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How to Shrink Sweatpants?

Nothing is more irritating than returning from a store excited to try on your new pair of sweatpants and them not fitting right. The same frustration may occur when you wear a certain pair of sweatpants for a long time, and the material gets loose on its own.

It leads you as an owner of the sweatpants to look up questions such as “How to shrink sweatpants?”. Well, it is a good thing you did look it up since a solution exists. It may take some steps, but it is achievable. Your loved pair of sweatpants can be restored to their original form.

Before we get started with the “how?”, we need to know what activewear we are dealing with. Sweatpants are made of several different materials that respond to heat differently. For example, polyester is a type of fiber that is prone to shrinkage when you wash them in high-temperature water.

Key Takeaways

  • Sweatpants are easily shrinkable with the help of high temperatures.
  • It is important to read the tag of your sweatpants just in case the manufacturers want to inform us of something.
  • When using the washing and drying machine method do not forget fabrics softener to preserve the quality of your sweatpants.
  • If you decide to use the hot water and blow-drying technique, be careful not to hold the dryer in one place.

 Can all sweatpants be shrunken?

As mentioned before, every type of material responds differently to specific environments. To shrink our sweatpants, we will mostly be using hot water. So, if you know that your sweatpants might get damaged in high temperatures, then trying to shrink them might be a big risk.

If you are not sure of your sweatpants’ sensitivity towards high-temperature waters, then you can easily check this on the label the article has. With this label, we can be informed securely about what the manufacturers themselves have tested and tried out on the sweatpants.

A general rule of thumb is that 100% polyester does not respond well to high heat so I would advise caution if you planned to continue with a pair of sweatpants that are 100% polyester. On the other hand, if they are a polyester blend, you are more than safe. The fibers in other pairs of sweatpants are usually made to resist extreme high and low temperatures so you will be good to go with other pairs as well.

Continuing with the article, we will be discussing two main ways to shrink sweatpants. The first method is going to be through the washer and dryer machine while the second is going to use hot water and a blow dryer. Choosing either one will give you a maximum success rate when it comes to shrinking sweatpants.

Washing And Drying Machine Technique To Shrink Sweatpants

For this technique to work, you will need exactly three things. A washing machine, a dryer, and some product softener. The majority of the work will be done from the hot water itself.

First, make sure there is nothing inside the sweatpants that can cause damage to it. Then just throw the sweatpants in the washing machine. If it is possible, I recommend washing them by themselves, so the water absorption is at its fullest.

The settings on the washer are quite simple. All that is needed is the highest heat setting, and the longest cycle available in the washing machine that you are using. Here is where you should use the fabric softener since preserving the sweatpants’ texture and quality is important to any owner.

The high heat of the water in the washing will affect the threads of the sweatpants making them ready for the contraction. Once the cycle is finished, you may take a look at them and see no difference. This is where the drying machine comes into play. Wasting no time, the sweatpants should be transferred into the dryer. This too should be at its maximum heat setting and longest cycle. This is where the shrinkage will happen.

After finishing with the dryer, you can carefully take the sweatpants out and give them a try. If they still seem loose and don’t quite fit what you were trying to achieve, feel free to repeat the steps until you are satisfied. Repeating the steps will not harm your sweatpants; they will continue trying to shrink as much as possible.

Hot Water And Blow Dryer Technique To Shrink Sweatpants 

This method may seem less tiresome to some. As stated in the title, you will only need a bowl filled with hot water and a blow dryer. 

Sticking to the theme of high temperatures the water in the pot should be boiling. Be cautious with the pot though since boiling water is dangerous. After the boil however you can slowly submerge the sweatpants and then turn the stove off. It is important to turn the stove off since boiling the sweatpants themselves is a recipe for disaster.

The sweatpants should be left in the water until it starts to go lukewarm. Time wise that should be around 10 minutes. After that, carefully take them out of the pot, and lay the sweatpants on a straight surface. This is the part where we use the blow dryer. The heat from the blow dryer interacts with the fibers of the sweatpants, causing them to shrink. A positive of the blow dryer is that it targets the threads individually, and has a bigger chance of contracting them. Do not forget to move the dryer around and not keep it in one place only, doing so will harm the sweatpants with irreversible damage. 

The heat from the water and the blow dryer should both have a lasting effect on your sweatpants. In case they don’t, feel free to repeat the steps as many times as necessary. I highly doubt it but just in case your favorite pair of sweatpants still stay stubborn and do not shrink, consider talking to a tailor or at the end of the day even donating them.

Final Words

As we come to the end of this article, we now know two ways to shrink sweatpants. I hope I assisted you since I know there are only a few things as comfortable as a good pair of sweatpants.

Further Reading

If you want to read some more blogs you can check a Brother BM3850 review, which is a great machine indeed.

There’s also a review of the Juki DU 1181N. Moreover, you can also read a comparison between spandex and lycra.