some tumble detergent wash to your garment if it’s too dirty

Method 3: Optimal Shrinking

Well, optimal polyester shrinking manifests that you intend to shrink your garment sufficiently or when the object is made out of 100 percent polyester.

No wonder here you need to distribute the highest exertion of heating and drying. Hence precautions should be taken here as the extremity of the heat is prone to wither the garment and tarnish the color consistency.

Here are the things you will need,

  • Washing machine
  • Cloth ironIron stand
  • A pressing upholstery
  • The garment

To start the method lets follow the steps;

  • Turn the cloth inside-out and insert the garment inside the washing machine 
  • Establish the wash and rinse motion along at the warmest water perimeter. Now turn on the machine and wait till it’s done.
  • When the cycle is complete,remove the garment from the washing machine and wrap it with a pressing fabric or upholstery to prevent damage and blemishes from the cloth iron.
  • Now place the camouflaged garment on the iron stand or iron board. Lay it on the stand entirely if possible otherwise, you can proceed with each section one by one.
  • Preheat the cloth iron at low to medium range and start running it through the cloth for replicating the drying part.
  • Make sure the cloth iron isn’t too hot, or there’s no smoke release; otherwise, it will stiff the garment. Also, the clothing needs to be coated wholly otherwise the extreme heat exposure will create wear-outs
  • Complete drying each section and give it a check whether it’s your perfect fit or not.

Method 4: Polyester Blend Shrinking

The sole difference in this method is that when it comes to drying off the clothing, the natural vapor and the direct sunlight dehydrates the garment from water consumption. Or you can say that here the air and solar heat works like a cloth dryer. I presume, you already grasped how things will play along here.

Well, in this method you will need;

  • A washing machine
  • Clothesline

Let’s see how you need to use them to streamline shrinking polyester blends.

  • Take the polyester blend garments and turn it inside-out to combat wearing out or color corrosion.
  • Turn on the washing machine and set the rotation to “hot wash” and “hot rinse” at the same time.
  • Add some detergent or soap solution if the clothing is dirty.
  • Wait till it reaches an entire cycle.
  • Now, remove it from the machine and allow it to dry by hanging it on a clothesline. The whining breeze and sunlight will absorb the dampness; thus you’ll have the garment completely dry to wear.
  • Once the material is dried well, check the shrinkage, whether it’s proper or not. If not, you can use the cloth dryer by putting it on the lowest dry heating cycle.

Take the polyester blend garments and turn it inside-out to combat wearing out or color corrosion.

  • Turn on the washing machine and set the rotation to “hot wash” and “hot rinse” at the same time.
  • Add some detergent or soap solution if the clothing is dirty.
  • Wait till it reaches an entire cycle.
  • Now, remove it from the machine and allow it to dry by hanging it on a clothesline. The whining breeze and sunlight will absorb the dampness; thus you’ll have the garment completely dry to wear
  • Once the material is dried well, check the shrinkage, whether it’s proper or not. If not, you can use the cloth dryer by putting it on the lowest dry heating cycle.

Method 5:Boiling Water for Polyester Shrinking

If you don’t have a washing machine or a clothing dryer, then this conventional method will be fruitful.

Moreover, some people claimed that it provides more noteworthy changes to the overall structure of your polyester garment. Besides, if you have a polyester blend material, then shrinking it using boiling water works like magic.

But there are few things to take into account which are the firmness or length of your material. Because it will determine how much water you’ll need and how long it will take to get an adequate boil for the shrinkage.

So, to start with the process, you will need,

  • A stockpot
  • Tongs or heat resistant utensil
  • Water

Before you start with the process, make sure your garment is already damp or slightly wet.

  • Sink in the stockpot with ample water.
  • Bring a steaming hot boil, remove it from the stockpot and wait till the smoke starts evaporating.
  • When there’s still some smoke whirling around, dip your index finger slowly to check it can resist the heat or not. If your finger can resist the heat, then bring another boil because the water should be utterly hot yet balanced.
  • Now using a tong or heat resistant utensil immerse the garment into the crockpot and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
  • It’s important to allow sufficient time because the heat slowly breaks the internal fiber molecules so that it gets shrunk.
  • Once you have reached the time, take out the clothing from the crockpot, and before crinkling the garment to discharge the hot dripping water, let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • After that,dry it in air, and once it’s dried, check the fittings to estimate the shrink.

So that was all about polyester shrinking and its five effective methods. Before leaving, let’s have a glance over why you need to shrink polyester and what you can do to prevent wear out, or color fades.

Why Do You Need to Shrink Polyester?

Well, there are two core aspects of shirking polyester, and they are either for a perfect fitting or recycling.

Perfect Fitting

No wonder there were times when you had lost some weight, and your favorite polyester t-shirt didn’t fit appropriately, or it was too baggy that it made you look obese.

In these awful events, you want to shrink the garment rather than throwing it out or going to a tailor for some stitching because ridges on polyester clothing look extremely obsolete and inappropriate.

That’s why shirking the polyester permits you to have the accurate fitting to your body without any damage or loss.

Also, women who are a little bit curvy love to flaunt their body which is only possible if the fitting is proper. It’s kind of strange that you allegedly want your garment to shrink, whereas you might have bought polyester because of its shrink-resistant properties.

But the heart wants what it wants, and you cant abandon the clothes you cherish to have forever.


Polyester garments are one of the most fruitful investment one can make. Because even after persistent use, it remains and sticks to your cupboard as new as before over decades.

And, if you take good care of it, the sheen of its color doesn’t fade. Hence it works like magic when it comes to recycling.

You can either shrink your polyester t-shirt and make it a crop top, or you can shrink the polyester pant to alter it into a semi-long legging.

An Easy Way to Prevent Polyester From Fading

The process is straightforward. Here, follow method #3 entirely where only one thing you need to add, which is a vinegar solution. Just, sprinkle few drops of vinegar in the washing machine, set the hottest and widest wash, and rinse cycle. When it’s done, place it into the dryer and opt for the highest drying revolution.

Bring it out and check the fitting!

Bottom Line

I hope the above information was helpful. Just make sure that you don’t distribute the heat more than 155 to 178-degree Fahrenheit, as it will damage the garment entirely.

Also, other polyester materials might not shrink under the outlined method I have given; however, if it’s about attire or bedding, then these methods certainly get through.


I want to live in a world where we embrace our individuality. I want to live in a world where we are encouraged to innovate- to seek new solutions to every day problems that will ultimately affect our future generations. Hi! I'm Jenelle. Though these days I am most frequently referred to as Mommy, I used to hold such titles as President, Waitress, College Student, Mud Bog Racer, and I even donned a big furry cat suit in high school as Suzy Stateliner- the school mascot! Between crushing cars with Monster Jam trucks, judging silly dance contests, and those other less fun household chores... I rescue clothing and textiles from our landfills.

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