How to Shrink a Polyester Cotton Blend T-Shirt

Written by dale yalanovsky
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Shrinking a pure cotton T-shirt is relatively easy. It seems that after each wash the shirt will get smaller and smaller, even if you don't try to shrink it. Shrinking a blended shirt is a bit different. Polyester is added to cotton so that it doesn't shrink much, and the higher the added polyester, the less the T-shirt is apt to shrink. Any T-shirt containing cotton will shrink a bit; the blend of other materials is the key to how much it will.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Iron
  • Hob with pot
  • Water
  • Pressure cooker

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  1. 1

    Wash the T-shirt in the hottest cycle that your washing machine allows.

  2. 2

    Dry the T-shirt on the highest heat setting, then wash it again the same way.

  3. 3

    Pull it out of the washer and dry it by ironing the shirt with the iron on high.

  4. 4

    Boil the T-shirt on top of your stove in a suitable pot filled with water. If possible, put it in a pressure cooker instead, and allow the temperature to reach well past the boiling point of 100 degrees C.

  5. 5

    Dry the shirt with the iron; it will have shrunk.

Tips and warnings

  • Boiling the T-shirt in a pot on the stove or putting the shirt in the pressure cooker might ruin it, so only use either of those ideas as a last resort. And be careful when using boiling water in either of these two applications to prevent scalding or burning your skin.

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