Most T-shirts today come pre-shrunk, however there is still a small amount of shrinkage that can still occur. If it shrinks significantly, it shows that the manufacturing quality is probably not very high. Preshrunk is a standard used in good quality T-shirt manufacturing because it tends to provide a more stable finished format and better results with color, printing and size. However, there are times when we buy or are given those T-shirts that have not been preshrunk and they are too large for us. That’s when we want to shrink a T-shirt so that it fits better.
If you are looking to shrink a T-shirt that you have, you first need to look at the fabric content. There are certain fabrics that simply just do not shrink, like acrylic. The majority of T-shirts though are made of cotton or a cotton blend and these do shrink under the right conditions. The trick to shrinking cotton T-shirts is to use lots of heat.
First set your washer for a small load and set the water temperature to hot. If the pre-set temperature on your home’s water heater is more warm than hot, you may want to add some boiling water to the washer also to increase the temperature.
Then add your T-shirt to be shrunk to the wash water and let it proceed through the cycle as usual. Do not put any other clothes in with your T-shirt and use laundry detergent like usual.
As soon as the washer finishes, put it in the dryer on the highest temperature setting possible and leave it there until it is bone dry. Then, let it sit until it cools before removing it. You should have succeeded in reducing it one or two sizes. You may also iron it with a very hot iron, but do not iron outward as you may stretch it.
One thing to keep in mind however is that any clothing item that you shrink at home may not shrink in the ways you want it to. Often the results are uneven or the shirt is too short, or not wide enough or the collar or sleeves didn’t shrink in relation to the shirt. Therefore when you attempt this, the results are always risky and you may not get want you want, leaving you with a T-shirt that doesn’t fit right and doesn’t look good anymore.
If you opt to get a preshrunk T-shirt that is an almost perfect fit, avoid shrinkage by washing it in cold or warm water and drying it on low. If you get a larger shirt than you need for whatever reason and want to shrink it, follow the directions above for the best possible result.
Get yourself a variety of custom-made T-shirts that fit, by ordering online to guarantee that your size is in stock and you’ll never need to shrink a T-shirt again. No need to worry about uneven shrinkage or a retailer selling out of your size when you order custom-made T-shirts in the design of your choice.
If you have any advice on shrinking or preventing your shirt please let us know.