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How to Shrink Your Clothes on Purpose

Looking to shrink your clothes but unsure how to do it? See our in depth guide to shrink that favorite shirt to give it a unique look!

By Dan Steiner, Jan 23, 2023

If you want to give your clothes a unique look or change their size, you may want to consider shrinking them on purpose. However, the process involves some risk of damage, so you need to be careful and follow the right steps to avoid ruining your garments. Here's a guide on how to shrink clothes on purpose:

Step 1: Check the Label

Before shrinking your clothes, check the care label to see if they are made of materials that can be shrunk such as cotton, wool or denim. Some clothes, especially those made of synthetic materials or those that have been treated, will not shrink or may result in unwanted damage.

Step 2: Wash the Clothes

Wash the clothes in hot water in a washing machine or by hand. Use the hottest setting possible to achieve the best results. Add laundry detergent and a cup of white vinegar to the wash to ensure that the dye does not run or fade.

Step 3: Dry on High Heat

Dry the clothes on the hottest setting possible in a dryer. Make sure to check the clothes frequently to avoid over-shrinking and causing damage. If you prefer air-drying, lay them flat on a drying rack or hang them outside on a clothesline.

Step 4: Repeat the Process

If the clothes have not shrunk enough, repeat the washing and drying process again. Ensure each cycle is long enough to allow for maximum shrinkage; however, be careful not to overdo it as this can ruin the clothes.

Step 5: Check the Fit

Try on the clothes to see if they have shrunk enough. If they have not reached the desired size, repeat the process again.

As a note of caution, if you opt to shrink your clothes on purpose, it’s important to remember that the process is often irreversible, and there is a risk of damaging the fabric. Be careful not to over-shrink the clothes as this can cause irreparable damage. Additionally, there are specific types of clothes that should be avoided, such as delicate garments like silk, which should not be exposed to hot water or high heat, as it can ruin their shape, texture and the entire garment.

In conclusion, shrinking clothes on purpose can be a fun way to add a unique look to your wardrobe or to adjust the fit of clothes that are too baggy. However, the process requires caution and care to avoid ruining the clothes. By following the steps outlined above, you can successfully shrink your clothes and achieve your desired results.