How much do t-shirts shrink over time?

why do t-shirts shrink over time?

T-shirts are made from fabrics like cotton and others, who inevitably shrink over time due to the tension that’s applied during the production of the clothing item, when heat is applied to these fabrics, they shrink back to their original size.

This process is not homogenous and the T-shirt shrinks considerably more on the first few washes than in the last ones, when even if you don’t notice, it continues to shrink until it reaches a certain point where the shrinking is negligible

It is also noted that not all fibers shrink at the same rate, and some fibers shrink more slowly while others shrink faster. If you want to learn more about this process, check this article about t-shirt shrinking.

How much do t-shirts shrink over time?

The shrinking that a t-shirt will endure will vary based on the type of material that it is made of, the fabric, the washing process… We have to keep all of these variables in mind in order to determine how much a t-shirt will shrink.

But generally speaking, a cotton t-shirt that has not been pre-shrunk will shrink about 15-20%, getting to 80% of its original size, which can be great if the t-shirt was too small or you are planning to lose weight, but very bad if you just liked the t-shirt the way it was at the beginning.

But that is a lot, and that is why so many stores are selling pre-shrunk cotton t-shirts, which may only shrink up to 5%, which can still be quite a lot if the t-shirt fitted you perfectly at the time of the purchase.

How much do t shirts shrink over time?

what are pre-shrunk cotton t-shirts?

Pre-shrunk cotton t-shirts are manipulated in the production process so that the fibers are already very close to their original shape and they don’t shrink anymore, at least not as much as with pre-shrunk fibers, which can shrink quite a lot.

Unless you plan to lose up to 15-20% of your belly mass, your Tv muscles, your fat… whatever you want to call it; a pre-shrunk cotton t-shirt is your main choice if you still ask yourself why all of your t-shirts shrink. But not only that, pre-shrunk cotton t-shirts are great for many other reasons, Here is why pre-shrunk cotton t-shirts are better than non-pre-shrunk:

  • Pre-shrunk cotton t-shirts are known for holding better their colors.
  • They are absent of the chemicals that may have been used in the production process.
  • Pre-shrunk cotton t-shirts can still shrink, but only up to 2-5% if not washed properly.
  • These garments usually last longer than the other ones because the fibers are not under so much tension.

how to stop your t-shirts from shrinking

We have already discussed why would your t-shirts shrink, but, How can you stop your t-shirts from shrinking? It’s not very hard actually, you only have to follow a few simple steps, Here are the steps to follow to avoid shrinking your t-shirts and garments:

  • Read the label and follow the washing instructions, as improper washing may result in the t-shirt shrinking
  • Dry your clothes without much heat, preferably the old-fashion way, as heat can make a t-shirt shrink.
  • Lower the heat on your washing machine, as we said before, heat makes t-shirts shrink.
  • Buy pre-shrunk t-shirts and save yourself the trouble, this is the easiest fix to this problem.

If you want to learn more about pre-shrunk t-shirts, you can read this quora article about this topic more in-depth.

How to stop t-shirts from shrinking


We have already talked about why do your t-shirts shrink, how to prevent it from happening, and what pre-shrunk t-shirts are, if you want to know more about t-shirts or any other subject in the matter, do not hesitate to take a look at our blog, you will not regret it!

We hope you have learned a lot today, We’re thrilled to teach people around the world :). By the way, do you know about fast fashion and its terrible consequences for the environment, the people, and the economy? Do you know what Slow Fashion or the Sustainable Fashion movement is? You have to read these articles about this unknown but urgent subject, click here to read „Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?”, knowledge is power, ignorance is doom.

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