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How to Shrink 50% Cotton 50% Polyester Shirt – Best Way

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Do you have cotton and polyester blend shirts to shrink so that they fit you perfectly? A shirt made with 50% cotton 50% polyester blend protects the material from shrinking as pure cotton is more prone to doing so. 

Unlike 100% cotton t-shirt content, the blended material is difficult to shrink, however it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Let’s discuss the different ways to shrink cotton poly blended shirts and why that might be beneficial.

How do you shrink a 50% cotton 50% polyester shirt? Select the hottest cycle on the washing machine and high heat setting on the dryer. Then wash it again, but this time dry by ironing with high temperature. 

Alternatively, boil the t-shirt in a pot on the stove to ensure the temperature reach the boiling point of 212 degree Fahrenheit. 

In general, the natural cotton fiber used in a t-shirt are entirely breathable and a great choice to endure hot weather. 

On the other hand, polyester is a synthetic fiber that is less breathable and usually sticks to sweaty skin. In addition, polyester tends to be more flexible, and this results in a more wear-resistant fabric.

A cotton and polyester blend contains both types of fibers to offer the best qualities of each, such as tear-resistance, breathability and comfort. Unlike cotton that is not preshrunk, a 50/50 blend protects the fabric against shrinking and is cheaper compared to 100% cotton.

Shrinking a t-shirt that has cracking graphics or color fading is normal. 

In this article, we are going to answer frequently asked questions about how to shrink a t-shirt that has content of 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend properly. Covered below are tips for shrinking clothing and the best ways to down size a shirt.

Does 50% Cotton 50% Polyester Shrink?

Yes, you can actively shrink a cotton and polyester blend shirt. However, polyester does not shrink and cotton does, so don’t expect the shrinkage to be very much.

To shrink a 50/50 blend shirt, you will need a washing machine and a dryer. This blended fabrication requires high heat when washing and drying.

However, when dealing with a graphic t-shirt or embroidered detail, make sure to turn the garment inside out to protect from pilling and fading of the material.

Put the shirt in the washing machine and use the hot water, setting high heat for both washing and rinsing. Ensure to use the most extended cycle and avoid adding laundry detergent unless the shirts are dirty. 

After cleaning time elapses, put your shirt in the dryer, also on a high heat setting. Check your material for shrinkage, and if the size is still excess for you then consider using a hot iron for extra shrinkage.

Will Polyester Shrink in the Dryer?

No, polyester fabric is durable and does not shrink very easily. It is possible to shrink the polyester fabric, however you will have to put in a bit more effort.

Thus it can be disappointing if you buy a shirt that is too big for you, hoping that material will shrink when you wash or dry it. 

When you shrink cotton polyester blend shirt, using high heat is the key. Polyester material requires a minimum temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit to shrink, and despite the high temperature it still will not shrink very much.

Consider washing your shirt in a high-temperature machine setting and use the dryer to shrink it further under the highest heat setting. Ensure always to use a pressing cloth when ironing

Alternatively, use a hot iron to help shrink the shirt further. Remember to use the highest temperature for polyester material for you to acquire optimal shrinkage.

Tips to Shrink Cotton Polyester T-Shirt

Before shrinking, make sure to remove stains on the cotton polyester t-shirt. Additionally, the high heat drying cycle will cause the stains to set-in permanently, which defeats the entire purpose of shrinking the shirt for a wearable fit.

This will help you concentrate on shrinking the tee instead of cleaning it.

Let’s go over these tips to shrink cotton polyester t-shirt:

  • The cotton-polyester blend fabric is relatively easy to shrink compared to 100% polyester. As a result, you will need to use less heat to acquire the desired size of the tee.
  • Always wash the tee in plain water, but you can add the recommended amount of mild homemade laundry detergent if you are shrinking a dirty tee and want to clean at the same time.
  • When shrinking tees, ensure to turn them inside out to protect from fading. Then place the tee in a washing machine and use hot wash and hot rinse cycle settings.
  • Take the polyester blend from the washing machine and allow it to dry; the heat in hot water is adequate to offer enough shrinkage.
  • A high heat dryer can also be used to increase the amount of shrinkage, dry until no moisture remains in the shirt and then end the cycle.

Best Way to Shrink a Cotton Polyester Tees

Finding a beautiful shirt and discovering it’s three sizes too big can be so disappointing. However, you do have an option to shrink a tee shirt to acquire a fitting size. 

The most appropriate way to shrink a shirt is using the old-fashioned way of washing and drying it incorrectly. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Check the care label: Confirm the tee is made up of cotton and polyester blend. The shrinking process is permanent, and you need to be sure you are using the proper method to avoid ending up with a tee that is too-small.
  • Boil clean water in a pot: When boiling water in a pot, ensure you leave enough space to place the tee inside without overflowing. Consider adding a cup of white vinegar to prevent color bleeding.
  • Soak your cloth in hot water: After the water starts to boil, soak the shirt for 5 minutes. There might be a color loss, hence you should always shrink tees separately from other clothes. Use a wooden spoon to stir the t-shirt and help soak it thoroughly.
    If you don’t prefer the t-shirt to shrink excessively, take water off the burner when almost boiling and cool for 5 minutes before putting the tee inside. The longer you let it cool, the less it will shrink. However, placing the tee directly into boiling water without cooling can shrink it almost two sizes.
  • Remove the tee from hot water: Take the tee out from the hot water carefully using tongs to avoid burning and place it in the dryer. Use the highest temperature setting and tumble dry the tee until it is scorched.

After the process, try it on and see if the desired fit has been reached. If the t-shirt feels too big, repeat the steps until the tee is the size you want. 

How to shrink 50% cotton and 50% polyester shirt

Shrinking 50% Cotton-Poly Shirt: Conclusion

Shrinking 100% cotton is very easy to do, but when it comes to blended fabric such as 50% cotton and 50% polyester can be challenging. The natural fiber cotton tends to cooperate well with shrinkage, but the polyester is water-resistance and not capable of shrinking very easily.

However, there are easy ways to shrink these cotton and polyester blend t-shirt to fit you perfectly.

In order to shrink a 50-50 t-shirt content, turn the shirt inside out. This will protect the shirt from fading when you flip it inside out before washing because the high temperature that causes polyester shrinkage is also enough to result in fading the fabric. 

Do not wash different colors together, as turning shirts inside out will only prevent fading, but not color bleeding.

Always shrink shirts in hot water. Ensure to set the washing machine in the hottest water setting and the most extended washing cycle. 

Remember to use both the hot wash and hot rinse. Usually, the water temperature should be 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Adding detergent to the washing machine is unnecessary unless you want to clean the shirt as you shrink it. However, the detergent doesn’t interfere with the shrinking process.

Transfer the shirt immediately to the dryer, set the hottest setting and the most extended drying cycle. High heat always helps in shrinking clothing.

Remove the shirt out of the dryer and allow it to cool to room temperature. If you want more shrinkage, repeat the same process. 

Repeated washing can lead to increased color fading, thus you should only perform these shrinking methods in limited amounts and only when necessary. If you are yet to be satisfied with the shrinkage, use an iron instead, but the boiling method will in fact offer the maximum shrinkage amount.

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