Will Polyester Shrink? [FAQs]

Are you looking for answers to the question: “Will Polyester Shrink?” Have you ever wondered if the fabric you chose for your new clothing item is prone to shrink? If so, you’re in luck!

This article will provide detailed explanations, tips, how-tos, and FAQs regarding the potential to shrink polyester fabrics.

You’ll be sure to find some helpful information to help you make a wise choice regarding your next clothing purchase. So, let’s jump right in and explore the wild world of fabric shrinkage and polyester along the way!

What is Polyester?

Before we delve into the specifics of whether or not polyester will shrink, it’s a good idea to start by understanding what polyester is and its characteristics.

Polyester is a synthetic material, one of the most commonly used today. It is lightweight yet durable, and it can withstand a variety of temperatures.

Polyester is also resistant to wrinkles and shrinking, though some types may shrink more. As far as its color, polyester is very colorfast and can hold its color even when washed.

Does Polyester Shrink?

Now, to tackle the million-dollar question! Will polyester shrink? The answer is: It depends! Fabrics with a high Lycra/spandex content will also have a greater tendency to shrink.

Tips for Preventing Shrinkage

Now that you have a better understanding of which fabrics may be more prone to shrinking, let’s talk about some tips to help reduce the risk of shrinkage;

  1. Follow the Care Instructions: Take the time to read the care label on your purchasing item. Many polyester fabrics are labeled as “wrinkle-resistant” and “non-shrink,” but it’s essential to follow the care instructions to ensure that the fabric maintains its size and shape.
  2. Use Cold Water: When washing polyester fabrics, it’s always best to use cold water. Hot water can damage polyester fibers and cause them to shrink, so avoid using hot water or high temperatures.
  3. Avoid Machine Drying: When it comes to drying polyester, it’s best to avoid using a dryer. The dryer’s heat can cause polyester fibers to shrink, so instead, opt for laying the fabric flat to dry.

How to Stretch

If you’ve noticed that a polyester fabric has shrunk, all hope is not lost! Depending on the severity of the shrinkage, it may be possible to stretch it back out again with a few simple steps.

  1. Fill a Bathtub with Warm Water: Fill your bathtub with warm water and add a few drops of gentle detergent. Once the tub is filled, submerge the polyester fabric in the water.
  2. Soak the Fabric: Let the fabric soak in the water for at least 15 minutes. This will help to relax the fibers and make them easier to stretch.
  3. Stretch the Fabric: After the fabric has soaked in the water, slowly begin to stretch it out in all directions, both horizontally and vertically. If the fabric is still tight, you can use your hands to help it stretch more easily.
  4. Hang to Dry: Once you’ve stretched out the fabric as much as possible, hang it up to dry. Avoid using machine drying as this can cause the fabric to shrink again.

The Benefits

Despite the potential risks of shrinkage, polyester fabrics still offer some benefits. Polyester fabrics are strong, durable, and lightweight. They also resist wrinkles and color fade to maintain their look and color for extended periods. Additionally, they can withstand various temperatures, making them suitable for cold and hot climates.

Common Types

  • One of the most popular types is microfiber.
  • Another type of polyester is Poly-Bemberg, a heavier fabric commonly used to make suits and blazers.
  • Last but not least is Poly-Urethane, which is a fabric typically used in waterproof jackets and other weatherproof items.

Care Tips

  1. Always Read the Care Label: As mentioned before, reading the care label on your clothing is essential to understanding the best care method.
  2. Wash Clothing Separately: To avoid color transfer and fading, it’s best to wash polyester items separately from other fabrics.
  3. Hang to Dry: To help preserve the shape and size of the fabric, avoid putting polyester items in the dryer. Instead, hang them up to dry.

Reasons to Choose

However, it’s essential to follow the care instructions to ensure that the fabric retains its size and shape over time. Additionally, you can use a few tips to help fix a shrunken item, such as soaking and stretching.


Another great option is linen, a lightweight fabric that holds its shape well.

Rayon and silk are also great options, as they are both lightweight and durable.


For those who are still unsure about the potential to shrink their polyester fabrics, here are a few of the most common questions that come up regarding this topic:

Is it possible to shrink polyester?

100% polyester fabrics and high Lycra/spandex content are more likely to shrink.

Can I fix a polyester item that has already shrunk?

You can try soaking it in warm water and gently stretching it to its original size.

How do I prevent my polyester item from shrinking?

Avoid using hot water or machine drying.

Does Polyester shrink in the dryer?

Yes, polyester can shrink in the dryer.

Does Polyester shrink over time?

Yes, polyester fabrics can shrink over time.

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