Tall Mens Fashion Advice

How to Shrink Denim: Your Guide

Learn how to shrink denim with our in-depth guide.

How to Shrink Denim

Shorts - Jeans - Jacket

There are several ways to shrink your denim and all of them are based around one core focus of using heat to shrink the denim fabric. He simplest way to use heat is to toss your jeans in the washing machine using hot water, and then the dryer on tumble dry high until they’re completely dry. The heat will shrink the denim fibers, but also weaken the fabric at the same time.

This is How to Shrink Denim: Your Guide.

Welcome to our article teaching you how to shrink denim. Denim, like cotton and polyester, has its own treatment and care methods to make sure the fabric does get ruined. It’s best to understand how to wash denim as your prep for shrinking it.

Check the care label on the denim garment you want to shrink to ensure it is not a mix of fabrics.

If you are searching for how to shrink jeans, then let that article give you a more detailed answer.

Let our detailed denim articles help you make sure you keep your denim in tip top shape.

How to Shrink Denim

1. Wash in hot water

Wash the denim in hot water. This will cause the fibers to shrink and the fabric to become tighter. Once you take your denim jeans, denim shorts or denim jacket out of the wash you can try it on to see if it has shrunk enough.

If it has shrunken to your liking, then hang dry or line dry your denim.

If it need to be shrunken just a tiny bit more then put the denim into the drier on tumble dry medium heat.

And if your denim needs more shrinking then put the denim back into the hot wash for another cycle or put it in the dryer on tumble dry high.

2. Dry on hot

Dry the denim in a dryer on the hottest setting. The heat and tumbling motion will further shrink the denim.

You can out your denim in the dryer while wet from just being washed, or you can dampen it in the sink prior.

3. Repeat as needed

If the denim is still too large after the first wash and dry, repeat the process.

Please keep in mind that shrinking denim may cause it to become too tight and uncomfortable to wear and not all denim can be shrinked. It’s always a good idea to check the care tag on the denim garment for any specific instructions before attempting to shrink it. Additionally, it’s important to note that once denim is shrunk, it cannot be stretched back out to its original size.

How to Shrink Denim: Tips

  • Shrink with similar colors
  • Check in on jeans in dryer every 10-15 minutes for a size check


The fastest way to shrink denim is to wash it in hot water and dry it in the hottest drying setting.

It is not possible to shrink denim to a specific number of sizes, as the amount of shrinkage can vary depending on the type of denim. Typically, denim can be shrunk by up to 20-30% in both width and length.

Denim is very easy to shrink. It is so easy to shrink that you should be cautious when washing your jeans and jean jackets, only using cold water and air drying them.

Written and reviewed by
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
Paul Marlow, standing at an impressive 6'7 (201cm) and weighing 225lb (102kg), is a mental health speaker, fashion expert, and ex-athlete who excels at helping tall men find well-fitting clothing and teaching them how to style it effectively. As a model in the fashion and film industries, Paul shares his expertise in tall men's fashion, offering valuable advice on measurements, tailoring, and alterations. In addition, he founded Never Alone, an organization that provides mental health and therapy inspiration, and started the Mental Growth Newsletter to support those facing mental health challenges, drawing from his own experiences.

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