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How To Shrink a T-Shirt?
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How To Shrink a T-Shirt?

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So you’ve finally found your dream t-shirt. It’s beautiful, it’s the right color, and it perfectly represents your awesome taste in apparel.

The only problem? It's too DAMN big for you.

If baggy clothes are not your cuppa tea, stop worrying and start reading. Because we’re about to drop the industry’s hawtest secrets that will shrink your shirt like magic!

How To Shrink A T-Shirt With Print

Now that you’ve decided to shrink your tee instead of making it a nightshirt or a cleaning rag (looking at our Asian and Middle-Eastern fam👀), you’re probably worried about ruining it. Take a chill pill: the only thing you’ll be ruining today is your will to not buy Yammeya again.

Follow these steps to save your t-shirt from the disastrous fate of a ruined print.

Method 1: Hot water in a pot

Shrink a t-shirt in hot water

  1. Put your “too large” t-shirt in a pot full of water.
  2. Heat up the bowl/pot till the water reaches a boil and check the temperature by dipping your finger in the water. (Please don’t!)
  3. Soak your shirt in and turn the stove off. Let the shirt sit for about 5-20 minutes. This time limit depends on how much shrinkage you need—but don’t be too optimistic! Most shirts will only shrink up to a maximum of 20% in size.
  4. After the t-shirt is soaked for your desired time, remove it from the water.
  5. Once the shirt has cooled down, wring it out and examine your result.
  6. Try it on and admire yourself! (You can repeat the process to shrink it further)

Method 2: Washing Machine/Dryer

Washing Machine/Dryer Shrink T-shirt

If you can’t find water, you can use the modern washer/dryer method. However, if you can’t find water, either the world is ending or you need to contact local authorities. Anyways, let’s focus on how to shrink the t-shirt.

  1. Wash your t-shirt on the hottest setting available in your washing machine.
  2. If you're washing your shirt with other clothing, make sure to only include the same colors.
  3. If you are going to shrink a graphic tee, don’t forget to turn it inside out. If you don’t…well, let’s just say it won’t turn out too good.
  4. Run your shirt through the tumble dryer. Make sure that it’s switched to a high heat setting to have the desired shrinking effect. 

How To Shrink A Polyester Shirt

Shrinking cotton and similar natural fiber materials is super easy. Polyester, however, is a synthetic and it can WILL give you a tough time.

Method 1: Wash and Dry

Wash and Dry T-shirt polyester

  1. As mentioned, turn your shirts inside out and wash only identical colors together to save your prints from any mishaps.
  2. Wash your clothes in hot water, set the washing machine to the longest cycle and the hottest level. (Use the “rinse” and “hot wash” settings)
  4. Take the shirt to the dryer ASAP, use the hottest dryer setting and the longest drying cycle again.
  5. When it’s over, take the shirt out. Let it cool down, try it on and check the shrinking. If it fits, then YAYYY! If not, you can take it back to the dryer (but repeated washing can fade out the color).

Method 2: Using an Iron

Using an iron to shrink a t-shirt

  1. Wash the garment in hot water, set the machine to the hottest and longest times. Yes, we’re literally torturing the shirt.
  2. As soon as the washing cycle finishes, pull the shirt from the washer and transfer it to an ironing board.
  3. Spread a pressing cloth over the shirt and cover it to avoid damage.
  4. Use a low or medium heat setting—it will prevent stiffness in the polyester.
  5. Keep on ironing until the shirt is completely dry or your arm is begging to stop. (Do not use the steam option because only a dry iron can truly dry out the polyester t-shirt). Doing this once should be enough: don’t iron repeatedly because you’d damage the printing.
I mean, come on. There’s a limit to everything, bro.
Good luck shrinking!