How To Shrink Denim Jacket To Fit You

Jean jackets are one of the most timeless go-to styles when it comes to looking chic and staying warm. But what do you do if your jean jacket is a bit too large? Here are a few techniques to shrink a denim jacket so that you may continue to wear it comfortably without swimming in excess fabric.

Denim is a cotton-based textile, which means that it is relatively easy to shrink. There are a few different methods that work really well to shrink 100% cotton fabric at home quickly and inexpensively.

Many types of denim are blended with polyester or even spandex. Any fabric blend will generally reduce the amount of shrinkage possible. Understand the clothing care instructions for each type of material.

Furthermore, understand that hot water and high heat will eventually breakdown poly fibers. As a result, the fabric will lose its drape and smooth feel.

Occasionally the material is sanforized or preshrunk. The sanforized method was developed in the 1920s and is a process that significantly reduces post-wash shrinkage of clothing.

Typically, sanforized denim only shrinks about 1% after the first wash, unlike “unsanforized” denim that shrinks between 7%-10% post-wash.

A pre-shrunk denim jacket will not shrink as much initially. But with repeated attempts, you will shrink a denim jacket to fit you nicely. Work responsibly with your favorite denim jackets, otherwise you will be donating them sooner than you want.

 

Washing Machine Method To Shrink Denim Jacket

Washing Machine Method To Shrink Denim Jacket

The washing machine method is the standard technique used to shrink all clothing, and is the most basic method for how to shrink jeans quickly. Hot water and high heat are the quickest and most effective ways to shrink a denim jacket.

  1. Flip the jacket inside out to prevent fading.
  2. Put the denim jacket inside the washing machine alone and set to the hottest water temperature. Hot water will contract the fibers and cause the denim jacket to shrink quickly.
  3. Afterward, place the denim jacket into a clothes dryer set at the highest heat level. Run the dryer for an hour. Be careful with any metal trim on the garment because it will be extremely hot and may burn you.

Once the jacket has cooled, try on the denim jacket to see if the desired fit was achieved. If the denim jacket is still in need of a little more shrinkage, don’t be afraid to repeat the washing machine method once more.

Furthermore, consider using one of the other methods to compare success rates. After the second or third attempt to shrink a denim jacket, that will be the maximum shrinkage you will be able to achieve.

 

Boiling Method To Shrink Denim Jacket

Don’t have access to a washing machine but still want to shrink your jean jacket? Then try the boiling method to quickly solve your problem.

The boiling method works really well to shrink denim jackets because it is the best way to ensure that the water is as hot as possible. Boiling combined with high heat drying is an effective process to shrink denim jacket.

  1. Flip the jacket inside out to prevent fading.
  2. Boil a large pot of water and place your denim jacket inside.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave the jacket in the pot for 30 minutes.
  4. Drain the water and remove the jacket. Use caution because the jacket will be extremely hot.
  5. Afterward, place the denim jacket into a clothes dryer set at the highest heat level. Run the dryer for an hour. Be careful with any metal trim on the garment because it will be extremely hot and may burn you.

After applying the boiling method, let the denim jacket cool down completely. Be sure to try on the jacket to check the fit and get an accurate gauge.

If the sizing is still off, then don’t be afraid to give it one more try. After a second or third attempt, that will be as much as you are able to shrink the jacket.

 

How To Shrink A Denim Jacket Without Dryer

How To Shrink A Denim Jacket Without Dryer

First of all, the denim jacket needs to be soaked. Wet clothing shrinks more than dry clothing. The wetter the denim fabric is, the more shrinkage you will be able to apply.

Either use the washing machine, the boiling method or simply spray the jacket with hot water. Spraying the jacket is the best way to shrink a focused area, for instance the sleeves or the shoulders.

In order to apply heat without using a dryer, we will be using an iron. This is a great method to shrink a specific area. Irons apply heat only where directed and not throughout the entire garment.

