Do Gildan Shirts Shrink? How To Shrink & Unshrink

Gildan shirts are a popular choice for their affordability and comfort, but one common concern is whether they shrink.

Do Gildan Shirts Shrink

This article delves into the topic, addressing the burning question: Do Gildan shirts shrink? We’ll explore the factors contributing to shrinkage, discuss methods to intentionally shrink them if desired, and even offer tips on how to unshrink a Gildan shirt in case you encounter an accidental mishap in the laundry.

By the end of this informative guide, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of Gildan shirt shrinkage and the know-how to manage it effectively. Let’s dive in!


Do Gildan Shirts Shrink?

Yes, Gildan shirts can shrink, particularly if they are exposed to high heat during washing or drying. Gildan shirts are typically made from cotton, which is prone to shrinkage when subjected to hot water or high dryer temperatures.

To minimize shrinkage, it’s advisable to follow care instructions on the shirt’s label, which often recommend cold water wash and low-heat drying or air drying.

Keep in mind that while some shrinkage may occur, it can be limited with proper care. If you accidentally shrink a Gildan shirt, you can try stretching it gently while damp to partially unshrink it, although this may not completely reverse the process.

Does Gildan Shirts Shrink In The Dryer?

Yes, Gildan shirts can shrink in the dryer. Gildan shirts are typically made from cotton, and cotton fabrics are known to be susceptible to shrinkage when exposed to high heat during the drying process. The heat causes the cotton fibers to contract, resulting in a reduction in the shirt’s size.

To minimize shrinkage, it’s advisable to follow the care instructions on the shirt’s label, which often recommend using a low-heat setting or air drying.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can help prevent excessive shrinkage and prolong the lifespan of your Gildan shirts, ensuring they maintain their original fit and comfort.

Does Gildan Shirts Shrink In Wash?

Yes, Gildan shirts can shrink in the wash. Gildan shirts are typically made from cotton, and cotton fabrics are known for their propensity to shrink when exposed to hot water and agitation during the washing process.

The heat and mechanical action cause the cotton fibers to contract, leading to a reduction in the shirt’s size. To minimize shrinkage, it’s advisable to follow the care instructions on the shirt’s label, which often recommend using cold water for washing and avoiding high-heat settings.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can help prevent excessive shrinkage and ensure your Gildan shirts maintain their original size and shape for longer-lasting wear.

How Much Does Gildan Shirts Shrink?

The amount that Gildan shirts shrink can vary depending on several factors, including the specific Gildan shirt model, the fabric blend, and the washing and drying conditions.

However, as a general guideline, Gildan shirts made from 100% cotton are likely to experience shrinkage of approximately 5-7% in both length and width. This means that if you have a Gildan shirt that originally measures 30 inches in length, it may shrink by about 1.5 to 2.1 inches after washing and drying.

It’s important to note that individual results may vary, and careful adherence to care instructions, such as using cold water and low-heat drying settings, can help minimize shrinkage and preserve the shirt’s original size to some extent.

Can You Shrink Gildan Shirts?

Yes, you can intentionally shrink Gildan shirts. If you want to shrink a Gildan shirt, you can follow a few simple steps. Start by washing the shirt in hot water and then drying it on high heat settings.

The combination of heat and agitation in the washing and drying process will cause the cotton fibers to contract, leading to shrinkage.

However, keep in mind that excessive shrinking may result in changes to the fabric’s texture and overall fit, so it’s essential to monitor the process carefully.

Remember to follow care instructions to avoid damaging the shirt or shrinking it more than desired.

How To Shrink Gildan Shirts?

To intentionally shrink a Gildan shirt, you can follow these steps:

  1. Check the Care Label: Before proceeding, ensure that the shirt is made of 100% cotton or a cotton blend. Other materials may not respond as well to the shrinking process.
  2. Wash the Shirt: Place the Gildan shirt in the washing machine with hot water. Hot water helps facilitate the shrinking process.
  3. Use Agitation: Select a wash cycle with vigorous agitation to encourage the fabric to contract. This will help achieve the desired shrinkage.
  4. Dry on High Heat: After washing, transfer the shirt to the dryer. Set the dryer to a high-heat setting. The combination of heat and tumbling will further shrink the shirt.
  5. Monitor the Process: Keep a close eye on the shirt while it’s in the dryer. Check its size periodically to prevent over-shrinking, as excessive heat can damage the fabric.
  6. Remove and Stretch (Optional): If you find that the shirt has shrunk too much or you’re not satisfied with the level of shrinkage, you can try stretching it gently while it’s still damp. This might partially reverse the process.
  7. Iron (Optional): If necessary, you can use a hot iron to further set the shrinkage in the shirt, but be cautious not to damage the fabric.

