How to Stretch a T-shirt: Men’s Guide (6 Ways)

Learn how to shrink your t-shirt.

How to Stretch a T-shirt

Stretching Clothes

One way to stretch your t-shirt is to soak the shirt in a tub of warm water mixed with hair conditioner for 10-15 minutes. Take the shirt out and rinse under the tap for 5 minutes, making sure all the conditioner is out. Squeeze the shirt dry and stretch with your hands, forearms or hang on the back of a chair. Use cold to warm water.

This is How to Stretch a T-shirt: Men’s Guide (6 Ways).

Welcome to our article helping you stretch your t-shirt.

Before stretching your t-shirt, you must know that stretching the fabric will only be a short-term answer to a long-term problem.

The smarter option is to tailor your t-shirt, but the possibilities will also be limited since it’s easier to take a tee in instead of making it larger.

Once you have stretched your shirt to the size you desire, you will want to hang or fold it for storing. And whenever you wash your tee next, do not put it in a dryer. 

Let these articles help you take the best care of your shirt once stretched.

How to Stretch a T-shirt

Try out one of the 6 options to stretch your t-shirt out below. And if you have other pieces of clothing to stretch, check out our other guides.

1. How to Stretch a T-shirt with Conditioner

  1. Soak your t-shirt in the sink or a large bowl. Make sure to use room temperature-to-lukewarm water and saturate every area of the t-shirt that you want to be stretched. The level of the water should sufficiently cover the t-shirt.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of hair conditioner per 1 quart (1 litre) of water. Once added, mix it up with your hand to ensure the conditioner doesn’t stay in globs and fully dissolves into the water. The hair conditioner will soften the fibres, making them easier to stretch.
  3. Keep the t-shirt flat and submerged for 10-15 minutes. It’s easiest to put the t-shirt on top of the bowl or sink and then gently press it into the water, ensuring the conditioned water gets into every fibre of the t-shirt. If it’s wadded up, areas of the shirt will shrink differently.
  4. Take the shirt out of the bowl, dump the water, and refill it with clean water (or use a different bowl). Otherwise, the tee will be covered in a sticky residue.
  5. Lay the shirt down on a flat area, such as a tabletop, freezer lid or the floor. Lay down some towels first to protect the shirt (and the surface, if you don’t want it wet).
  6. If there is a graphic on your tee that you don’t want to stretch, iron it now. Stretching a t-shirt can distort the image on it. However, if you dry the picture first, it won’t stretch as much as the bottom and sides of your shirt (the areas you want to be stretched) because they’re still wet.
  7. Place your forearms inside the part of the shirt that you want to stretch. If you want it wider, stretch the shirt outwards, ensuring not to put too much pressure on one spot. This can leave a strange “dent” sticking out in one place on the shirt.
  8. Spread the stretched shirt out on a towel to dry. If you’re worried about it shrinking, place weights on the edges. If you’re looking for a larger bust or stomach, you can place objects within the t-shirt to stretch those areas out even more.

How to Stretch a T-shirt with Conditioner: Tips

  • Use baby shampoo if you don’t have a conditioner.
  • The quality of the conditioner won’t change the outcome, so cheap is just fine.
  • Hold it flat toward the bottom of the bowl to stop it from gathering, and ensure every fibre gets infused with the conditioned water. Once thoroughly soaked, it should stay submerged. Leave it there for 10-15 minutes.
  • Spend at least 5 minutes rinsing the shirt.
  • Squeeze the water out of the shirt to speed up the drying process. But do not wring it.
  • If you want your shirt to be longer, stretch from the neck and the bottom, pulling it longer in opposite directions. Work from left to right, ensuring all sides of the t-shirt are equally stretched.
  • Keep your shirt away from direct sunlight while it dries because it may shrink your hard-earned work.

2. How to Stretch a T-shirt with an Iron

  1. Wet the entire t-shirt in cool water. Hold it flat towards the bottom of a bowl or a sink to ensure it’s evenly wet.
  2. Lay it on a flat area for ironing. Wring it out to eliminate excess water to prevent dripping and soak your surface or ironing board. An ironing board is best, but you could also use the countertop or floor if you’re careful.
  3. With your iron on medium-low, start going over the t-shirt using pressure. With the iron in one hand and the shirt in another, start pulling and pressing with the iron. Use the iron with force, stretching the t-shirt as the iron passes over it, forcing it outward.
  4. Make sure it’s flat and give it a final tug. Spread it out, and place weights around the edges if you’d like.

How to Stretch a T-shirt with an Iron: Tips

Make sure to go in every direction – pulling up, down, and sideways. Flip the shirt over when you’re done and do the back.

3. How to Stretch a T-shirt on a Chair

  1. Get the entire T-shirt wet. Either use the washing machine or dunk it into a tub of water.
  2. Pull the wrung but wet shirt over the back of a dining chair. Or, choose another appropriately-sized chair that the water won’t damage.
  3. Allow the shirt to dry. As it dries, the chair’s shape will stretch the t-shirt nicely for you.

4. How to Stretch a T-shirt with Weights 

  1. Use weights to manipulate the t-shirt’s size. If you’ve used one of the above methods, you may want to use weights on the t-shirt to keep it stretched out for a certain final measure. On the edges of the shirt, place mugs, books, or bags of rice, keeping the t-shirt in its stretched-out position.
  2. You can also place items inside the shirt.

5. How to Stretch a T-shirt in the Shower

Wear the t-shirt in the shower. Clothes stretch more when they’re wet. So, wear your shirt the next time you’re in the shower (a warm-hot shower). Tug on it in all the areas you want to be stretched. 

6. How to Stretch a T-shirt on your Body

Have a larger friend wear the t-shirt. They need to be noticeably larger than you in size. Whether height or bulkiness, to make a difference in how your shirt will fit once handed back. There is no need to get the shirt wet. Instead get them to wear it for a few hours or get them to sleep in it for a night.

How to Stretch a T-shirt: Tips

  • Use room temperature-to-lukewarm water. If you use too hot or cold water, the fibres won’t be prone to stretching.
  • To make sure it stays at this size, avoid drying it. From now on, this shirt should be air-dried. You may occasionally stretch it out again, but avoiding drying will keep it larger.

How to Stretch a T-shirt FAQ

Yes, you can stretch shirts to make them bigger; however, your shirt’s shape may not look how you desire anymore. Also, it may shrink back to its original size after washing and drying.

To make your t-shirt bigger you need to get it soaking wet and do one of these three things. Put it on and pull on the parts you want bigger, fit it onto the back of a chair or lay it flat and put weights onto the areas you just pulled.

Written and reviewed by:
Tall Paul
Tall Paul
I am 6'7 (203cm) / 235lb (106 kg) model and ex-athlete. Since I was a teen I had trouble finding clothes. I was too tall for off the rack and was too lean for Big & Tall.

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