Can denim shrink?

Can Denim Shrink?

Taking proper care of your clothes, including preventing shrinkage, is one of the keys to extending their life. Denim is a wardrobe staple for most people, so many people still wonder if it shrinks. You would like your denim clothing to fit for a long time, whether it’s a favorite pair of jeans or a favorite jacket. We’re here to answer your questions.
Denim, like other fabrics, will shrink under certain circumstances. It shrinks because of how it’s made and what it’s made of. Buying pre-shrunk denim or paying close attention to how you care for it is the only way to avoid it shrinking.
But why does denim shrink, and how much does it shrink? What is the best way to keep denim from shrinking? What if you want your denim to shrink for whatever reason? Is it possible to shrink it deliberately? In this guide, we will be trying to resolve your queries. So, let’s start.

What Causes Denim to Shrink?

Because of its composition, denim shrinks; most denim is made of 100% fabric or a cotton blend, of which many people are unaware. Cotton is widely known to shrink when washed in hot water or with a high heat setting. For the same reason, denim shrinks.
When you wash denim or other cotton-based fabrics, they shrink when subjected to heat. As the fabric is made of plant fibers, this is the case. When plants become too hot, they wilt, and plant-based fabrics are no exception.
Denim should be treated the same way as cotton, especially when washing and drying. The fibers constrict and shrink as a result of the heat. After the first wash, denim can shrink by up to 10%.

Is shrinkage more likely in the washer or dryer?
All-natural fibers, including cotton, tend to shrink more than synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester. Denim fabric with a looser weave will shrink more than fabric with a tighter weave.
Temperature determines whether or not shrinkage occurs in the washer and dryer. It shrinks more when denim is rinsed in hot water and dried in a hot dryer. To keep shrinkage to a minimal level, wash in mild temperatures and then hang to dry on a low heat setting. When you wash your clothes at higher temperatures, you lose more of the denim fabric dye.
Denim’s beauty lies in its diagonal weave, which expands to fit your body and movement as you wear it and then returns to its original shape once washed.

Does Denim Shrink with Time?

Although denim shrinks slightly more than the 1st time you wash it, it can shrink even more with repeated washing. Other washes, however, cause minor shrinkage that isn’t permanent.
It is designed to stretch when worn, making it fit your body type better. Because the fibers stretch out as you wear them, it will fit better. However, after being stretched out, the fibers in a pair of jeans, for instance, shrink slightly. When you wear the jeans again, they will stretch back out.

Denim shrinks at what Temperature?

Because the fabric is so important, there is no exact temperature that causes denim to shrink. Denim is more likely to shrink when it contains a higher percentage of cotton. Similarly, as the water temperature rises, so does the amount of shrinking.
According to Levi’s, jeans that haven’t been pre-shrunk can shrink by as much as two pants measurements after the first wash, particularly when washed in hot water. Denim can shrink slightly in subsequent washes, though not as much as it did the first time. As you wear them, they will stretch out a little more.
Even though it’s difficult to pinpoint a suitable temperature that causes jeans to shrink, it’s safe to assume that some shrinking will occur if denim is exposed to 85 to 90 degrees or higher temperatures. Washing your jeans in the water below 60 degrees will usually keep them from shrinking.
However, some people believe that washing their clothes in cool or cold water does not get them as clean. Water below 60 degrees does not kill bacteria as effectively as cold water does. If you’re worried about your clothes not getting as clean if you don’t use hot water, buy pre-shrunk denim to avoid shrinking.

Is it Possible to Permanently Shrink Denim Jeans?

You might want to shrink your jeans on purpose if you lose weight or find a good pair of pants too big for you. Unfortunately, permanently shrinking denim jeans is extremely difficult. This is due to jeans’ natural tendency to stretch as they are worn.
If you still want to permanently shrink denim too big for you, try washing them in hot water and drying them on high heat. However, this may not be effective, so proceed with caution.
Because you can’t control how much shrinking happens, intentionally shrinking any clothing can cause damage or over shrink it.

How to Make Jeans Unshrink?

If your jeans have shrunk too much and you don’t want them to, try the following steps to undo the shrinkage:

  • Fill your tub halfway with warm water.
  • Into the water, add a couple of capfuls of baby shampoo.
  • Allow your jeans to soak in the soapy water for 20-30 minutes.
  • Remove the jeans and wring out any extra water.
  • Rinse the jeans in clean, lukewarm water and squeeze out any remaining moisture.
  • Place the damp denim flat on a dry towel and roll them up inside it.
  • Unroll the towel after gently pressing it to absorb any remaining water.
  • Pull the pants in opposite directions at the areas you want to stretch.
  • Dry them by hanging them up. Hang them upside down if you really want to stretch your legs even more.
  • If necessary, repeat the steps after the jeans have dried.



I hope this guide answered your all-denim shrinking-related questions. I have mentioned all the effective methods to shrink your denim pants. However, if you don’t want to shrink, you can follow the above-mentioned guidelines.