How to shrink polyester & spandex

Written by amy davidson
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How to shrink polyester & spandex
Polyester shirt. (shirt image by dinostock from

When you buy a new piece of clothing it can be a fun to parade your new look around. Sometimes though you may buy something that is slightly too big for your frame. Polyester and spandex, although clingy, can sometimes be a bit too big, so if you are trying to get these materials to fit just right, learn the steps to making your garment a little smaller.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Polyester or spandex garment
  • Washer
  • Dryer

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  1. 1

    Throw your garment, or garments, into the washer and wash your clothing in hot water for around 45 minutes.

  2. 2

    Remove clothing immediately when the wash is finished, and place it into the dryer. Dry on the highest heat setting and once clothing is dry, continue drying for an additional 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Try your garment on to see if it has shrunk to your desired size, if it hasn't, throw it back in the wash on high heat and dry on high heat as before. Then try your shirt on again, and repeat the previous steps as necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are trying to stretch out delicate clothing, throw it in a pillowcase or cloth bag and wash it in that.
  • To avoid losing colour you can wash your clothing inside out, without any detergent, as multiple washes can fade clothing.
  • To stretch clothing, wash on high heat, then stretch out garment while it is still wet, and allow to air dry.

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