Do Cotton Flannel Shirts Shrink?

Do you have a pile of cotton flannel shirts that you’ve been hesitant to wash because you’re unsure if they’ll shrink?

Fear no more! I did some research and found out how to safely clean and dry your flannel shirts so they stay the same size. Please keep reading for my tips.

Do Cotton Flannel Shirts Shrink?

flannel shirt
Credit: canva

Yes. It can indeed shrink if they are not correctly cared for. Many mistakes laundering them in hot water or putting them in the dryer, leading to shrinkage.

The best way to prevent it from shrinking is to wash it in cold water, and line dries it. Then, if it shrinks slightly, it will still fit perfectly!

Of course, you can also avoid shrinkage by buying a size up from your standard shirt size.

What is a Cotton Flannel Shirt?

flannel shirt outer
Flannel shirt as an outer. Credit: canva

A cotton flannel shirt is a soft, lightweight shirt made from cotton fabric. It is a soft and comfortable shirt perfect for layering.

This shirt is highly versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. It’s typically used as a layering piece in the winter to provide extra warmth.

These shirts are typically made from 100% cotton and feature a smooth brushed finish. They are also hot, making them ideal for cooler weather.

They are available in long- and short-sleeve styles and come in various colors and prints. Most flannel shirts are machine-washable and can be tumble-dried on low heat. They’re also often pre-washed to give them a softer feel.

How to Shrink or Not to Shrink a Cotton Flannel Shirt?

Many of these can be machine-washed and -dried, but you may want to hang them to dry instead of tumble drying them to avoid shrinkage. You can do a few things to help keep them from shrinking in the wash.

First, be sure to follow the care instructions on the tag. If your shirt shrinks in the wash, you may be able to stretch it back out by hand-washing it and then hanging it up to air dry.

Alternatively, you could try soaking the shirt in cool water for a few hours before washing and drying it, which may help limit any shrinking.

How to Wash and Care for a Cotton Flannel Shirt?

buttoned up flannel shirt
Buttoned up flannel shirt. Credit: canva

There’s nothing like a cozy flannel shirt on a cold winter day. But if you want your flannel to stay in good condition for years, it’s essential to know how to wash and care for it properly. Here are some tips:

  • Wash your flannel shirt in cold water on the gentle cycle. You can pre-treat the areas with laundry detergent before washing if it’s particularly dirty or stained.
  • Hang your flannel shirt to air dry, or tumble dry on low heat. Avoid high temperatures, which can shrink the fabric.
  • If you need to iron your flannel shirt, do so on low heat.


  • Soft and comfortable. Cotton is a natural fiber that allows your skin to breathe, making it ideal for wear in any situation. They are excellent for everyday wear and can be worn alone or layered with other clothes.
  • Durable and great. They add a style to any outfit and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They will last a long time if you care for them properly.
  • Affordable. You can find them at most stores for a reasonable price.
  • Keep you warm in the colder months and cool in the summer months. Cotton is a highly versatile fabric that offers its wearer many benefits. They are also breathable and absorbent, which makes them a good choice for people who work in hot environments.


How Much Will a 100% Cotton Shirt Shrink?

Cotton items are usually pre-shrunk during manufacturing and remain close to their original size even after multiple washes. However, in the worst case, they could shrink up by as much as 5% in size.

Cotton items, not pre-shrunk, will shrink about 20% from their original size.

Are Flannels Still in Style 2022?

Yes! Flannel shirts are still in style for men and women alike. They’re comfortable, easy to wear and come in various colors. The best part about flannels is they look great with jeans and casual clothes.

What is The Best Brand of Flannel Shirts?

The best brands of flannels shirts include American Apparel, Banana Republic, Gap, J Crew, Old Navy, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Zara. All these brands offer great quality at affordable prices.

Should Flannels be a Size Bigger?

No. Just like jeans, people expect the flannels to get more comfortable over time. So, the best thing is for your flannel to fit; not too big or too small.

Should Flannel be Buttoned?

The answer to this question depends on how you wear your shirt. To look more formal, you should wear them buttoned-up. However, if you prefer to look casual, then no, you shouldn’t wear them buttoned. You can choose to unbutton the top two buttons or make the shirt an outer.

How Much Will a Cotton Flannel Shirt Shrink?

Wool and cotton fibers shrink when exposed to heat. When washed in hot water, flannels shrink by two to three sizes. That’s about 20 percent of your fabric size.

What Tension Should I Use for Flannel?

Flannel shirts are made out of high-quality fabrics. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what tension you use. It’s just important to know which one suits your needs. For example, some people prefer a looser weave, while others want a tighter weave.

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