Does Polyester Shrink? Detailed Guide

All what you want know about dacron, and can you shrink it at all?

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on Does Polyester Shrink1

Wearing a favored dacron dress is such a delight! Light and convenient, this fabric is a our top choice today. 

Naturally, there is a question that bothers every fashionista: can you shrink it?

No worries!

Today all the secrets will be revealed!

Meet Polyester! A Bit More About the Fabric

Dacron has achieved huge popularity these days compared to organic fabrics. But is it also organic, or is it artificial?

To be precise, dacron does contain chemicals but they are naturally derived from plants. In addition, it also consists of artificial bristles. So, we can say that this fabric is a 50/50 combo.

Nevertheless, the polyester fabric does differ from natural materials. Its artificial nature results in somewhat harsh and even scratchy feeling on the skin, besides, most of the polyester garments look rather cheap.

Since dacron is often mixed with the fully natural fibers (e.g. cotton), such fabrics have combined qualities.

This semi-artificial textile can add strength and tear-resistance to natural fabrics together with the resistance to wrinkling and diminish. As for artificial fabrics, it makes them more wind and waterproof. 

In terms of this, it is interesting to know that the belief of polyester being waterproof is rather wrong. In fact, this material is closer to water-resistant fabrics since it is unable to repel large amounts of water.

The only weak spot of this super fabric is its tendency to ignite and melt when being exposed to fire.

What about the ability to shrink the polyester fabric? 

Let’s examine this issue closer.

How to Take Care Of Polyester? Handy Tips And Life Hacks

can you shrink polyester
Photo by MUILLU on Unsplash

Since dacron does contain artificial fibers, it is necessary to look after it carefully just like we would do with any synthetic material.

Do you wear polyester clothing?
Yes, often
Yes, rarely
No, never

Even though this kind of fabric is rather strong and durable, it doesn’t mean that polyester apparel doesn’t require any proper care.

Due to the specifics of the structure of its fibers, polyester stretches quite well. For this reason, even though the material is not super stretchy and it returns to the original size easily, the correct maintenance can contribute to keeping its initial shape unchanged.

To keep your blouses, skirts, and other garments neat all the time, just take into account several simple suggestions to make the maintenance process simpler.

  • Dacron is very easy to get stained since it attracts and holds dirt and stains extremely fast and good
  • Always wash dacron-made stuff turned inside out to prevent the garment from ruining
  • For tumble-drying, set the machine to the low heat regime
  • The static electricity on the semi-artificial textile clothing can be reduced by laundering it with the softener for fabrics
  • Ironing is allowed only in a moderate heating regime. As an option, a steamer is safe to use

This fabric can’t be considered to be hard to maintain, nevertheless, proper care will significantly extend the lifespan of dacron apparel.

Careless attitude will most likely lead to the ugly shrink on a dacron shirt or other apparel made of it.

Is It Possible to Shrink Polyester?

Does Polyester Shrink? Detailed Guide
Photo by Roberto Lopez on Unsplash

This issue bothers many of those who wear dacron clothing regularly.

To tell the truth, everything hangs upon how one takes care of the apparel.

Normally, shrinking this sort of garments is pretty hard to do since the fabric is very strong and easily restores its shape.

Nevertheless, certain conditions may lead to a dacron diminish.

  • It is possible to shrivel dacron if we launder it in the too hot water
  • Drying the garment at the high heating regime in the dryer will also end up in its shrinkage

As you could already guess, this sort of fabric, even though being rather durable and resistant to many external factors, still has one weak area and this point is the heat. Want to know how to shrink dacron clothes? Simply expose the apparel to heat!

Even a 100% dacron apparel will shrivel, not saying about the mixed fabrics that contain other fibers.

According to the classic dacron maintenance rules, it is not even recommended to dry the garments made of this fabric exposing them to the sunshine!

That is why people often flat-dry their semi-artificial textile apparel indoors.

How to Shrink Polyester?

shrink the polyester fabric
Photo by Volha Flaxeco on Unsplash

Of course, nobody would like to ruin favorite garments only because of improper care methods! However, sometimes some shrinking may even be helpful!

Yes, you got it right! We are talking about shrinking this fabric for purpose. Crazy, isn’t it?

How do you usually care for polyester clothing?
For tumble-drying, I set the machine to the low heat regime
I use softener for fabrics
I iron in a moderate heat setting

Nevertheless, if we, for instance, need to make oversize dacron apparel smaller to fit better, why not?

