How do you feel about losing your favorite shirt because it’s shrunk? It seems to be the most annoying thing and can definitely ruin your mood when you see it completely shrunken after a wash. This is a pretty normal situation and there exist some ways on how to stretch out a shirt.

Why Does Your Shirt Shrink?

A shirt is more likely to shrink when exposed to high temperatures during the wash either by using hot water on various fabrics or by using a dryer. Too much heat can change the structure of the fiber. 

Fibers differ in their properties of absorbing water. Cotton and wool are more likely to absorb much water than polyester and nylon. When cotton woven clothes are washed with high-temperature water, they absorb a lot of water and their threads expand, and the structure of the fabric changes.

Stretching The Shirt

No need to worry if your shirts have been shrunk. Following are some ways that can assist you in stretching the shirt back to its real position:

Using Weights:

Using weights can do the magic. What you need to do is wet your shirt thoroughly and place it on a flat surface after removing excess water. Stretch the shirt and place the weights on both sides including arms.

Use Conditioner

Add 2-3 spoons of hair conditioner in cool water in a bowl. Sink the shirt into the bowl. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and wash under water, extracting all the conditioner out. It softens the fabric. You can also use baby shampoo. 


Dry the shirt slightly in a spinner. Iron the shirt along with stretching. Place the iron on one side and pull the other side slightly. Do it all the way from top to bottom. 

Stretching With Hands

Try stretching the shirt with your hands slightly after washing. Wash with cool water and remove the excess water out of it and then stretch it with your hands. 


After washing with cool water, remove excess water, and use a clothes hanger to hang the shirt. Let it air-dry. 

The above methods will really help you stretch your shirt. For the future, your first priority should be avoiding the problem. What you need to do is have a look at the tag that is present on almost every shirt you buy. It clearly gives you instructions on what to avoid for that particular fabric. For instance, ‘do not tumble dry’ or ‘hand-wash only’. Following these instructions, you can avoid future problems.