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How to Shrink a Shirt in the Washer?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by nbmplano, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. nbmplano

    nbmplano Senior member

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    I know this question is pretty backwards from what most SF posts are about (trying to reduce the shrinking rather than induce it, but...) I recently purchased some TM Lewin shirts that fit decently, but the arms are somewhat "blousy." These have not been washed yet, and I am going to take them to my tailor to get the arms slimmed down a bit. I know I should wash these first to have them shrink up before having my tailor work on them, but what is the best way to wash them to get all the "shrink" out? (I have enough room in the collar, etc. to have the shirt shrink a bit) I am afraid if I take them to the cleaners, I might not get much shrink out of them. What is the best way to shrink a shirt? Should I was them myself with hot water in the washing machine?

    Also, if using the washing machine is a suggestion (or any other method for that matter), is there a preferred SF method to keep the shirts in good condition (collars feeling new and stiff, etc.?) I usually just take my dress shirts to the cleaners, and never wash them at home, so this is new to me.

    Thanks!!
     


  2. axe

    axe Senior member

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    The washer doesn't shrink clothes very much, it's the dryer that you have to watch out for. Wash it, then dive it a high-temperature run in the dryer.

    Be careful though, don't shrink it too much.
     


  3. Mr.K

    Mr.K Senior member

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    You should wash before taking them to the tailor. YOu do not want the tailor to work onyour shirts and then weash it and find out it does not fit. I usually wash cotton items a coupletimes and dry before taking to the tailor. My MTM shirts are usaully washed and machine dried once to get the shrink out.
     


  4. nbmplano

    nbmplano Senior member

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    Great. I take it I was in hot water? Then throw it in the dryer on high heat (cotton) setting? Any ideas on keeping the shirt looking and feeling new or should this matter? Seems like when I was my banana republic dress shirts (that I wear casually and dont really care to take to the cleaners) they come up with fairly limp and flat collars. Just want to make sure I dont ruin a shirt by washing it...

    As for shrinking it too much... It definitely has room to shrink (I ordered the collar a half size too big, and everything else could be a bit more slim.)
     


  5. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    Do not wash in hot water, and certainly do not put them in the dryer. Just wash them on a normal temperature as instructed by the care label then hang to dry. It may take more than one wash for them to shrink the full amount but I would never let any decent clothes anywhere near a dryer except in an emergency.
     


  6. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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    here's the thing with shirts and shrinking:

    generally, the shrinkage occurs in length, not in terms of volume.

    so you'll get shrinkage in
    the length of your shirt,
    the length of your sleeve.
    perhaps even a bit in the shoulder and slightly in the chest width.


    however,
    sleeve width,
    armhole width,
    and waist width
    do not change at all.

    now how nice would it be if a shirt would shrink in a waist and arm width and not change the shoulder and length?
    we do not live in that perfect world.
     


  7. acecow

    acecow Senior member

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    now how nice would it be if a shirt would shrink in a waist and arm width and not change the shoulder and length?
    we do not live in that perfect world.


    I think about it all the time. Time to delete my account and move on with normal life, I suppose.
     


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