It’s essential to exercise caution when intentionally shrinking a Gildan shirt, as excessive heat and agitation can lead to fabric damage or a more significant reduction in size than desired.

Always follow the care instructions on the label and proceed gradually to achieve the desired level of shrinkage while preserving the shirt’s quality.

How To Unshrink Gildan Shirts?

Unshrinking a Gildan shirt can be challenging, as the process of shrinking involves the compression and contraction of the fabric fibers. However, you can try the following methods to attempt to unshrink a Gildan shirt:

  1. Soak in Lukewarm Water:
    • Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water.
    • Submerge the shrunken shirt in the water and let it soak for about 30 minutes. This will help relax the fibers.
  2. Use Hair Conditioner (Optional):
    • Add a small amount of hair conditioner to the water. Conditioner can help further soften the fabric.
  3. Gently Stretch:
    • After soaking, remove the shirt from the water.
    • Gently stretch the shirt in all directions while it’s still wet. Pay special attention to the areas that have shrunk.
  4. Roll in Towel:
    • Lay the shirt flat on a clean towel.
    • Roll up the towel with the shirt inside to absorb excess water. Continue to apply gentle pressure while rolling.
  5. Reshape and Air Dry:
    • Lay the shirt on a flat surface and carefully reshape it to its original dimensions.
    • Allow the shirt to air dry naturally. Avoid using heat or a dryer, as this can cause further shrinkage.
  6. Repeat if Necessary:
    • If the shirt hasn’t fully regained its original size after the first attempt, you can repeat the process.

Keep in mind that unshrinking a shirt is not always guaranteed to restore it completely to its original size, especially if it has shrunk significantly.

The success of this method depends on the fabric type and the extent of the shrinkage. Prevention (following care labels and avoiding excessive heat) is often more effective than attempting to unshrink a shirt.

How To Prevent Gildan Shirts From Shrinking?

To prevent Gildan shirts from shrinking, you can follow these guidelines:

  1. Read the Care Label: Always check the care label on your Gildan shirt for specific washing and drying instructions. These instructions will help you maintain the fabric’s integrity and size.
  2. Use Cold Water: When washing your Gildan shirts, use cold water. Cold water is less likely to cause significant shrinkage compared to hot water.
  3. Gentle Wash Cycle: Opt for a gentle or delicate wash cycle on your washing machine. This reduces the mechanical agitation that can cause shrinking.
  4. Mild Detergent: Use a mild, color-safe detergent to wash your shirts. Harsh detergents can weaken fabric fibers.
  5. Avoid Overloading: Don’t overload the washing machine. Give your shirts enough space to move freely during the wash.
  6. Skip the Dryer: Air drying is the best way to prevent shrinking. Hang your Gildan shirts on a clothesline or lay them flat on a clean, dry surface. Avoid using a dryer, especially on high-heat settings.
  7. Reshape While Drying: If you notice any slight shrinking after air drying, gently reshape the shirt to its original dimensions while it’s still damp.
  8. Steam Ironing (Optional): If your Gildan shirt has wrinkles after air drying, you can use a steam iron on a low setting to remove them. This can also help maintain the fabric’s size and shape.
  9. Store Properly: Store your Gildan shirts in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, to prevent any heat-induced shrinking when not in use.
  10. Follow Garment-Specific Recommendations: Some Gildan shirts may have specific care instructions. Follow them diligently to ensure the best preservation of size and quality.

By following these steps, you can help prevent excessive shrinkage and maintain the original size and fit of your Gildan shirts for a longer period.

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Final Words

Understanding how to care for and maintain Gildan shirts is essential to ensure they remain comfortable and retain their original size and shape.

While Gildan shirts can be prone to shrinking when exposed to high heat and improper washing techniques, following a few simple guidelines can make a significant difference.

Using cold water, gentle wash cycles, and air drying are key strategies to prevent shrinking. Additionally, reading and adhering to care labels, and gentle reshaping when needed, contribute to the longevity of these shirts.

By practicing proper care, you can enjoy your Gildan shirts for an extended period, maintaining their quality and fit.

Hello there! I’m Jessica, I'm a textile engineer and mom of two little boys. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for Fabrichow.

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