How to Shrink Polyester? Most effective way without damaging your cloth

Polyester is known as a shrinkage resistant fabric. So, the natural question that may come to your mind is whether polyester shrinks. Usually, this kind of fabric does not shrink as easily as cotton or wool does. There are certain techniques to shrink polyester at home.

If you are considering to shrink a polyester cloth, apply the following two methods:

Method-1: Shrink Polyester Clothing Using a Laundry Dryer

Try with method-1 first


  • Check all the pockets of your cloth to make sure it does not have any coins, papers, clips or anything else.
  • Turn your cloth inside out. It will protect the fabric’s outer color and prints (especially rubber prints).
  • Consider similar-color cloth in one batch (if you are attempting to shrink more than one piece of cloths at one go).

Note: Use of detergent is not required for shrinking. Detergent can be used, if you also want to wash and clean your cloth at the same time.


  • Set your washing machine to high heat, not exceeding 178°F or 81°C.
  • Wash your polyester clothing in the hot water of the machine.
  • Select the lengthiest wash cycle, so that your cloth remains soaked in hot water for quite some time.

Advice: Avoid washing polyester garments in boiling water. In extreme heat, polyester garments may lose its original shape or become rough and stiff.


  • After completing the wash cycle, you can wait until it is safe enough to handle your cloth manually.
  • Afterwards, transfer your cloth into the dryer.
  • Select the longest cycle for drying and set to the highest temperature.


  • After completing the drying cycle, let the cloth cool down and check whether it has shrunk as you expected.


  • If your clothing requires further shrinking, repeat the process until you get desired result.

Advice: Avoid repeating the heat wash and drying process too often. This may cause the polyester fabrics to lose its colors as well as durability.

Method-2: Shrink Polyester Clothing Using an Iron

Method-2 is applicable if Method-1 fails to shrink the fabric up to the desired level


  • You should take the inside out of your cloth before you put it in the washing machine.
  • Similar-color cloths should be washed in the same batch.

Note: Use of detergent is not required for shrinking purpose.


  • Set your washing machine to the highest level of heat but not exceeding 178°F or 81°C.
  • Wash your polyester cloth in hot water of the machine.
  • Select the lengthiest wash cycle to keep your cloth soaked in the hot water for a long time.


  • Once the washing is over, pull your cloth out of the machine.
  • Place the cloth on an ironing board.
  • Your cloth should still remain inside-out.


  • Lay an ironing cloth over your cloth.
  • The ironing cloth should completely cover the cloth.


how to shrink polyester clothing

  • Use a dry iron.
  • Set the low to medium heat setting and press the cloth.
  • Continue pressing until it is dried completely.

Note: Using steam option of the iron is not required since at this stage you need to dry out your cloth.


  • Once the ironing is complete, let the garment cool down.
  • Give a trial for shrinkage checking.

Advice: Do not repeat Method-2. Repeating an ironing process on a polyester garment could damage the fabric and fade away its color.

Some polyesters shrink just after completion of a single heat wash and drying cycle. Some may need to go through more than one cycle. But, after successful completion of more than one heat wash and drying cycles, as well as an ironing process, your polyester cloth should shrink as you expect.

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Maria Lira
Maria Lira

Welcome to my site charminsider. I am Maria Lira, 28. Out of my personal commitment and passion, I help others get the right answers related to health and beauty. I provide scientific solutions that people will practically find useful in fulfilling their health and beauty needs. If you are one of those, who are looking forward to be beautiful and healthy inside out, this site will serve as an information hub for you to get useful tips and solutions.

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