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How to Shrink Bathing Suits: Explained!

The struggle of swimsuit buying is a struggle known to all. No matter how much time you spend online or in a shop browsing, at the end of the day, there will always be frustration. In most cases, the bitterness that comes from the fitting of the bathing suit, summer weight loss, or online size misguidances leads us all to ponder on the idea of shrinking something that is meant to be in the water.

I mean, what can be done to a garment whose sole purpose of creation is to be in all kinds of water? This leads to the question:

Key Takeaways

  • You can shrink bathing suits by following the right steps! nylon swimsuit and spandex swimsuit are prone to an easier shrinking process than polyester swimsuit.
  • Direct heat from sunlight when air drying should be avoided at all costs if you want to achieve shrinkage.
  • Some bathing suits are designed to shrink with wear.
  • Shrinkage can be done unintentionally too.

Can Bathing Suits even Shrink?

Well, yes, of course, they can. You can freely shrink your bathing suit in a harmless way through a series of ways.

To begin this journey, you first need to identify the material of your beachwear, the reason behind this being that different materials shrink under different conditions. While most people are gifted with the knowledge of sowing, being creative, or simply having a seamstress for perfect alterations, easier ways to shrink a bathing suit do exist by interacting with the fibers of the garment.

The material known as polyester, also known as the best blend to have a bathing suit made out of, is more durable and will require repeating the steps of shrinkage more. Other materials, such as nylon or spandex, also have their specifications but are less hectic in their construction, resulting in a more elastic bikini.

How Does one Start to Shrink Bathing Suits?

The first solution is the dryer which is a savior when shrinkage is needed in garments. While massively intimidating, if correctly used, the heat of the dryer can turn almost anything into a perfect fit.

Bathing suits throughout this process should be turned inside out; this is done to benefit the color of the garment by reducing the risk of damage done to it.

The next step is more hands-on; you are required to wash the swimsuit by hand in a mixture of cold water and mild laundry detergent to remove any excess elements before shrinkage. Important attention should be paid to the detergent; it should not contain any extra chemicals like hard bleach.

After the cold bath, the bathing suit should then be submerged in the complete opposite, boiling hot water. It should sit at that temperature for around 15 to 20 minutes. This part is key for shrinkage because the threads of bathing materials such as nylon, spandex, or polyester are prone to the withdrawal of their elasticity in this extreme heat.

After the soaking, the bathing suit then deals with more of this heat in the dryer. The highest temperature and longest period possible on the drying machine should be used, resulting in the maximum shrinkage possible to that bathing suit.

Once the more tiresome part of the shrinking procedure is out of the way, all that is left is hanging the garment to air dry; you should also be cautious in this step to not expose the bathing suit to direct sunlight due to the heat rays of the sun relaxing the fibers and reversing the effects created.

The drying method is supposed to be repeated two to three times or until the swimsuit fits the personal needs of the wearer. Washing the suit in cold water is not required while repeating this method since one cold rinse with detergent is enough to extract any unwanted products.

Bathing suits made from nylon or spandex (also known as lycra) usually shrink more than polyester bathing suits which go back to their original shape quicker. This happens because of the elasticity and lightness the fibers of nylon or spandex hold. Due to this, the drying process for their shrinkage for them might be less challenging.

Surely an easier way must exist in this day and time, a solution that does not require such detail-oriented steps.

Does an Easier way for Shrinkage Exist?

Of course, a solution that does not require such precise attention steps exists. The ironing solution.

Granted, the swimsuit still needs to be washed in cold water that is mixed with a soft detergent; this is greatly helpful to the task at hand. The cleanliness of the bathing suit is essential because you do not want to trap anything that does not belong there with the heat and pressure of the iron.

After the rinsing of the suit is done, it should be laid flat on a surface. A clean cotton cloth should be placed on top of the damp bathing suit; the material is necessary to be cotton since it is heat resistant and ideal to not risk damaging the swimwear. To further reduce any heat-related casualties, the iron should be on a low setting. While ironing the bathing suit, you should pay close attention to covering both sides; this ensures a balanced shrink to the whole swimsuit.

The next step after ironing the moister out of the garment is to let it air dry. This method, too, requires protection from direct sunlight while the air dries.

While these are the methods and techniques most successful and most used to shrink bathing suits, a seamstress might be unavoidable in some cases. And while mostly rare, it should be noted some bathing suit companies are designed to stretch throughout the wear of the suit.

What else Causes Bathing Suits to Shrink Unintentionally?

Frequent shrinking of our personal belongings happens accidentally, and that does not stop at swimwear. While wearing bathing suits, they can come in contact with the chemical known as chlorine.

This chemical does not do harm to you as a person, so no panic there, but it does reconstruct the elasticity of the threads, making them tighter and thus producing a shrunken bathing suit.

Inadequate washing techniques under extreme heat done in an involuntary way can also alter the fitting of your swimwear. The contraction done to the fibers in these ways may not create drastic changes but can offer explanations for an unplanned shrinking.

Final Words

All together, swimwear can still be tricky to deal with, but by remembering the information up until now, we can reach a better understanding of them and have more fun with it all when summer arrives!

Further Reading

If you liked what you read so far, you might want to read some of our other posts.

For example, we discussed on our blog if polyester shrinks and whether a tailor may enlarge your pants.

Additionally, there is a distinct difference between quilting and sewing.