Here are the most popular and effective methods on how to shrink 100% semi-artificial textile.

  • Launder & Dry

The simplest way how to make dacron shrivel). 

Just turn the apparel inside out to prevent the color from fading, set the machine to the hottest setting, and the longest cycle.

No detergent is needed unless the apparel needs it.

After the cycle is finished, remove the apparel to the drying barrel instantly and repeat the “hottest ever” procedure.

Here we go! Shrinked garment is ready!

  • Another approach is to add iron.

Launder the apparel the same as it was described above.

Instead of a barrel-drying, spread the apparel on the iron board still inside out and cover it with the pressing cloth to secure from burns.

Iron either on low or average heating regime without steam.

  • Fadeless shrinkage

To protect the colors, add a half cup of white vinegar when laundering. Keep the heat settings to the highest and remember to turn the apparel inside out.

These two options are the most widespread and effective, besides, they’re the less harmful to the fabric.

Frequently Asked Questions

Double-check whether you are knowledgeable about all the nuances that come with the basic care requirements regarding dacron.

Can dacron shrivel in the dryer?

It does but only if the dryer is set to the hottest regime.

How to shrink polyester and elastic artificial fabric?

Polyester, just like spandex, is not heat-friendly and can easily be shrunk after exposing it to hot water or air. 

How much can dacron diminish?

Normally, if polyester apparel is run through the hot launder and drying, it will come out shrunk some but not a whole lot.

For a slight shrinkage, use a medium heat regime for launder and drying, but if the moderate result is needed, use a high heat setting.

To shrink such apparel as pants, jackets, and shirts, only the high heat regime will cope.

What is a foam with Dacron wrap filling?What is a foam with Dacron wrap filling?

Does dry-fit shrink?

It hangs upon the content of the fabric. If it’s 100% polyester, it can be shrunk under the impact of high heat. The same will happen to cotton and cotton/polyester blend items.

Go back to these tips whenever your apparel needs some shrinking or, on the contrary, it must be protected from it by all means! 

How to Wash Polyester Garment In the Best Way


The polyester garment is durable and quite easy to take care of since this fiber is one of the materials that take minimum effort.

However, owners of clothes made of this sort of fiber often face certain complications when it comes to such simple and small daily routines as the wash process.

We suppose that quite many of you have at least once chosen a wrong wash cycle or tossed the polyester clothes to the washing machine together with other items, and what you had, in the end, was ruined polyester garment.

To avoid such situations and prevent your clothes from ruining, we have prepared a complete and detailed description of the washing process for one of the most durable materials. 

You’re going to learn how long the washing process for this sort of fabric has to be, we will reveal the small hints about the correct ironing, and in addition, you will even learn what the best water temperature for washing these clothes is.

So off we go!

  1. It’s always best to start with reading the care tag! The information it provides can save lots of time and nerves, and you’ll be able to avoid any silly mistakes. Note that if the tag says dry clean only then normal washing is prohibited for these clothes!
  2. In case the tag allows washing, that’s great! Start with turning the clothes inside out. It is needed because when we wash polyester, it snags easily and trims on buttons from other items. By turning it inside out, you’ll prevent any damage.
  3. If you need to wash white clothes, put them into the water with diluted dishwasher, and leave overnight. Like this, all the dirt and stain will be deleted from the wet cloth. When using this method, remember no to use bleach.
  4. Now it’s time for a good wash! It is important to set the correct washing cycle on the washing machine since proper water temperature and the washing method will guarantee that garments will come out of the barrel safe and sound.
  5. For washing polyester, permanent press cycle works best. Like this, items get cooled in a washing machine prior to the main wash.  This method guarantees that items will emerge from the barrel being the same size and without wrinkles.
  6. For washing polyester, choose warm water. It will protect the cloth during the wash and clean it in addition. On the contrary, cold water will leave all the dirt on fabric whereas hot water will make its size smaller.
  7. Try to use a laundry agent that is not too rough, and put in some fabric softener to avoid static cling.

If you want your polyester items to serve you really long, use a handwash method!

  •  For drying, use special drying cloth with the softening agent. It will allow protecting the items after you place them in the drying barrel. Since the contact with high temperature makes polyester shrivel, set the dryer to the low heating setting.
  •  For ironing, we’d recommend choosing the lowest regime along with the protective cloth sprinkled with water. Slightly wet fabric will be ironed much easier and safer. 

If everyone will follow these simple hints, keeping your polyester items in great condition and of their native size will be even simpler!

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
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