8 Ways to Shrink a Hoodie

Shrink a hoodie

Shrinking a hoodie is one way to get a giant hoodie to fit better. However, be aware that this practice can also cause material damage. Washing your hoodie in hot water will shrink it but might result in material shrinkage, including pilling and thread loss. The iron for shrinking a hoodie is an option if you want smaller sleeves or a hood. Finally, the dryer method uses the heat of the dryer to shrink a hoodie and has few side effects on the design or functionality of your garment.

The first step to shrinking a hoodie is knowing why it's necessary. If you wash something excessively warm or hot, the fabric fibers will start to break down. Soap and other detergents also do this, which makes clothes shrink when washed repeatedly in hot water. Shrinking a hoodie using a dryer or an iron can be more precise because you control how much the garment you want to change. So if your hoodie has a significant polyester component, expect a more dramatic shrinking effect when you use the washing machine or hot water with soap.

1. Cotton/Polyester Blend

The first thing to do when trying to shrink a hoodie is to determine what sort of material it's made out of. For example, if the fabric is 100 percent cotton, and you try to shrink it with a synthetic fabric setting, you may end up with a tiny garment! But, there's hope yet when it comes to shrinking your hoodie and getting that perfect fit. Just remember how you want to shrink the hoodie, whether for style or to add more comfort room to the garment, and tailor your method according to the type of material used for the hoodie.

2. The Washer

If you're looking for the fastest possible way to shrink your sweatshirt, putting it in the dryer on low heat after washing will do the trick. Be sure not to catch any other clothing in that dryer basket, though; you don't want to shrink anything else accidentally! Nevertheless, we think it's one of the best ways to shrink your hoodie. The entire drying cycle will remove any remaining moisture, so there's no risk of shrinkage if you accidentally put it in the dryer at this point! With that said, we recommend waiting until the item is completely relaxed before you put it in the dryer to allow synthetic materials a chance to contract and prevent wrinkling.

3. The Dryer

So why does this work? Heat (or hot water) causes the hoodie fabric to shrink. As the hoodie dries, it will hold its new shape. If you want it to shrink the most, allow it to dry before putting it on fully. Depending on the material of your hoodie and your desired amount of shrinkage, you may be able to accomplish this in one drying cycle or a few processes. Some fabrics do not shrink as much as others. So keep that in mind when deciding how much you would like your garment to shrink. Using a dryer seems like as good a time as any to reinforce proper care instructions: always wash dark-colored clothes in cold water for reduced staining and fading!

4. Boiling Water

The best way to shrink your hoodie is to stick it in boiling water. Using boiling water works exceptionally well on bulkier sweaters and can turn a big, puffy piece of clothing into something much more sleek and wearable. Just be sure that you don't catch your fingers on any part of the garment as you pull it out. The bottom line here is that, yes, you can shrink a hoodie quite a bit. How much it shrinks depends on the length of time you immerse it in boiling water and if you have multiple sessions of this to get the shrinkage you want. This is a relatively quick process, and it involves little hassle. Remember that you shouldn't shrink any garment with fragile materials or embellishments.

5. The Hair Dryer

It's best to use the hairdryer method if you find a too big hoodie looking for a smaller size. The last thing you want to do is shrink a fitted hoodie or pull on various parts of the garment to fit better. Using this method of shrinking a hoodie is best for those times when you find yourself confronted with a hoodie that's just too big but is your favorite. You should probably experiment with a few clothing items before you start using your hairdryer for shrinking your hoodies. The gentle nature of the method does not allow for much shrinkage, and it has the potential to cause some damage to darker fabrics or those made with different materials. 

6. Ironing

If it's a small enough piece, you can iron a square of the hoodie's fabric to shrink it up. Be warned that your iron should not be too hot, or you might melt the material if you do this. Instead, use a cloth over the spot you want to shrink and repeatedly run the iron over it. The goal is to create steam that will potentially shrink the fabric and prevent scorch marks. Ironing your jeans can result in some much-needed comfort! This is also a great way to shrink your hoodie if you have it in a hand-me-down size that has stretched out over time. The material will likely shrink to its original fit. Upon drying, be sure to hang the garment, so it doesn't stretch back out again or get stained.

7. 100% Cotton

There are some things to remember when shrinking a cotton hoodie. For example, always use high heat and low air settings when drying. This will produce wrinkles instead of shrinkage, which can be annoying with your fashion-forward shrunken hoodie. Also, don't forget to wash and dry the hoodie separately from other garments on the same load. And give it a day of rest in your closet or drawer before you wear it again. The bottom line is: check the garment's care label before shrinking a cotton hoodie! If it says "machine washable," go for it.

8. Tailor It

Hoodies are one of the most versatile and convenient garments to own. So easy to throw on when you're running errands or heading out casually with friends. But hoodies' versatility can lead to all sorts of wardrobe mishaps, like wearing a too-big hoodie. In case you need to shrink a hoodie, tailor it drastically! Just be aware that most of the time, this will only reduce an oversized hoodie by two sizes at most. If you have a hoodie that's just a little too big, try taking it to your local tailor. Again, it may only reduce the size by one or two measures at most, but it's worth a shot.


My recommendation is to try the dryer method of shrinking a hoodie first. The dryer is the easiest way to shrink a hoodie, and it doesn't generate pilling or damage your sleeves. If it doesn't work out, go ahead and grab some scissors and cut off the excess material. Cutting off extra material is better than dealing with a garment that's too big. The iron method has few side effects if done correctly, but it can still cause some damage to your clothing.

If you want to shrink a hoodie and have already tried other methods, the iron option might be for you. It is a little more potentially damaging, but it's effective in shrinking the body of your hoodie. If you only want to shrink the sleeves or hood, the dryer and washing machine options are easy ways to do so. Properly washing and drying a hoodie is the best option for shrinking a hoodie.

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