How To Shrink Cotton
If your cotton shirt is a little bit too big, you may want to know how to shrink cotton. Maybe you just purchased a cotton shirt that fits your style perfectly, but they only had it in a larger size than what you normally wear and you could not resist buying it. Don't worry, because shrinking a cotton shirt down a size or two until it fits you perfectly is possible. Cotton fabric generally tends to expand when it is wet and shrink when it is dry. Here are some simple steps to help you easily shrink cotton.
To shrink cotton, you will need:
- Color-safe detergent
- Hot water
- A washing machine
- A dryer
- An iron (optional)
- Wash the fabric in hot water. Since cotton fabrics swell as they absorb water, the swelling will cause the length to shrink. To preserve the colors on your cotton shirt and protect any designs or graphics, make sure to use a color-safe detergent.
- Place the cotton fabric on the highest heat setting in your dryer. When you dry the cotton fabric quickly it allows the shrinking of the cotton to become permanent. If you lay the fabric flat to dry or put the dryer on low heat, this will only cause the cotton to go back to its original form.
- Repeat this process if necessary. Once dry, if your cotton shirt is still too big, repeat the process above. You may have to repeat this process a couple of times to get the cotton to shrink to the size that you want.
- Use an iron for additional shrinkage. If you are going to use an iron, do not allow the cotton fabric to dry all the way in the dryer. Remove the shirt when it is just barely dry. Put some water in the iron. Put the iron on a warm setting and iron the cotton carefully. The steam from the iron will help to promote additional shrinkage of the cotton.