How to shrink a cotton T-shirt

How to shrink a cotton t-shirt to a smaller size
How to shrink a cotton T-shirt

It is not always that you are able to find clothing that fits you exactly right. You may have purchased a T-shirt in a larger size because that was the only size available and you loved it too much to let a small matter of size prevent you from having it. Now what?

If you purchased a cotton T-shirt that is too big for you, the solution is a simple one. You can shrink the T-shirt to fit provided it has not been pre-shrunk. Check the label to ensure it does not indicate that it is ‘Pre-shrunk».


Step 1

Adjust the water temperature on your washer to «hot» and adjust the water level for a small load.

Step 2

Remove any tags from the cotton T-shirt and place in the washer. You do not need to use laundry detergent but if you are using coloured cotton T-shirt, there could be some colour loss. To prevent colour loss you can use a small amount of detergent designed to preserve colour.

Step 3

When wash cycle is complete, place in dryer on high heat. The dryer also contributes to the shrinking process.

Step 4

Remove the t-shirt and iron out any wrinkles. This allows you to get a more accurate assessment of the current size of the T-shirt.

Step 5

Try on the T-shirt and assess if it is adequately shrunk to your liking. If not you may need to repeat the above process a few more times, but there is no guarantee that further shrinkage will occur.

Things Needed
• A cotton T-shirt
• A washer and dryer

Tips & Warnings
• Your T-shirt would need to be 100% cotton to apply this process.
• Some T-shirts with decals and screen prints may not be suitable for this process since the heat can damage the designs. Check washing instructions carefully.
• There is no guarantee that the T-shirt will shrink to the exact size you want. It may still be too large or could become too small
• This process works best with a washing machine as opposed to hand washing.


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