How To Shrink Polyester

There are a few different ways to shrink polyester. Polyester is a fabric that typically does not shrink, but if you follow these simple steps it is possible. Choose which process will work best for you.

What you will need to shrink polyester:

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Hot water
  • Iron 
  1. The number one key to shrinking polyester is heat! The more heat you have, the more shrinkage you get. Heat tightens the weave of the fabric, thus making it smaller in all directions of the weave. Your polyester garment will be smaller.
  2. For minimal shrinkage, your washing machine and dryer are the way to go. If you need your polyester garment to be just a little bit smaller for a more comfortable fit, then put it in the washing machine on the highest heat setting. After washing your polyester, put it directly in the dryer again on the highest heat to dry it completely.
  3. It may take washing and drying the polyester more than once. This all depends on how much you would like to shrink the polyester fabric. Repeating the high heat wash and dry cycle slowly shrinks polyester fabrics until you reach the desired smaller size. This process takes the longest.
  4. For more extreme shrinkage you will need to use an iron. Wash the polyester fabric in the hottest water cycle of your washing machine. After the garment is washed, dry the material with an iron. Use the highest heat setting on your iron for maximum polyester shrinkage. Please be careful not to burn yourself.
  5. For the most shrinkage possible, get the water as hot as possible. Boiling your polyester garment will give you the hottest water possible. Again, more heat equals more shrinkage. After boiling the fabric for about twenty to thirty minutes, carefully remove the polyester from the water allowing it to cool. Ring your garment out and dry with an iron on the highest setting of heat.
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