Does Corduroy Shrink? [FAQs]

I’ve been fascinated by corduroy for years. Whenever I see a piece of corduroy clothing, I can’t help but run my hands through the textured fabric and appreciate its unique design.

Does Corduroy Shrink? The Definitive Guide

But one thing has always been on my mind—does corduroy shrink?

What is Corduroy?

To understand whether or not corduroy shrinks, it’s essential first to understand what it is exactly. Corduroy is a type of fabric consisting of vertical ridges called “wales,” typically 1/8″ in height. It’s made from cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers and is often used to make pants, jackets, and other types of clothing.

Does Corduroy Shrink?

The short answer is yes! Like all fabrics, corduroy will shrink if it isn’t appropriately laundered. The key to avoiding shrinking your favorite corduroy pieces is to use cold water and air dry them when laundering them. Hot water

will cause the wales to shrink more quickly than in cold water, so it’s best to avoid using hot water if you want your corduroys to stay true to size.

Additionally, drying your corduroys in the dryer will also cause them to shrink faster than air drying them. When air drying your corduroys, make sure you lay them flat, so they don’t stretch out of shape as they dry.

How Can I Unshrink My Corduroys?

If you accidentally shrunk your favorite pair of corduroys, there is still hope! To unshrink your cords, fill up a bathtub with lukewarm water and add two tablespoons of hair conditioner (the generic stuff works just fine).

Then submerge the lines in the mixture and let them soak for 10-15 minutes before removing them from the tub and gently stretching out the fabric until it reaches its original size. Finally, rinse off any excess conditioner and then hang dry your cords until they are completely dry.

There you have it! Now you know everything there is to know about how to take care of your favorite pair of cords so that they don’t shrink over time. Always use cold water when laundering your cords, and never put them in the dryer! With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to keep your cords looking great for years to come! Happy laundering!


  • When washing and drying your corduroy garments, use the gentle cycle and low heat setting to avoid shrinking and fraying.
  • If you’re concerned about shrinkage, consider investing in a quality fabric steamer instead of traditional washing and drying – it’s an easy way to keep corduroy looking its best!
  • An excellent tip for preserving your corduroy garments is to treat them with a fabric protector to help prevent shrinking, fading, and discoloration from dirt or dust.


Can corduroy shrink in the washer and dryer?

Yes, corduroy can shrink if it isn’t washed properly or dried on high heat. To prevent shrinking, you should wash your corduroy in cold water and tumble dry it on low heat—or even better, line-dry it. Be sure to check the care instructions on the label of your garment before washing; some items may require special handling to ensure they look great.

Additionally, be sure not to overload your machines when washing or drying, as this can cause the fabric to bunch up and shrink.

How much does corduroy typically shrink?

The amount of shrinkage depends on several factors, including the type of corduroy fabric and how it is handled during the washing and drying process. Generally speaking, when correctly cared for, most types of corduroy will not shrink more than 5-7%.

However, some exceptions exist, such as cotton-rich varieties, which can shrink significantly if washed with hot water or dried on high heat. Always check the care instructions for each item before laundering, as certain fabrics may require special handling to avoid shrinking.

Is there any way to unshrink the corduroy?

While there is no foolproof way to unshrink a piece of clothing made from corduroy fabric, one can try methods at home that may help restore an item to its original shape. One such process involves submerging the item in lukewarm water with a few tablespoons of hair conditioner added; after soaking for 15 minutes or so, gently stretch out the fabric while damp until it reaches its desired size.

Another option is steaming the garment via an iron set at a low temperature; however, careful attention must be taken not to accidentally burn or melt the fabric with too much direct heat.

Why does corduroy sometimes get those little tufts between ridges?

That’s called “pilling”—the formation of tiny tufts of fiber that appear due to abrasion between two surfaces (such as between clothing and skin). Pilling is likely to occur more often with items made from heavier fabrics like corduroy, where threads can easily snag against other surfaces, causing them to become frayed and start collecting lint over time into small round balls known as pills.

To reduce pilling, you should limit friction by wearing smooth undergarments underneath your clothes, such as silk or synthetic materials, which create less static cling than cotton blends; additionally, avoid rubbing garments against rough surfaces, as this could worsen pilling.

What’s the best way to clean corduroy without shrinking it?

For best results without shrinking your favorite piece of clothing made from corduroy fabric, follow these steps:

  1. Check the care tag for laundering instructions
  2. Pre-treat stains using a mild detergent
  3. Spot clean any remaining areas using a soft cloth soaked in warm water mixed with gentle detergent.
  4. Wash the item on a delicate cycle with cold water and no bleach or harsh chemicals added
  5. Tumble dry on low heat setting or air dry flat—avoiding direct sunlight, which could fade colors
  6. Iron the item while still damp/moist, but use the lowest possible setting on the soleplate.
  7. Hang the item immediately after drying and press lightly with hands if needed for wrinkle removal—avoiding traditional steamers, which could damage delicate material!
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