Tag Archives: t-shirt shrinking

At What Temperature Do T-Shirts Shrink

Shrinking T-shirts is a fact of life. We have all done it at one time or another. If not, our turn to shrink a T-shirt is coming. In fact, all T-shirts, when they are new, will shrink a certain amount. That is a fact of life and something to keep in mind when you are purchasing a new T-shirt. Never buy a T-shirt that just fits or fits perfectly because after that first wash, it no longer will. Expect shrinkage from 1 to 5 percent of the original size for 100% cotton T-shirts. If your T-shirt is a blend of different types of fabric, there will be much less, if any, shrinkage.

T-shirts shrink more extensively at higher temperatures. In fact if you want to shrink a T-shirt, wash it in the hottest water setting on your washer and dry it at the highest heat temperature of the dryer. This combination will ensure maximum shrinkage. Hot water for the purposes of shrinking a T-shirt is 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below this is simply considered warm water. In fact the optimal T-shirt washing temperature is 110 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Most people use higher temperatures while doing laundry to try and get out stains, however treating stains individually is much more effective.

If you want to avoid shrinkage, use cold water for washing and low heat for drying. If you must use hot water for stain removal, opt for warm instead of hot. You may also want to consider hanging T-shirts to dry instead of using the dryer too as it is even better for those wanting minimum shrinkage. The sad part about it is that if you shrink a T-shirt, it is practically impossible to unshrink it. You may be able to regain a little of the size but for the most part, the damage is done.

If you happen to be unfortunate enough to shrink a T-shirt that you did not want to shrink, you can replace it quickly and easily. By ordering a custom-made T-shirt, you can recreate the exact design in the size, color, weight and style that you want. Your new T-shirt will even be better than the original one, because you can change anything about it that you want. Just be sure you opt for a good quality pre-shrunk cotton when ordering your new custom-made T-shirt to avoid shrinkage issues.

The great thing about custom-made T-shirts is the versatility of choice you have in them. You really can replace a favorite T-shirt that you inadvertently shrunk without anyone being the wiser. You can even have T-shirts made about shrinkage. You can have them printed with sayings like:
–    Shrinkage sucks
–    Shrunken T-shirts are hot
–    I heart shrinking tees
–    I’m working on shrinking
–    Just add hot water for a tighter tee
–    I am 5% smaller than I was one wash ago
–    Pre-shrunk T-shirts rock
–    Don’t shrink me
–    Honey, I shrunk the T-shirt

Get your custom-made T-shirt today and solve the problem of shrinkage at any temperature.

What Causes T-Shirts to Shrink?

T-shirts are generally made from cotton because of its many positive qualities. Cotton is inexpensive, it is a natural fiber that breathes well and allows moisture to escape instead of stay on the skin. It is also incredibly soft to the touch. Many consider it to be the most comfortable fabric in the world. The use of cotton in t-shirts, however, means that they will shrink slightly if there is a high percentage of cotton in the shirt.

Cotton shrinks when it is exposed to heat for any length of time. The way that many people wash their clothes will usually expose the clothing to a great deal of heat. The clothes are often washed in warm or hot water, exposing t-shirts and other items to hot water for a prolonged period of time. When washing t-shirts, they can be kept from shrinking during the washing stage by washing them in cold water instead.

The second part of the laundry cycle, drying the clothes, is another source of heat exposure. The heat from dryer cycles is what causes a great deal of cotton shrinkage. This happens because the heat of a dryer is intense and prolonged. A complete dryer cycle may take an hour or longer, exposing the t-shirt and other items to a very long period of heat. This can be avoided if needed by using a different dryer cycle. Most dryers have a tumble dry cycle that dries clothes without heat. The tumble dry setting does just what the name implies- it tumbles the clothes over and over again, keeping them moving through the air in the dryer. This dries the clothes without the use of heat, though it may take longer for the clothing to become thoroughly dry.

There are other occasions when a t-shirt can become hot while not being washed or dried. There are many people who wear a t-shirt swimming or doing other outdoor activities that cause the shirt to become wet. This can include washing the car, watering plants, etc. Staying outdoors to warm yourself in the sun is a quick way to dry off, but it can also cause the t-shirt to heat up, causing it to shrink. To avoid this type of shrinkage, go indoors when you want to dry the shirt. It can be taken off and placed on a flat surface to dry. This will keep it cool and avoid any heat that will shrink it.

Line drying clothes is a good way to cut down on electricity and to give clothes a fresh, natural smell. However, line drying clothes on a hot day can also cause cotton clothing to shrink. The heat from the sun will act on the water in the shirt, heating it up and causing the natural shrinking of cotton. To avoid this reaction, laundry can be dried indoors in a bathroom. Simply hang the clothing over a shower curtain rod or lay the items flat in a bathtub. Or, wait for cool, overcast days to line-dry the shirt.

