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How to Shrink Your Clothes

How to Shrink Your Clothes

Need to shrink a garment down to size? There’s a way to do it!

Did you know you don’t have to settle for clothing that’s too big? Perhaps you’ve searched for just the right sweater, only to find it in a size or two too large. Tactics can turn this situation around for success. While you can certainly prevent your other clothes from shrinking, you can also shrink your clothes to your benefit. Check out these general guidelines for how to pull it off.

Identify the Material

The first step is to identify the material, preferably before you buy the item. Make sure it does not say “pre-shrunk” on the label. Natural fibers like wool, alpaca, cotton, and linen shrink more easily, while synthetics like polyester, rayon, and nylon may need some extra work. Nevertheless, there is a solution for any material.

Choose the Right Method

Because wool would shrink much more than polyester might under the same conditions, you’ll need to follow different directions for shrinking different clothing materials. For example, to shrink a garment that is 100% cotton, one would wash it in hot water and dry it on high heat, stopping when the clothing becomes the desired size. For polyester, however, you would wash it in cold water and dry on high heat. 

Turn Up the Heat

In general, the principle to follow is this: heat shrinks fabrics. The shrinking process will contain some element of heat in it. Hot water heat, dry air heat, and steam heat can all have an impact on your clothing, even on your denim jeans. However, remember to follow the right instructions so you won’t accidentally fade or felt your garments.

Go Slow

Remember to take the shrinking process gradually, and be patient if it does not shrink as much as you’d like in the first round. Most of all, monitor the drying period, stopping the dryer every five minutes or so to check the progress. You never want to shrink the garment too much! Once the item is down to the right size, lay it flat to finish drying in a cool place away from sunlight. If you need to repeat the process, try soaking the garment in boiled water first.

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