How to Drastically Shrink a Jersey

by Zora Hughes ; Updated September 28, 2017

Always check the care label of your jersey before washing.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

You may love that sports jersey of your favorite player you snagged at the sports store, but if it is too big for you, it won't look right. Don't put it away just yet. While many jerseys are made of 100 percent polyester, which does not shrink, some are made of a cotton-polyester blend. If your jersey has some cotton in it, you may be able to shrink it in the wash. The results will depend on the percentage of cotton in the jersey; the higher percentage, the easier it will be to shrink it to the right size.

Items you will need

  • Color-stay laundry detergent
  • Washer
  • Dryer
Step 1

Check the care label of the jersey to make sure it is a cotton-polyester blend jersey.

Step 2

Turn the washing machine on and set it for hot water.

Step 3

Pour a capful of color-stay detergent in the washing machine. Hot water can fade the colors in the jersey.

Step 4

Add the jersey to the washing machine alone.

Step 5

Place the jersey into the dryer and turn it to the highest setting.

Step 6

Try on the jersey to see how it feels. If it has not shrunk enough to your liking, repeat the washing and drying on high heat several more times.


  • Take the jersey to a tailor to help take in the size, if it has not shrunk enough.


  • Do not attempt to shrink jerseys with a high percentage of polyester and a low percentage of cotton. Polyester does not shrink and you may end up ruining the look of your jersey.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.