Jeans are an American staple that has been popular for decades. It seems that almost all of us have a favorite pair, whether they’re faded and torn or bleached from years of riding atop a Harley.
Do Jeans Shrink in the Dryer
Most natural fibers will shrink in the dryer, so this is an essential consideration if you want to maintain the fit of your jeans.
The material used to make denim jeans is usually a cotton/poly blend because it makes the fabric stronger and helps keep its shape. It also gives jeans their distinctive texture and fades when they’re worn for a while.
But cotton is also why jeans shrink so quickly, and it’s probably not what you think.
When you throw your jeans in the dryer with other clothes, such as towels and T-shirts, you’re shrinking the cotton fibers in your jeans, causing them to lose their shape over time.
To prevent this, wash your jeans by themselves and hang them to dry. If you’ve got a few favorite pairs, it’s probably worth it to buy an extra-large drying rack for the laundry room; the longer they take to dry, the less chance they have of shrinking in the heat.
How Much Do Jeans Shrink in Dryer?
Jeans made from a cotton/poly blend usually shrink about one size when put through the dryer. If they start at a size 34 waist, they might shrink to a 32.
But 100% cotton jeans can shrink much more, especially if you’re in a hurry and don’t mind damaging your clothes with high heat.
Why are Jeans So Tight After Washing?
Of course, most of us don’t like to go around in public wearing too tight clothes. It’s evident that your jeans shrunk in the dryer, but there is a trick you can use to make them seem like they fit again. After washing and drying your jeans, throw them in the dryer for about five minutes. This will warm up the material and make it more elastic, which should help stretch out the jeans to their original size.
The only problem with this solution is that you have to repeat this process every time you wash your jeans, which can be a big hassle if you do laundry frequently.
Should I Buy Jeans a Size Bigger?
Yes, buy jeans a size bigger than you need. Even if your actual size is 34, buy 36 and then shrink them to fit right.
Also, opt for straight or boot cut over tapered styles because they’re less likely to feel too tight after shrinking.
And try not to wash jeans more than once every two months. If you really can’t stand to go that long without washing them, turn them inside out and wash in cold water instead of hot.
How Often Should You Wash Your Jeans?
How Tight Should 100% Cotton Jeans Be?
If you like your jeans super tight, you’ll be happy to know that 100% cotton jeans are even skinnier than their cotton/poly counterparts.
Also, stretch out your jeans before wearing them because they’re more likely to shrink in the dryer. Stretch them by pulling on both legs while they’re hanging up and holding one leg in each hand. Stretch a little bit, wait a few seconds and stretch again.
This also helps prevent fading at the seams because cotton is thinner than other parts of your jeans.
So, to sum it all up, 100% cotton jeans are more likely to shrink in the dryer than their cotton/poly blend counterparts.
Also, if you wash your jeans too frequently, they will get creases and look old before their time. So be sure to use a drying rack or hang them outside to dry when possible.
Going a size up and waiting until they’re stretchy before wearing them should help prevent shrinkage and fading as well. And finally, to make your jeans last longer, wash them by themselves and don’t put them in the dryer if you can avoid it.