How to Unshrink Clothing: Everything You Need to Know

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You don’t want to damage your clothes when washing them, so you need to know how to take care of them properly, including learning how to unshrink clothing. There are expert-approved methods that can help you unshrink your clothes, although there is no 100% guarantee that they will look the same way as before. With that said, this article will discuss some examples of how to unshrink clothing. Check them out below.

How to Unshrink ClothingPinHow to Unshrink Clothing


How to Unshrink ClothingTypes of Clothing ShrinkageHow to Unshrink Clothing with Different Fabric TypesDifferent Ways on How to Prevent Clothes from ShrinkingIn Conclusion – How to Unshrink Clothing

How to Unshrink Clothing

Types of Clothing Shrinkage

Before discussing the methods on how to unshrink clothing, let’s first go over the different types of clothing shrinkage.

Felting Shrinkage

This shrinkage type occurs when you wash fabrics made from animal hair fibers such as wool. These fabrics have microscopic scales. When they come in contact with heat and moisture, these scales join and press together. Simply put, felting shrinkage is what happens when a wool sweater shrinks in the wash.

Relaxation Shrinkage

Relaxation shrinkage happens to clothes made from silk, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers. Although various fabrics are also prone to this type of shrinkage, it’s less likely to happen to them than the ones mentioned. These fabrics generally shrink when there is moisture from different types of liquids, such as lukewarm water. Silk fabrics are most susceptible to this type of shrinkage, although you can still learn how to unshrink clothing made from silk.

Consolidation Shrinkage

There are many factors as to why consolidation shrinkage occurs. For example, this can happen when the fibers of the fabric area are exposed to moisture, movements of your washer or dryer, or heat. Fabric manufacturers add tension to the fibers of the fabric during production. The factors mentioned above cause the pressure of these fibers to release, resulting in the fabric shrinking or losing its form. For instance, when you use too much heat to dry your shirts, they can experience this type of shrinkage.

How to Unshrink Clothing with Different Fabric Types

Now that you know the different types of clothing shrinkage, let’s discuss how to unshrink clothing. These methods will be divided according to the fabric type since different materials require different handling methods.

Silk or Linen

Natural fibers are typically sourced from animals, minerals, or plants. Cotton, which comes from the cotton plant; linen, which comes from the cellulose fibers of flax plants; and silk, which comes from a silkworm’s cocoon, are some of the widely used natural fibers. Since these fabrics are easier to work with, they tend to shrink very quickly. So, knowing how to unshrink clothing is essential with these types of materials. To learn how to unshrink clothing made from these materials, you can follow these steps.

First, you need to fill a large basin with lukewarm water and put a couple of tablespoons of baby shampoo. Next, you need to put the shrunken silk or linen in the basin, allow it to soak for 30 minutes, and rinse.After that, you need to place the garment flat on a towel and roll it until it becomes damp. You also need to unroll, smoothen, and secure the edges using heavy items. This is to ensure that the material stretches out. Lastly, you’ll need to wait for it to dry while it’s in this position.


Cashmere is typically made from animal fibers, specifically from goats and sheep. These fibers have proteins that give cashmere that smooth and soft quality. However, like silk and linen, cashmere can also shrink when washed.

Fortunately, you can still learn how to unshrink clothing made from cashmere or other animal fibers. However, you should note that you need to reshape cashmere items aside from resizing them. The method of unshrinking clothing made from cashmere is similar to how you do it with silk or linen.

First, you need to fill a basin with lukewarm water. However, instead of baby shampoo, you need to mix in two tablespoons of vinegar with water. Then, you need to place your cashmere clothes in the basin and soak them for half an hour.Before removing the garments, it’s highly recommended that you stretch them out while soaking. You also need to squeeze out as much water as possible and place towels in the garments.The stuffed towels can help stretch your clothes back to their original shape.Then, you can hang the clothes to dry when they’re damp.


Shrinking isn’t really an issue with pre-shrunk denim pieces, but it would still help to know how to unshrink clothing made from denim when you do have a problem. This is because some denim clothing has also been blended with other materials, such as elastane or polyester, so some pieces are more susceptible to shrinkage. This also makes them loosen over time as you wear them more frequently.

One way you can learn how to unshrink clothing made from denim is by soaking it in lukewarm water. However, this can be an inconvenient method, although it is effective. Fortunately, there’s another way you can unshrink denim.

First, you need to place your jeans on a large surface or the floor. You have to make sure to separate the legs so that it will be easier for you to work on them.Next, you need to put lukewarm water in a spray bottle and spray the water on your jeans in sections. When they become damp, you can loosen the fabric by stretching them using your hands. Lastly, you can hang your jeans to air dry after spraying and stretching all the sections.


Polyester is a material made of synthetic fibers. Polymers, which are used to make this fabric, are produced using chemical synthesis. Aside from that, manufacturers also mix petroleum or coal with alcohol and acids to create synthetic fibers. Since they’re entirely artificial, they tend to be more susceptible to shrinkage, and unshrinking clothing made from polyester can be tricky.

To learn how to unshrink clothing made from polyester, you need to follow these steps.

First, you need to fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a tablespoon of baby shampoo.Then, you need to put the garment in the basin and let it soak for no more than 20 minutes. After removing it from the solution, you need to avoid squeezing it dry. Instead, you need to stretch it gently while it is still wet.Then, you can pin the edges down and allow the garment to dry when you have achieved the shape and size you want after stretching it.

Different Ways on How to Prevent Clothes from Shrinking

While learning how to unshrink clothing can be helpful, it’s better to prevent it from happening in the first place. With that said, here are the different ways you can prevent your clothes from shrinking in the wash.

Read the Care Labels

One of the best ways to prevent shrinkage is by reading the laundry and care labels of your garments before washing them. These labels will indicate how you should take proper care of your clothes. Aside from that, there are also instructions you need to do to prevent damaging your clothes, such as shrinking them.

Use Cold Water

As much as possible, it’s best to use only cold water when washing your clothes. This is because your clothes have fewer chances of being damaged when washed with cold water than hot or warm water.

Air Dry

Air drying your clothes is the safest way to dry your clothes. When you hang your clothes to dry, you can remove the risk of your dryer damaging your clothes because of the heat. This is especially important when handling synthetic and delicate fabrics, such as dry-fit shirts and yoga pants. If you want to try this method, investing in a good drying rack is highly recommended. You can also have it done by a professional. Some services wash and hang dry clothes in a room with controlled temperature to prevent shrinkage.

Tumble Dry in Low Heat

If air-drying clothes is not an option for you, you can still tumble dry your clothes using the low heat setting of your dryer. Doing so ensures that your dryer uses minimal heat to dry your clothes, reducing the chances of damaging your clothes.

Hand Wash

This can be a suitable method if your washer or dryer doesn’t have specific settings for controlling the temperature. Hand washing your clothes can help reduce the chances of damages and shrinkage due to heat and moisture. This also makes it possible for you to control the amount of friction and pressure when washing. It also helps you preserve the shape of your garments.

Dry Clean

Having your clothes dry-cleaned by professionals can also help prevent shrinkage. This is because they use non-water chemical solvents to wash clothes when dry cleaning them. Dry-cleaning is also better if you need to remove stains from your clothing.

In Conclusion – How to Unshrink Clothing

Finally, you understand how to unshrink clothing for specific fabrics as well as how to prevent shrinkage. While learning how to unshrink clothing is essential, it’s still better to prevent it from happening in the first place.

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