Does Polyester Shrink? Learn More How To Take Care Of It

Does Polyester Shrink? When it comes to clothes, polyester is one of the easiest to care for. It’s also very cheap and looks great.

When you touch a polyester garment, it feels almost as smooth as silk. The fibers are used to knit or weave the cloth. Its fabric is bright and easy to change, you can use it for many different things. It makes polyester very popular in the world of sports and the outdoors.

However, most of us have the same question: Does polyester shrink? Yes, almost all fabrics shrink in some way, no matter what you do to them or how you treat them. But the most important question is, how does it happen to polyester?

In a nutshell, polyester doesn’t shrink when washed in normal cool water or warm water, and it’s also safe to dry on a normal setting. But if you soak polyester in hot water or leave it in the dryer for a long time, the fabric might shrink.

To help you understand better, let’s answer some questions and look at what happens to polyester when it’s washed, how to take care of it, and how to shrink it on purpose.

Does 100% Polyester Shrink?

does polyester shrink?

Yes, 100% polyester shrinks, but in some cases, it is naturally resistant to shrinkage.

Don’t let polyester fabrics sit in water for too long or dry them in a hot dryer. If you soak polyester for too long in 140°F water, it will shrink. The best way to wash something is by hand, but if you must use a washing machine, use a gentle cycle and dry it outside. Also, use normal water and gentle detergent If you don’t want your 100% polyester fabric to shrink.

Does 60% Cotton 40% Polyester Shrink?

does cotton and polyester shrink

Yes, a blend of 60% cotton and 40% polyester shrinks more easily than 100% polyester, especially when polyester is mixed with other fibers that come from nature.

It shrinks in high-temperature cleaning. This applies to hoodies, shirts, tops, and more blended clothes. The shrinking problem is caused by the cotton component of the polyester-cotton blend. There is a reason why cotton shrinks significantly more than synthetic fabrics.

Cotton, like most natural fabrics, tends to shrink a little bit because it is made of rough fibers. But it will shrink much less than a garment made of 100% cotton.

What happens to polyester in the wash? Is it shrinking?

does polyester shrink when washed

Polyester fabric is made of synthetic fibers and doesn’t shrink or stretch like natural fibers (cotton, silk, wool, etc.).

One of the best things about polyester fabric is that it doesn’t shrink during normal wear and care, such as washing and drying.

Most people buy polyester bed sheets, curtains, and clothes because they are easy to clean and have other good qualities. It is almost impossible to break and last for a long time.

Moreover, they should not be concerned about shrinkage. Unless it is made of blended fibers or washed in hot water, polyester fabric does not shrink easily.

Does polyester shrink in the dryer?

Normal dryer cycles don’t make polyester shrink. Most of the time, it is safe to put polyester in a regular dryer, but you should always follow the instructions on the care tag of each item.

If your dryer has different heat settings, use the lowest setting. The manual will tell you about dryer settings. You will want to make sure that you don’t dry polyester at temperatures above 100°F.

What causes clothes to shrink in the dryer? Dryers rely on heat and motion to quickly dry the clothes. When a fabric is heated, the fibers get smaller.

Can polyester be ironed?

polyester be ironed

You can iron polyester, but you have to be careful because it doesn’t like high heat. If your clothes get wrinkled, turn them inside out, keep the iron on warm or low, and put a damp cloth or towel between the iron and the fabric.

To get rid of wrinkles even more effectively, hang the clothing and run a handheld steamer over it in a vertical motion.

Polyester is sensitive to heat and can shrink or even melt at higher temperatures. Keep your strokes short and keep the iron or steamer moving when you use it.

Taking care of Polyester 

At this point, we know that polyester can shrink a little bit when the temperature is high. So what can we do to make sure that doesn’t happen?

How to Wash Polyester

read the polyester instruction

Here are some quick washing tips for polyester.

