Denim shirts are the backbone of western cowboy clothing style. So if your denim shirt has seen its better days and it’s now stretched out, you’re likely wondering how to shrink denim. Can you shrink denim? How do you shrink clothes by hand? Don’t worry, our cowboy and cowgirl lifestyle experts at Sheplers Western Wear know a thing or two about shrinkin’ denim. Here are our tips on how to shrink a denim shirt.
How to Shrink a Denim Shirt Half a Size or Less
If you’re shrinking your denim by a half size or less, you’re in luck! You can shrink your denim by hand if you’re bringing it down just a little in size. Here’s how to shrink your denim by hand:
- Fill your sink with water. Keep in mind that the hotter the water, the more the shirt will shrink. So if you’re looking to shrink a denim shirt by a lot, use the hottest water you can.
- Soak your denim shirt in the water for at least five minutes.
- Remove the denim shirt and wring it out. Be careful not to pull at the edges, that could make the shirt stretch instead of shrink.
- Lay the shirt on a drying rack until it’s completely dry. One the first side of the shirt is dry, flip it over and dry the other side.
How to Shrink a Denim Shirt a Full Size or More
Whether you’re looking to shrink a men’s dress shirt or a women’s denim shirt, if you want to shrink it a whole size or more, you’ll have to get your washing machine involved. You’ll have more luck shrinking these shirts not by hand, but with the help of your washer. Here’s how to shrink denim one full size or more:
- Put your denim shirt in the washing machine. Make sure it’s on the “whites” setting so that hot water is used. Let the shirt run for a full cycle in the washer.
- Place your denim shirt in the dryer on the “gentle dry” or “delicates” setting. If you want your shirt to dry as fast as possible, put on the “permanent press” cycle. The dryer will help shrink the shirt.
Infographic added to page July 2021.