How To Shrink Polyester Ties

Wondering how to shrink polyester ties to make them more fashionable and elegant? Though polyester is made of semi-crystalline polymeric materials designed to be shrink resistant, polyester will shrink if exposed to temperatures ranging from 176 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike pants or shirts that you can toss in your washing machine, ties are delicate and must be pressed at high heat to shrink them without destroying their tailored appeal. Here’s everything you need to know about how to shrink polyester ties.

What you’ll need to shrink polyester ties:

  • Large bowls
  • Boiling water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wood cooking spoon
  • Foil paper
  • 2 small (kitchen) towels
  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • 2 large towel
  • Rubber-soled shoes
  • Access to a clothes dryer (recommended)

Follow these steps to shrink polyester ties:

  1. Immerse your ties in boiling water. To shrink polyester ties without damaging them, separate your light colored ties from your darker ones. Though polyester is not likely to bleed dye, it’s best to protect light fabrics from accidental staining all the same. If your ties are still looped with a neck knot, open the knot to flatten the ties. Prepare a separate bowl of boiling water for shrinking dark and light ties and fill each bowl halfway. Wearing your protective rubber gloves, press the ties into the bowling water with the wood cooking spoon.
  2. Stir your ties. Stir the ties gently in the boiling water to make sure every area is soaked in heat. If you are shrinking ties in two bowls, stir one bowl then cover it with foil paper and a towel, then repeat the step with the second bowl. Stir for 30 seconds then leave the ties to soak in the covered bowl of boiling water for 5 minutes.
  3. Wring the ties. Remove the ties from the bowl and carefully squeeze out excess water. If the ties are too hot to handle even with your rubber gloves, cover them with a small towel first, then wring the towel with the ties in it.
  4. Prepare the ties for further shrinking. It’s time to shrink your ties some more while returning their tailored look to them. Set up your ironing board and heat your iron to its highest setting.  Spread a large towel over the ironing board with half the towel draping over the side. Put on rubber-soled shoes (like snickers) to protect yourself from electrocution should your iron prove faulty.
  5. Shrink your ties with an iron. You can only shrink one tie at a time when using an iron, therefore place the other ties in a pot and close the lid to keep them warm. Spread one wet tie over the towel covering the ironing board making sure the tie is perfectly straight. If needed, pass the iron over the tie to flatten it, then fold the draping portion of the towel over the wet tie and cover it. Iron the towel with the wet tie inside it for 1 minute. Put your rubber gloves on and move the tie to a dry section of the towel and iron for 2 more minutes.
  6. Press the shrunken tie. Remove the tie from the towel, which will be wet by this time. Spread a dry towel over the ironing board and rest the tie over it. Do not cover the tie this time but iron it directly. This will press the edges of the tie to lock in their tailored look. Keep ironing until the tie is almost dry.
  7. Shrink the tie in a clothes dryer. Hot air is most effective in shrinking polyester ties. If you have access to a clothes dryer, place the moist tie in the dryer on a high setting for 10 minutes. Otherwise, continue drying the tie with the iron.
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