How to Thin a Shirt's Fabric

by Theresa Pickett ; Updated September 28, 2017

A few materials can help thin your shirt's fabric.

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Thinning a shirt sounds difficult especially if you have little background in modifying your clothes. Some household ingredients as well as items you can find outside will permit you to alter you shirt and make its fabric thinner. Some methods can be abrasive so experiment first with a piece of fabric that has no sentimental value to you. Get your most effective method down by practicing on an old rag and then use that method on the T-shirt that you want to make thinner.

Hand wash your shirt with abrasive materials to keep harm from happening to your washing machine. For instance, use sand to wash the shirt in a sink or bathtub, rinse very well and let dry as usual. Other materials to use include rocks and dryer balls.

Create a soak with white vinegar or apple vinegar. Use one cup of vinegar for every three cups of water. Then let soak for four to 12 hours and wash several times to get the vinegar smell out of the shirt.

Use a washing machine with items that should cause minimal harm to it. As an example, some items that help thin your shirt include tennis balls and rock salt as well as sandpaper. The abrasive property of the hard items should thin your shirt without making your washing machine malfunction.

Carefully thin your shirt with bleach. Use water and liquid bleach with a 16-1 ratio. Let soak for 30 to 40 minutes and then wash repeatedly before drying.

Hang your shirt in the sun for an extended amount of time. Use clothes pins to keep the shirt on a laundry drying rack. Hang the shirt in your backyard or on your porch where it can get the maximum amount of sun.


  • Try different methods to find the most effective way to thin your shirt. What works on one shirt might not work for others.

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About the Author

Theresa Pickett has written since 2007. She graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor of Arts in history and Vanderbilt University with a Master of Education in elementary education. As a certified teacher who earned the ETS Recognition of Excellence for Praxis II Elementary Education, she has been published in "Student Filmmakers Magazine" and "Model Life Magazine."