How to shrink clothes by hand washing

Shrinking wearable garments are sometimes necessary to avoid some complexity and adjust with comfort. When you are thinking of shrinking clothes by hand, there is the possibility of damage to clothes.

Why shrink is necessary? The fabric could be shrunk for so many reasons. Customize size, make fabric fashionable, make fabric wearable

In this article, we are going to discuss the shrinkage process of some different kinds of fabrics. Fabrics we will discuss in this article:

  • Cotton fabric
  • Polyester fabric
  • Denim fabric
  • Blended garment (Cotton, Polyester & Spandex)
  • Wool or silk sweater

When you think of shrinking clothes, you have to know about the fabric first. Fabrics type are the most essential note about its property.

Actually, fabric features depend on its fiber’s characteristics. Natural and synthetic fiber’s moisture regain, shrinkage or elongation depends on its amorphous property.

Shrink cotton fabric clothes by hand washing

cotton fabric

Cotton is the most common fiber that uses to make clothes in general. Cotton fabrics are washable in cold or hot water.

This natural fiber has good tolerance for warm water. 100% cotton fabric has a good shrinkage rate after washing.

Besides that, you can use freehand sewing of the edge of the fabric for shrink wrap and your garment will shrink.

Cotton fabrics shrinkage steps are given below:

  1. Boil water with gentle heat and mix liquid or powder detergent with the correct ratio.
  2. Wash your clothes with a machine or hand. You can use a softener, but don’t bleach if you aren’t sure about the result.
  3. Take out your clothes from the washing machine and put them in cold water.
  4. Let the water drip and dry slowly with natural air.

After drier of your cotton garment, you will get your garment shrink.

Polyester fabric by washing them with your hand

Polyester fabrics have enormous use when the topic is synthetic fibers. These fibers have a high crystalline property in nature. So, in most cases, cold water washing is important for polyester fabrics. High temperatures can cause damage to your clothes. 

But here we are giving you the way you can make shrinkage of your polyester garment

  1. Soak your cloth in cool water for a few minutes.
  2. Put your fabric in a dryer with high heat till dry perfectly. You can check your fabric whether it’s dry and shrunk enough or not.
  3. Repeat the wash with cold water and a dryer if you can’t find your desired size.

Note: Don’t use hot water or strong washing detergent. Boiling water contains high heat which can make elongate your clothes because it’s made of polyester.

Shrink denim fabric clothes by washing them with your hand

Denim fabrics are also shrinkable. But it depends on the property of the fibers of denim. In general, denim clothes are blended with heavy yarn.

Some types of denim are unshrunk clothes in type. You should read the care label before starting the processing of shrinking denim because some clothes might already have a pre-shrinkage property.

  1. Denim can be blended with natural and synthetic fibers, so you can take normal water to give wash denim fabric.
  2. You can put in some washing detergent and wash gently. We suggest not so rough with washing.
  3. Give an adjustable heat for drying. When dry, you can compare the change of shrinkage. 

We can obviously assure you that denim must be compressed, but they are shrinking from the warp side of the garments.

Shrink blended garments by hand

For commercial purposes, some garment fabrics are mixed with cotton, polyester, and spandex. For this reason, we are suggesting you read the care label precautions first for shrinking clothes. 

  1. Take normal water and soak your garment for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Give a gentle wash to your cloth. You can rub and squeeze your clothes sometimes.
  3. Dry it in medium heat in a dryer for 5-10 minutes. You have to care about the heat temperature when drying by machine dryer.
  4. After giving the drying treatment, keep your clothes at rest for half an hour.

Yes! Your blended fabric is more compressed than its previous size.

Shrink wool and silk sweater

Wool and silk are animal fibers. Animal fibers are sensitive to high temperatures. You must have known that this sweater can be shrunk or not. For using excessive wash or temperature your garment may damage and that’s frustrating. 

  1. Some wool sweaters might be blended with cotton and polyester.  You can use warm water in that case of wash. If not, use normal water.
  2. If your fabric isn’t washable for shrinkage, you can give a dry wash for a better experience. Dry wash would make your fabric moisture free and wool or silk fiber causes shrinking because of its animal fiber properties

Note: Most of the time animal fibers are already given preshrink and for that reason it’s unshrinkable. You can give a hand stitch on the garment side for making it perfect for your size.

Well, now you know about several kinds of garment clothes which are used for our fashionable every day.

You are now able to shrink your clothes to the perfect size in a specific condition.


In our daily life we are connected with fashion which is a fashion demand, we all believe that fashion is changeable and variable. In some circumstances, it may necessary to shrink our favorite garment at home. You can easily change or customize your clothes by hand at home by following this way.

Shrinking of a garment is depend on its reverse recovery prosperity, tension, allowance limitation, and nature of fibers. Before that shrinking treatment, selecting the proper clothes is also important to avoid damage to your garments. One thing you have to consider while washing fabric for shrinking at home is, to make your process slow enough and give time. A better result will come after your careful wash and drying on time.

Infographics on How to Hand Wash your Clothes

Also Check Our More Clothing Guide Content On:

How Much Does It Cost to Heat Press A T-Shirt

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How To Shrink A Sweater

How to Wash Clothes in Bathtub (Easy Step-By-Step Guide)

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