Have you ever purchased a new t-shirt or received one at an event that ends up being far too big and you wish you could shrink it down to size? Well, you can! It’s actually really easy to shrink a t-shirt without damaging it, all you need is a bit of water and time. You can easily transform your oversized, blanket style t-shirt to your new favourite item of clothing. Here we’ve broken down how to shrink a t-shirt to make it the perfect fit.

How to shrink a t-shirt

What you will need:

  • A large pot
  • Long handled tongs

Grab yourself a large pot, fill this with water and the pop it on the hob to boil. Clothing fabrics are often stretched out by companies, so that less cloth needs to be used to make a product.

We also recommend adding some white vinegar to your water so that it prevents the colours from fading and running during the shrinking process. There will be some unavoidable colour loss but this will help minimise it. If you’re shrinking more than one t-shirt in different colours, you should also shrink these separately to avoid the colour running.

Placing your large shirt into hot water will shrink the fabric to its original size. The longer you leave your t-shirt in the boiling water, the more it will shrink. So, depending on the what size you’d like to shrink your t-shirt to, depends on how long you should leave the water to sit before putting it in.

  • If you want your shirt to shrink your t-shirt roughly by one or two sizes, put your t-shirt in immediately after you remove the pot from the hob.
  • If you want your shirt to shrink roughly by 1/2 to one size, wait 5 minutes before placing the shirt in the water.
  • If you want your shirt to shrink roughly 1/4 to ½ its original size, wait 10-15 minutes before placing the shirt in the water.

Make sure you have a pair of long-handled tongs ready as well so that you are able to carefully press the t-shirt into the water until it is completely submerged and is easier for you to take the shirt out once you’ve finished.

Depending on your shirt size you might have to alter how long you leave it in the water for but you should aim for about 20 minutes. Again, the longer it is exposed to the heat the more it will shrink.

Be careful not to burn yourself – use the tongs to pull the shirt out and drain the water. Let the material cool before handling it. You can place your shirt on top of the empty pot once you have removed all the water.

To moderately shrink your t-shirt, wring out all the water and let it air dry but, if you want to shrink the shirt by two or three sizes then finish by using a tumble dryer instead, as this will cause it to shrink further.

How to shrink a cotton t-shirt

You can shrink your cotton t-shirts during your normal washing and drying process. However, these steps will only work on 100 percent cotton.

You will need:

  • Cotton t-shirt
  • Laundry detergent
  • Washing machine
  • Tumbledryer

Place the shirt in your washing machine on its own and turn the heat to the highest setting. The hotter the water is then the more the shirt is going to shrink. Cotton shrinks the most during its first wash.

Add the detergent and then shut the washing machine door allowing it to start the cycle. When the wash is completed, take out your shirt and put it in the dryer.

You should set your dryer to the highest setting as well because some of the shrinking processes will also take place whilst drying. Let the dyer continue for longer than it needs to so that when you take the shirt out of the dryer it is very hot. If it doesn’t look any smaller, put it back in the tumble dryer and try again.

So, with some hot water and a little patience you can easily get an oversized t-shirt down to the ideal size to enjoy. Simply follow our steps and enjoy! Looking for high quality t-shirt? Check out our range available to personalise here on the Clothes2order site.

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