How to Shrink Polyester [2022 Guide]

Do you have a piece of polyester clothing that’s just a little too big? Or maybe you’ve just bought a new polyester shirt and it’s a little too loose? Never fear, shrinking polyester is a breeze!

Shrinking polyester is much easier than shrinking other materials, like cotton or wool. Because polyester has no “memory” you can pretty much follow the same rules for every piece of clothing.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to shrink polyester, and how to avoid shrinking it too much. Along with all the tips and tricks you’ll need to get the perfect fit!

What Is Polyester?

Polyester is a synthetic fiber made from a polymer of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. It’s often used in clothing because it’s durable, wrinkle-resistant, and doesn’t shrink very much when it’s washed.

It can also be used to make carpets, upholstery, and insulation. Polyester is sometimes blended with other fibers, like cotton or wool, to create a fabric that’s more comfortable to wear or to give it other desirable properties.

While polyester is often considered a cheap and low-quality fiber, there are now many high-quality polyester fabrics available. So, if you’re looking for something that’s durable and doesn’t require a lot of care, polyester might be the right choice for you.

It is also worth considering that polyester production is very energy efficient and results in less pollution than some other synthetic fibers. So, if you’re looking to be environmentally conscious, polyester might be the right choice for you, too!

It is widely used in sportswear and outdoor gear because it is quick-drying, stain-resistant, does not absorb odors, and can reduce the risk of hypothermia. It also has a very high strength-to-weight ratio!

Polyester’s stretchy nature makes it ideal for activewear because it will keep your body temperature regulated even during the most strenuous activities.

Can 100% Polyester Be Shrinked?

100% Polyester can be shrunk, but it is not recommended. The amount of shrinkage that will occur depends on the quality of the polyester, the washing and drying temperatures, and the amount of time the fabric is in contact with heat. Generally speaking, 100% Polyester will shrink 2-3% when laundered.

It is important to note that polyester fabric can be sensitive to heat and should not be dried in a hot dryer. Polyester fabric can also be damaged by chlorine bleach, so it is important to use a mild detergent when washing polyester clothing.

Generally speaking, it is best to avoid washing 100% Polyester fabric at home. When purchasing a garment made from 100% Polyester, it is best to try the garment on before laundering it. If possible, hand wash the item and hang it dry. This will help reduce any shrinkage that may occur with future launderings. You can also shrink 50% Cotton to 50% polyester shirts.

Does Polyester Shrink?

Yes, polyester shrinks. Polyester is a synthetic fiber made from petroleum products, and as such it will shrink when exposed to heat. The amount of shrinkage will depend on the fabric weight, the heat source, and the length of time the fabric is exposed. Generally speaking, polyester fabrics will shrink between 2% and 5%. Some fabrics may even shrink by more than 5%. Whether it is shrinking polyester leggings, shirts, or any other, you can find their important information below.

Shrinkage Information for Polyester Fabric

Fabric Weight: 5.8-ounce, 90% cotton/10% poly (Stonewashed)
Shrinkage: 1% in width and 2% in length

Wash/Care: Machine wash warm with similar colors. Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Tumble dry medium. Remove promptly. Use warm iron if necessary

Fabric Weight: 7.3-ounce, 65/35 poly/cotton (Stonewashed)
Shrinkage: 4% in width and 5% in length

Wash/Care: Machine wash warm with similar colors.

Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Tumble dry medium. Remove promptly. Use warm iron if necessary

Fabric Weight: 6.7-ounce, 100% polyester (Non-iron)
Shrinkage: negligible

Wash/Care: Machine wash cold with similar colors. Tumble dry low. Remove promptly. Low iron if needed.

Fabric Weight: 4.3-ounce, 100% polyester (Pima)
Shrinkage: negligible

Wash/Care: Machine wash cold with similar colors. Tumble dry low. Remove promptly. Low iron if needed.

Fabric Weight: 6-ounce, 100% polyester (Serene)
Shrinkage: 1% in width and 2% in length

Wash/Care: Machine wash warm with like colors in a gentle cycle. Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Tumble dry low. Remove promptly. Low iron if needed.

Fabric Weight: 4.6-ounce, 100% polyester ( wrinkle-free )
Shrinkage: negligible

Wash/Care: Machine wash warm with like colors. Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Tumble dry low. Remove promptly. Low iron if needed.

How to Shrink Polyester

Although polyester is durable, absorbent, resistant to wrinkles and shrinking, it can still be shrunk slightly if necessary.

Following is the list of ways on how to shrink polyester:

1. Using Boiling Water

This is the quickest way to shrink polyester. Using boiling water does not require you to wait for long periods of time before removing the garment from the water, so it saves you a lot of time. The only thing that you have to do is just ensure that your garments are still wet after being boiled in water, then you can place them in the dryer.

Make sure that you are careful when boiling polyester clothes as too much heat can damage the fabric. Furthermore, it is also important that you add a few drops of mild laundry soap to the boiling water. A little bit of laundry soap will help lift and remove the oils and stains from the fabric.