How to Prevent My Cotton T-Shirts from Shrinking

The best known characteristics of cotton are that it is natural, breathable, comfortable, and that it shrinks. A new t-shirt made from 100 percent cotton or close to 100 percent, can be expected to shrink a little after the first wash. However, there are ways to get the t-shirt to remain at its original size and to keep shrinkage at bay. It takes a little special care, but a cotton t-shirt can be kept from shrinking for as long as you own it.

The way that the t-shirt is washed will largely determine whether it shrinks and how much it shrinks. One of the main causes of shrinking in t-shirts is heat. It’s important to try to avoid applying heat to your t-shirts if you want to keep them at their original size. There are a few ways to avoid heat and keep the cotton from shrinking.

The first thing to consider when avoiding heat is how the t-shirt will be washed. Most people wash t-shirts in warm or hot water to rid it of odors and to get rid of the tougher stains. The problem with this is that the entire t-shirt will suffer for the small portion that really needs the attention. If there is a tough stain on a part of the shirt, use a little soap and cold water in the sink. Simply rub the soap across the area and rub the t-shirt repeatedly under the running water. This will get most things out of the fabric as long as they have not had a long period to set.

When you wash the entire shirt, use only cold water. Once you’ve used warm water on it even once, it will be too late to save it from shrinkage. The cold water will wash the t-shirt and will not cause it to shrink. Use a slow agitation as well when washing the shirt. If there is a slow or delicate cycle on the washer, it will provide the slow agitation that the t-shirt needs.

Drying the t-shirt is where many people accidently shrink their shirts. A hot dryer will shrink cotton that has not already been pre-shrunk. The dryer must be avoided in order to prevent shrinking. The t-shirt can be dried in a number of other ways. If it is hung out in the sun, there is a chance that the heat will shrink the t-shirt. Drying it inside is a much safer way.

The t-shirt can be laid flat on a clean surface and allowed to dry on its own. You may have to flip it over to dry the other side after a few hours. For a t-shirt that dries faster, hang it up on a hanger and allow it to drip dry. Be sure to place something under the t-shirt in order to catch the water. For an even faster drying time, place a fan next to a hanging t-shirt and let the cool air of the fan blow it dry. A t-shirt that doesn’t shrink will maintain its size and shape through many, many cold washes.

How to Unshrink a T-Shirt

So many of us find ourselves at that sorry point, where we are standing in front of the dryer or washer looking at a T-shirt that fit us beautifully the first time we put it on but is now suitable for our 4-year old cousin. What can you do? How do you unshrink a T-shirt? Sorry to have to tell you, but you simply can’t. Once a T-shirt has been shrunk, it is that way for good and you are stuck with a miniature version of a T-shirt you once loved. However, the good news is you can prevent it from happening again.

When you are buying T-shirts, be sure to look for ones that are of good quality and are made of pre-shrunk cotton. This does not mean that the T-shirt will not shrink at all, however the amount of shrinkage to expect is much less than with T-shirts of lower quality or ones that have not been pre-shrunk. Luckily, the industry standard now is pre-shrunk cotton, so unless you are looking at super cheap T-shirts, you should be buying pre-shrunk tees. If you are in doubt about whether it is pre-shrunk or not, check the label.

Choosing the right size T-shirt will also help you prevent that terrible feeling when you realize you’ve shrunk a T-shirt to an unwearable size. When you try on T-shirts or are ordering them, get one size larger than would normally buy if you were buying a regular shirt. Expect some shrinkage with the first wash and plan for it. That way you will avoid disappointment and wasted money.

When you are washing your T-shirts, keep the water temperature cold. Choose a good detergent that dissolves well in cold water and always do your laundry in it. This is not just good advice for T-shirts, but also for pretty much all your clothes that is machine washable. Check the label for drying recommendations. If it says that machine drying is acceptable, go ahead, but keep the temperature down. Do not go with the highest heat setting when drying clothes. If you are in doubt about drying your T-shirt in the dryer, hang it to dry. This is always the safest method.

Now that you know that there is no way to unshrink a T-shirt, what are you going to do with the one you’ve just shrunk? No need to toss it in the trash. You can always give it to a friend who wears a smaller size than you. If it has shrunk incredibly, you can give it to a neighborhood kid or bring it to Goodwill. Other options are to use it on your teddy bear or wash the car with it. Then get another one to replace it because now you know how to avoid shrinkage.

Order a custom-made T-shirt now that perfectly matches the one you have shrunk. That’s the beauty of custom-made tees, you can replace any shirt and no one will ever have to know that you shrunk the original.

