Do Jeans Shrink in the Dryer?

Shrinking is one of the fears most people face when using a dryer; placing your fabric in them and removing it small isn’t something we want to experience. Most fabric shrinks in the dryer, especially natural fabrics made from plants such; as cotton and silk.

Jeans are made with denim, a sturdy material created from cotton and natural fabric. So, yes, jeans shrink in a dryer when exposed to a level of heat.

Do Jeans Shrink In The Dryer?


While the fact that jeans do shrink in a dryer might be a hard pill to swallow, it might interest you to know that it also shrinks during its washing cycle. You may find it hard to believe because they appear to be studying and tough, but they shrink when exposed to a certain degree of heat.

The more heat a pair of Jeans is exposed to, the more it shrinks. A new pair of jeans shrink a lot during its first wash. In a dryer, jeans exposed to heat can shrink up to 10%. They can continue to shrink over time with continued washing as well. 

But the amount of shrinking that occurs during other washes is small and isn’t permanent. No one would love to open his/her dryer to see a shrunken jeans jacket or trousers after putting in his/her favorite.

Unless your jean is pre-shrunk, they will likely shrink. The most common cause of denim shrinking happens when you launder it in the washing machine or dryer. You should be prepared for some amount of shrinking to occur, especially after the first wash.

Your jeans might not look like a delicate material because of their sturdy nature, but they will shrink when given the right level of heat. When washing, avoid using hot water; when drying using a dryer, avoid using unnecessary heat. Using a delicate and low heat drying cycle will benefit your clothes.

You can dry clean your jeans if you’re worried about washing them yourself. Dry cleaning is the best way to avoid shrinkage and keep your jeans in tip-top shape.

Why Do Jeans Shrink In A Dryer?

Jeans shrink because of what it is made from. Many people don’t know this, but most denim jeans are made of either 100% cotton or a cotton blend (cotton blends are mixtures of cotton fibers with other fibers, like polyester, rayon, or spandex). Cotton shrinks when you wash it due to using hot water or high heat or when placed in a dryer with high temperatures. Denim shrinks for the same reason.

Tips To Avoid Shrinkage In Denim Fabric

Jeans will shrink in the dryer, though they are too sensitive to heat, so drying the fabric in a lower temperature setting is recommended to prevent shrinkage. You can apply certain precautions to avoid shrinkage in your denim fabric. Here are some tips to keep in mind to prevent shrinkage below:

1. Reading the label attached to your jean should be your priority once the thought of washing them comes to your mind. There you will find precautions and suggestions on how to best handle the jean. Through this label, you would know if putting your jeans in a washing machine is safe or not.

2. How often do your jeans affect it and will cause it to shrink? T-shirts and light clothes may need washing after one or two years, but jeans should only be washed every 10 or so wears.

3. When using a washing machine, set it to gentle or delicate.

denim washer setting

4. Air dry your denim fabric. It is safer than a dryer, but don’t leave your cloth in it for too long if you decide to use a dryer. Bring it out when it’s still damp, and air dries it.

5. Turn the jeans inside out before putting them in the dryer. This action will protect against fading caused by heat and friction.

6. Never expose your denim fabric to hot water. Be it when washing or rinsing. Jeans shrink faster in hot temperatures.

7. Avoid twisting and wringing the denim fabric. It could cause it to shrink.

8. The most effective way to prevent jeans from shrinking is to buy them pre-shrunk.

How to Dry Denim Fabric

Drying your jeans anyhow you seem fit might sound harmless until you make a wrong choice, leading to the disaster you have been trying to prevent. The amount of shrinking at this last stage of laundry is more than you think. To have a successful drying cycle, choose one of the following methods and use it effectively:

1. Electric Air Dryer

Electric air dryers are one of the hidden treasures in the field of laundry. They have been around for a while but are still unpopular, especially in parts of the world with hot temperatures. You should get one if you live in a cold area with less sunshine or a built-up area with limited green space. Using electricity, this device effectively dries your jeans. It may not be as fast as the conventional dryer, but it keeps your jeans from shrinking.

2. Hairdryer

You can convert your hairdryer to a cloth dryer if you have one. The airflow from the hairdryer can dry your jeans just as it does with your hair. To use a hairdryer, follow the steps below;

Step 1: Squeeze the jeans after rinsing to release water. Lay the jeans on a flat surface or hang them.

Step 2: Switch on the dryer and set it at a warm or high setting. Hold the dryer near the cloth and work your way slowly and gently around the surface of the jeans, then the back.

Note: Be careful not to keep the dryer in a particular spot for too long. It might start to shrink.

3. Air Dry

You can air dry your denim outside if the weather conditions are right. However, you should be careful not to expose your denim to sunlight as it might fade. Best to find a shaded outdoor area to dry your denim.

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