And it is also worth mentioning that you should not use boiling water on delicate fabrics like silk or wool.

2. Using the Laundry Dryer

If you do not have access to boiling water, then you can use the laundry dryer as an alternate method. The process is very simple. All you need to do is place your polyester garments in the dryer and then set the dryer to a high heat setting.

You should also make sure that you use a fabric softener sheet in the dryer. The fabric softener sheet will help reduce the amount of shrinkage that your garment will experience.

Plus it will also help to soften the fabric and reduce the number of wrinkles that may form.

3. Using a Hot Iron

If you do not have access to a laundry dryer, then you can use a hot iron as an alternate method. The process is very simple. All you need to do is place your polyester garments on an ironing board. Then set the iron to a high heat setting, and then run it across the entire surface of your garment. However, you should be mindful that using a hot iron on polyester fabric might cause some damage to the fiber.

4. Using a Washing Machine

You can also shrink polyester clothes by washing machine. To do this, you should follow the steps below:

  1. First of all, fully submerge your polyester clothes in cold water.
  2. Then place the item in a washing machine and set to a normal cycle using warm or hot water.
  3. Use laundry detergent when filling up the washing machine – do not use fabric softener.
  4. After the cycle has finished, remove your garment and place it in the dryer on a high heat setting.
  5. If you don’t have a dryer, then you can hang the item to air dry.

Make sure that you keep an eye on your polyester clothes when washing them in the washing machine as too much agitation could damage them.

5. Using Dry Cleaning Solvent

Another way on how to shrink polyester clothes is by using dry cleaning solvent. You can find this at your local grocery or hardware store, but make sure that you only use the recommended amount of solvent as too much could damage the fabric. Here are the steps:

  1. First of all, mix the dry cleaning solvent and water in a spray bottle – this will help you avoid spills or accidents.
  2. Then spray or dab the mixture onto your polyester clothes.
  3. After that, place your garment on an ironing board and run a hot iron across it several times to set the stain.
  4. Then hang your clothes out to dry or put them in the laundry dryer on high heat for a few minutes.

6. Using a Clothesline

You can also shrink polyester clothes by using a clothesline. This is a very slow process, but it is a safe way to shrink your clothes without causing any damage. Here are the steps:

  1. First of all, wet your polyester garment and then stretch it out on the clothesline.
  2. Make sure that you stretch it as much as possible to avoid the garment from shrinking too small.
  3. After that, tie a string around your clothes and then hang it out on a clothesline in the sun.
  4. This process will take several hours depending on the level of humidity and heat, so make sure that you check on your clothes often until they have shrunk to the desired size.
  5. Once they are done, remove them from the clothesline and either wash or dry them as per your normal routine.

Things To Remember While Shrinking Polyester Clothes

  • Always follow the care instructions on the label of your polyester garment.
  • If you are not sure how to shrink polyester clothes, then test a small section of the fabric before proceeding.
  • Too much agitation in the washing machine could damage your polyester clothes.
  • The dryer might also damage your polyester clothes, so only use it as a last resort.
  • You can also use a hot iron to shrink polyester clothes, but be careful not to damage the fabric.
  • Sunlight and humidity is the most natural way to shrink polyester clothes, so hang them out on a clothesline to dry.
  • Remember to check on your clothes often while they are drying to ensure that they do not shrink too much.

FAQs About Shrinking Polyester

Can I shrink polyester clothes in the washing machine?

Yes, you can shrink polyester clothes in the washing machine by using warm or hot water and laundry detergent. However, you should avoid using fabric softener as it could damage the fibers.

Can I shrink polyester clothes in the dryer?

Yes, you can shrink polyester clothes in the dryer by using a high heat setting. However, you should avoid using too much agitation as it could damage the fabric.

Does using a clothesline really work?

Yes, using a clothesline is a safe and slow way to shrink polyester clothes without causing any damage. However, it may take several hours for the clothes to shrink to the desired size.

Will using dry cleaning solvent damage my polyester clothes?

Yes, using dry cleaning solvent could damage your polyester clothes. However, it is a very effective way to shrink polyester clothes if used correctly.

Does the type of polyester matter when shrinking clothes?

Yes, the type of polyester does matter when shrinking clothes. Some types of polyester fabrics are more prone to shrinking than others. Always test a small section of the fabric before proceeding.

How do I remove the residual solvent from my polyester clothes after using dry cleaning solvent?

You should rinse your polyester clothes with water several times or wash them in a washing machine to remove the residual solvent.

Conclusion:

At last, if you want to know the ways on how to shrink polyester clothes, then follow the above steps. These are some of the best ways on how to safely shrink polyester clothes without causing any damage. Make sure that you follow all safety precautions during the process, or else it may cause damage to your polyester clothes.

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Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful. If you have any other questions or would like more information, please leave a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy shrinking! 🙂

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