Is My T-shirt preshrunk? It Pays to Know

Most T-shirts today are preshrunk. It just makes sense to have them sold that way. You get the benefit of knowing more accurately how your shirt will fit once you get it home, wash it and want to wear it. It also gives the fabric a much softer feel and anything printed on it will be more accurately positioned if the shirt is preshrunk.

When fabric is preshrunk prior to production it is much more accurate to work with during sewing. T-shirt fabric is preshrunk in huge batches in specially designed washing machines and dryers that are used solely for these purposes. It is done in order to remove excess dyes and chemicals, bring the fabric closer to the actual size it will be once the consumer gets it and make it more pliable for working with.

The best and easiest way to find out if your T-shirt is preshrunk is by reading the tags. Usually tags attached to the shirt for sales purposes will tell you if the item is preshrunk. The inside tag with size and laundry directions may also tell you. Preshrunk T-shirts are a sign of higher quality manufacturing. The maker of the shirt wants to produce a better quality garment and has therefore added a step to the production process that will insure that.

Regardless of whether or not your T-shirt is pre-shrunk, there is usually still room for more shrinkage. This is particularly true with T-shirts that are 100% cotton or a cotton-blend with a high percentage of cotton. Therefore, you should keep the shrinkage factor in mind when you are purchasing even preshrunk T-shirts. Buy them a little larger than you like to wear them and then wash them when you get them home to bring them down to the size that you want them to be. Be careful to purchase the correct size with this in mind because many retailers will not return items that have been washed.

It is so frustrating to buy a shirt that you really like and wear it, only to discover that it is not preshrunk. When you wash it for that first time, it shrinks and you can no longer wear the shirt anymore, or you can but are not as comfortable in it, because it has lost the shape and size you wanted. It is an annoying and costly mistake when you buy a shirt that is not preshrunk and you only get to wear it once. T-shirts that are not preshrunk, especially cotton ones, may as well be called disposable shirts or shrink and wear shirts, so that the consumer is aware of what he or she is getting.

When you are looking for a custom-made T-shirt, your best choice is a preshrunk shirt. Whatever you choose to have printed on it will turn out better and will be more naturally placed. Your custom-made T-shirt will show its high quality by how good it looks and how long it will last. Make the smart choice and get a custom-made preshrunk T-shirt today.

T-shirt shrick

How to Shrink Your T-shirt

T-shirt shrickMost T-shirts today come pre-shrunk, however there is still a small amount of shrinkage that can still occur. If it shrinks significantly, it shows that the manufacturing quality is probably not very high. Preshrunk is a standard used in good quality T-shirt manufacturing because it tends to provide a more stable finished format and better results with color, printing and size. However, there are times when we buy or are given those T-shirts that have not been preshrunk and they are too large for us. That’s when we want to shrink a T-shirt so that it fits better.

If you are looking to shrink a T-shirt that you have, you first need to look at the fabric content. There are certain fabrics that simply just do not shrink, like acrylic. The majority of T-shirts though are made of cotton or a cotton blend and these do shrink under the right conditions. The trick to shrinking cotton T-shirts is to use lots of heat.

First set your washer for a small load and set the water temperature to hot. If the pre-set temperature on your home’s water heater is more warm than hot, you may want to add some boiling water to the washer also to increase the temperature.

Then add your T-shirt to be shrunk to the wash water and let it proceed through the cycle as usual. Do not put any other clothes in with your T-shirt and use laundry detergent like usual.

As soon as the washer finishes, put it in the dryer on the highest temperature setting possible and leave it there until it is bone dry. Then, let it sit until it cools before removing it. You should have succeeded in reducing it one or two sizes. You may also iron it with a very hot iron, but do not iron outward as you may stretch it.

One thing to keep in mind however is that any clothing item that you shrink at home may not shrink in the ways you want it to. Often the results are uneven or the shirt is too short, or not wide enough or the collar or sleeves didn’t shrink in relation to the shirt. Therefore when you attempt this, the results are always risky and you may not get want you want, leaving you with a T-shirt that doesn’t fit right and doesn’t look good anymore.

If you opt to get a preshrunk T-shirt that is an almost perfect fit, avoid shrinkage by washing it in cold or warm water and drying it on low. If you get a larger shirt than you need for whatever reason and want to shrink it, follow the directions above for the best possible result.

Get yourself a variety of custom-made T-shirts that fit, by ordering online to guarantee that your size is in stock and you’ll never need to shrink a T-shirt again. No need to worry about uneven shrinkage or a retailer selling out of your size when you order custom-made T-shirts in the design of your choice.

If you have any advice on shrinking or preventing your shirt please let us know.