Once the denim jacket has been wetted, then place it onto an ironing board and iron the jacket on the hottest setting. Keep the iron moving to avoid burning the fabric by leaving it in one area for too long.

Iron the wet parts until dry to result in maximum shrink. Try on the jacket once it has been completely dried. If you want to shrink the denim jacket a bit more, apply water in the area you wish to shrink and continue ironing.

 

Denim Jacket Sleeves Too Long

Denim Jacket Sleeves Too Long

If the sleeves are too long, then you must focus shrinkage to that particular area. This is because there is no reason to shrink the entire jacket.

There are a few techniques for how to shrink denim jacket sleeves. Combine the boiling method with the ironing method to provide maximum shrinkage. The intense hot water and the high heat iron will produce the best results to shrink the denim jacket sleeves.

 

Boiling Method To Shrink Denim Jacket Sleeves

  1. Flip the jacket inside out to prevent fading.
  2. Boil a large pot of water and place only the denim jacket sleeves inside.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave the jacket sleeves in the pot for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the water and remove the jacket sleeves. Use caution because the jacket will be extremely hot.
  5. Afterward, place the denim jacket into a clothes dryer set at the highest heat level. Run the dryer to complete a full cycle. Be careful with any metal trim on the garment because they will be extremely hot and may burn you.

 

Ironing Method To Shrink Denim Jacket Sleeves

When using heat to shrink clothing, the garment must be wet. The wetter the fabric is, the more shrinkage you will be able to achieve.

Therefore, the denim jacket sleeves need to be soaked. Either apply the boiling method to the jacket sleeves or simply spray the jacket sleeves with hot water.

Afterwards, place the denim jacket onto an ironing board and iron the jacket sleeves on the hottest setting. Keep the iron moving so that you do not burn the fabric by leaving it in one area for too long.

 

Spray and Shrink Method For Denim Jacket Sleeves

  1. Mix 3/4 cup of hot water with 1/4 cup of fabric softener in a spray bottle and shake well.
  2. Spray the sleeves of your jacket until soaked.
  3. Throw your denim jacket into a clothes dryer and dry on the hottest temperature setting.

Let the denim jacket dry and cool completely. Try on the jacket to see if it fits perfectly. If the jacket still needs to shrink, pick the clothing shrinking method that apply best to you situation and give it one more try.

 

Tailored Denim Jacket

Tailored Denim Jacket

When all else fails, a tailored denim jacket is the best alternative to shrink the jean jacket. No need to potentially distort the shape of your favorite denim jacket by using a hot water or high heat method.

Instead, get you denim jacket tailored by a professional. The construction of a jacket is a bit more challenging than a pair of pants, I highly recommend letting a professional do the job instead of hand sewing.

For the best results, spend time with the tailor in order to get the precise measurements and the perfect fit. As a result, they will be able to take in the sleeves, shoulders, back yoke, and the waist.

A tailored denim jacket is guaranteed to result in a perfect fit. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about any future sizing issues.

 

The hottest water followed by the highest heat will always shrink 100% cotton fabric. The garment will be wrinkled, but it will definitely be smaller than it was. Even when applying the spray and shrink or the ironing methods, the results are somewhat uncontrollable. Shrinkage will result, but how much is uncertain.

The upside to these shrinking methods is that 100% cotton fabrics will stretch out with wear. As a result, you will have to continue to shrink the denim jacket overtime.

Do be aware that repeated hot water treatments with effect the color fade of the denim, so don’t be surprised if the bold color gradually diminishes.

How do you shrink a denim jacket at home?

Share your genius clothing hacks and laundry tips with us!

XOXO

fashion wanderer

How To Shrink Denim Jacket To Fit You

Soonjoo Uh

I graduated with a bachelors of fine arts degree in fashion design. I worked in the fashion industry as a lead designer for major brand name labels such as Stitch Fix, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and Dillards. Now, I am the founder of the website Fashion Wanderer where I share current fashion trends, style tips and how to build a capsule wardrobe collection.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.