Imagine the following scenario — you go shopping and find the shirt of your dreams. However, when you look at its size, you realize it’s much too big for you. Not only that, but there are no smaller sizes at all! You wish you knew how to shrink a shirt, but you don’t, and you have to leave empty-handed.
Have you ever had something like that happen to you? If the answer is yes, don’t worry — follow our simple tips, and shirt sizes will never be a problem again. Here are a few things you should know about shrinking your shirts, as well as ways to make sure they always fit you!
1. Check the Material First
Some materials shrink faster and better than others, while some don’t shrink at all. Before you even start looking into different shrinking methods, make sure to read the label with fabric content. That way, you’ll know what you’re dealing with and how likely you are to succeed.
If your shirt is made of cotton (organic or not) or contains a high percentage of it, then you are in luck. Cotton shrinks fairly quickly, and you can expect the shirt to become up to 20% smaller. You have to be a bit more careful with organic cotton, though. Since it contains none of the anti-shrinking chemicals, it may shrink much more than you expect it to.
On the other hand, materials such as linen, silk, and wool are a little more difficult to deal with. They do shrink, but only after several attempts. Even then, you can’t expect the same results as you’d get from cotton.
Still worse is if you want to shrink synthetic shirts — those made of polyester, nylon, or spandex. These materials may shrink a tiny bit, but you’ll probably barely notice it. Usually, the result is not worth the time and effort you put into achieving it.
2. Use Hot Water
When you were younger, your mom probably advised you not to wash your shirts in scalding hot water. The reason is simple — it shrinks the fabric and makes your clothes smaller. But in this case, that’s exactly what you want, so grab a nice pot of water and heat it up!
Once the water starts boiling, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the oven. Then, take the shirt you want to shrink and put it into the pot. Submerge it using a spoon or a different kitchen utensil and make sure it gets properly soaked. Careful, though — don’t burn yourself while doing that!
Typically, the more you want to shrink the shirt, the longer it should stay in the water. If you want it to become just a little smaller, keep it in there for about five minutes. But if you’re looking for some serious shrinkage, take it out only after twenty! You don’t need to soak it any longer than that — there is a limit to how much a shirt can shrink, after all.
When enough time passes, take the shirt out of the water. Again, you need to be careful — don’t use your hands to do it. Instead, use a spoon or a pair of tongs to grab it. Let it cool off a little and examine your progress. If you’re happy with it, let the shirt air dry.
But if you’re not, repeat the same process again. You can do it as many times as you like until you get the desired results. Alternatively, put the shirt into a dryer and let the tumbling and additional heat work further shrinking magic on it!
3. Use Your Washing Machine and Dryer
The truth is, you don’t need to boil water in the pot. You already know exactly how to shrink a shirt — in fact, you might have done it before by accident. Of course, we are talking about washing your shirts in the washer at a high temperature.
Put the shirt that needs shrinking into the washing machine, and crank up the heat. Let the machine run its course, and when you open it, your shirt will definitely be a size or two smaller! Even better if you have a top-loading machine — it tumbles the clothes more than a front-loader, causing further shrinkage.
Then, to shrink it even further, transfer it to a dryer. You don’t have to blast the heat on the highest setting here, as the tumbling will shrink the fabric anyway. Still, if you’re not satisfied with the results from the washing machine, feel free to try turning the heat up.
However, keep in mind that both washing and drying can alter the appearance of your clothes. Usually, it’s best to shrink different-colored shirts separately, especially if some are dark and others bright. If you can’t avoid washing them together, add a cup of white vinegar to the water. It will prevent the colors from bleeding out.
Also, once you shrink your shirt, it will probably never have that same brand new look again. There’s not much you can do about that, so it’s best to just accept it as is!
4. Use a Hair Tie or a Rubber Band
If you don’t really want to go through the whole shrinking process, but you still need your shirt to appear smaller, the solution is simple. Take a rubber band or a hair tie, and tie the bottom of your shirt. Then, tuck the tied part in so that it’s not visible — and there you have it! You now know how to shrink a shirt without shrinking it!
Alternatively, you can buy a pair of high-waisted jeans and tuck your shirt in them. Nowadays, this style is all the rage, so you’ll look fashionable and chic with your oversized shirt!
When you know how to shrink a shirt properly, life becomes much easier. No more giving up on nice pieces of clothing just because they are too big. Now you can buy whatever you want, knowing that, even if it’s oversized, you can always make it fit with a few tricks.