  • Before throwing your clothes into the washing machine, always make sure you check the label on your polyester garment to obtain the correct care instructions.
  • Turn your clothes inside out to keep them from getting caught on zippers or other sharp things. When you turn a polyester shirt inside out, you protect its color and keep it from fading.
  • Set your washing machine to cold or warm water. For the best results, set your machine to permanent press. This setting uses slower spin cycles, which causes less friction rubbing on your garments and prevents wrinkling.
  • The typical detergent can be used without any problems, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try something a little gentler.
  • Hand washing is an option for more delicate items. It gives you complete control over the temperature of the water. Put your polyester product in a bucket of warm water, add some soap, and let it soak. You wouldn’t have to wring or twist the material at all.
  • Avoid soaking polyester clothes in the washer. This affects the fabric’s look and speeds up its aging.
  • You should know that polyester absorbs oil. It is best not to wash your polyester with clothes that have grease or oil on them.

How to Dry Polyester

hang polyester up to avoid shrinkage

Here’s a quick guide on how to safely dry polyester fabric.

  • Check your dryer settings and make sure you’re not exposing your clothes to temperatures above 100°F.
  • Turn wet clothes inside out before putting them in the dryer.
  • Run a normal heat or low heat dryer cycle almost all the way through, pausing a few minutes before it finishes.
  • If you dry polyester for too long, it might shrink. So, you should take them out of the dryer as soon as possible to keep them from getting wrinkled.
  • To avoid static electricity, take the slightly damp clothes out of the dryer and hang them up to finish drying.

How to Iron Polyester

After drying, you can steam press or iron the polyester if there are any wrinkles left.

  • When ironing polyester, use the lowest setting and a pressing cloth underneath. You could also try turning your polyester inside out. This will keep you from touching the iron plate directly.
  • Some irons have a setting for polyester, but some don’t. You can use the nylon setting in this case. This will keep the fabric from melting or getting too hard and shrinking because of too much heat.

How to care for Polyester after Shrinkage?

One of life’s worst feelings is discovering that you’ve shrunk a favorite shirt or pair of pants. Make sure the fabric retains its pleasant feel, soft texture, and vivid color after repeated washings and dryings.

Before spinning, the permanent press option on the washing machine can cool the polyester fabric. It can assist in avoiding wrinkles in future washings.

A thorough cleaning with cold water is impossible, and using hot water risks further shrinking the fabric. Static electricity is more likely to build up on polyester, therefore it’s best to wash it in warm water. Adding liquid fabric softener to a wash cycle or using a dryer sheet in a cloth dryer removes static cling.

To avoid shrinkage, dry polyester on the lowest heat possible and hang outside. Use white vinegar to wash polyester. It helps avoid fading and color bleeding (fabrics get wet and fiber releases dye).

How much will polyester shrink?

100% polyester won’t shrink very much. Because it has synthetic fibers, you have to do a lot to shrink it even a little.

Another question to think about is how precisely you can shrink polyester. Here’s the thing: there’s no easy way to make fabric shrink exactly one size or to the exact shape of your hips. You can shrink the fabric fibers, but keep in mind that the end result may not be as precise as you would like.

Cotton blended with polyester might shrink up to 5%. This blend shrinks when heated or wet. Blends improve qualities, but they also have drawbacks.

How to shrink Polyester On Purpose?

What do you do if you buy polyester and find out it’s a little too big and want to shrink it? What if you don’t like complicated sewing adjustments? There are a few things you can do to shrink polyester, but there is no guarantee that they will work because polyester is a synthetic fabric that doesn’t shrink easily.

If you don’t want the clothes to shrink too much, you should only need to use your washing machine and dryer. You can use an iron to make the shrinkage more noticeable. Here’s how to get started:

  • Put the polyester in hot water for a while. Don’t keep it in the water for too long or it will damage the fabric. If the fabric comes in contact with hot water, it can shrink to some degree. You can do the same thing in your washing machine by setting the machine to hot.
  • Polyester can shrink as a result of hot drying. You can also try to shrink the fabric more by turning up the heat on the dryer.
  • You can shrink polyester by ironing it using a hot iron. To get even more shrinkage, you can try using a hot iron of a suitable temperature. Keep in mind that you should always use a pressing cloth.


Polyester doesn’t shrink when washed in cool water or warm water, and it’s safe to dry on a normal setting. But if you soak polyester in hot water or leave it in the dryer for a long time, the fabric might shrink. However, hand washing is an option for more delicate items that you don’t have to wring or twist the material.

There are a few things you can do to shrink polyester, but there is no guarantee that they will work because polyester is a synthetic fabric that doesn’t shrink easily.

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