How to Slightly Shrink Clothing That Is a Size Too Big

by Suzanne Alicie ; Updated September 28, 2017

Have you lost a few pounds? Maybe you had to have that pair of jeans--even though they were too big. Whatever the reason, it is possible to shrink most clothing slightly to make it fit better.We have all been there. Through trial and error, and by accidentally shrinking that which wasn't supposed to be shrunk, the basic method of shirinking by heat was discovered and perfected. By using these few simple steps you can make your clothing that is too big, shrink to fit you perfectly.

Place the item of clothing in a large bucket or tub. The container needs to be heat resistant and not made of a material that will melt.

Boil a few gallons of water and pour over the item of clothing. Allow the garment to sit in the hot water until it cools enough to be handled.

Wring the clothing out and place in the washing machine on the hot water cycle.

Place the item in the dryer on high heat until dry.

When the garment is dry try it on and you will probably be surprised at how well it now fits you. If by chance the clothing shrunk a little too much, you can stretch it a little bit by dampening the tight areas and allowing it to dy on your body.


  • Heat allows many fabrics and fibers to shrink. This project works best on items made of blended materials. You don't want to try this with wool or silk items. Before you attempt to shrink the clothing, read the care label to make sure that it doesn't require dry cleaning or cold-water washing. If it does, you will damage the fabric or cause it to shrink in an extreme manner with heat and/or water.

About the Author

Suzanne Alicie is a professional writer and author who has been writing professionally since 2008. She has experience in gardening, communications and retail, as well as being a small-business owner. Alicie is an avid gardener and is happiest when digging in the dirt or grooming her flowerbeds.