How to Shrink Cotton Jeans

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Sometimes, a pair of jeans fits almost perfectly. Other times, the bottom may be a bit large, the thighs a little baggy, or the whole pant is just a touch oversized. To fix these problems, all you need is a washer, dryer or steam iron, and some patience. Keep in mind, however, that cotton jean shrinking techniques work only on a temporary basis. Try using the services of a good tailor for lasting results.

All-Over Shrinkage

Run a hot-water wash for your jeans. Detergent isn't necessary, unless you want to clean them at the same time.

Select the "soak" function on the machine to get the maximum amount of shrinkage. By sitting in a bath of hot water, the fibers will contract more than simply using an agitator cycle.

Remove the jeans from the washing machine at cycle completion. Tumble dry on high for additional shrinkage, or hang dry to preserve the shrinkage you already have.

Spot Shrinking

Heat your iron to the hot cotton/denim setting. Ensure that the steam setting is turned on. Alternately, turn on your steamer and allow it to heat up.

Select the section that you'd like to shrink, and iron or steam it. Move the iron with inward strokes to contract the weave.

Allow the jeans to cool completely before putting them on. Wearing the jeans while warm will cause the fibers to stretch out once more.