Do 100 cotton jeans shrink?

Do 100 cotton jeans shrink?

Most of the high-quality jeans are made of 100 percent cotton. Though the quality of these jeans is unquestionable as they last you years. But the only question that stuck in our head is what if they shrink? So, do 100 cotton jeans shrink?

Yes, 100 cotton jeans can shrink up to 10 percent on the first wash. After that, the jeans shrink about 2 to 3 percent lengthwise and from the waist. However, preshrunk jeans made of 100 percent cotton are likely to shrink less.

There is more to what causes shrinkage in 100 percent cotton jeans. This article will cover all the doubts and provide the answer to shrinkage in jeans.

Why do 100 cotton jeans shrink?

The main reason why 100 cotton jeans shrink is because of the fabric itself. Cotton being a plant fabric has the ability to shrink under the influence of heat.


When you wash your jeans for the first time in a washing machine in hot water, then it can shrink the fibers which leads to shrinkage. The agitation process during washing also plays an important role in shrinkage as jeans are tossed all around to rinse off the fabric, which doesn’t give the fabric time to hold the water, thus resulting in shrinkage.

On contrary, if you do not wash your jeans then no shrinkage will happen. However, this is not practically possible if you wear your jeans regularly.

How much will jeans shrink in hot water?

Jeans made of 100 percent cotton that is not preshrunk can shrink up to 10 percent when you wash jeans for the first time.

Usually, when you wash jeans at temp above 80 or 70 degrees, there are high chances of shrinkage. Temp below 60 degrees is considered mild but one can also expect 2 to 3 percent shrinkage in the first wash.

Do 100 cotton jeans shrink in the washer?

It depends, jeans will definitely shrink if you wash them in a dryer in hot water. However, if the water used is cold then no shrinkage will happen during washing.

Though the key is not only to prevent jeans from shrinkage but also to protect the fabric. A washing machine and cold water can be a quick solution to the shrinkage problem but can also damage the fabric because of the agitation process in the washing machine.

That is why brands recommend to handwash your jeans. If you don’t have time then wash jeans less often after many years.

When using cold water, some people also find it hard to clean their jeans completely as cold water doesn’t not able to kill the bacteria. However, the case is different with hot water. In this case, you can use a modern 60 to 70-degree temperature to wash your jeans. Moreover, it is best to use this if you have a preshrunk jeans.

Do 100 cotton jeans shrink in the dryer?

Just like any other natural fabric, jeans made of 100 percent cotton do shrink in the dryer at high temperatures. This means if jeans is already shrunk during the washing process, the dryer can shrink it even more.

However, one can stop this from happening by setting the temperature low on the dryer. Setting a low temperature takes more time in contrast to if you set a high temp for drying but this will prevent shrinkage in jeans.

Do jeans shrink overtime?

Most shrinkage happens during the first wash. But it doesn’t stop there, 100 cotton jeans have the ability to shrink overtime. But nothing to worry about, as cotton stretch out after one or two wears, and the shrinkage happens is temporary.

Though jeans shrink a little after every wash but when you wear them twice, they stretch out. This is very common with 100-cotton jeans.

Jeans are designed in such a way that they form the shape according to your body. If you find your jeans shrink from the waist after a wash, then wear them regularly for some days it will stretch out again in a way that fits your body.

How to shrink 100 cotton jeans fast

If you’re in a hurry and need to shrink your 100% cotton jeans quickly, there are a few methods you can try.

First, you can wash the jeans in hot water and then put them in the dryer on the highest heat setting. This should shrink the jeans significantly.

Another option is to soak the jeans in very hot water for 15-20 minutes, then put them in the dryer on high heat. This will also shrink the jeans, but may not be as effective as the first method.

If you have time, you can try repeatedly washing and drying your jeans on hot until they reach the desired size. This method may take a few days or longer, but will eventually shrink the jeans to your desired size.

How many sizes will 100 cotton jeans shrink

100 cotton jeans that are not preshrunk can shrink as much as two sizes down if washed in hot water and dried in the dryer, according to Levi.

Moreover, it also depends on the manufacturing of the jeans and how many threads are there, and not alone on fabric. Further, if jeans are preshrunk then shrinkage is less after the first wash.

100 percent jeans that are not preshrunk are likely to shrink over time if one continues washing jeans in hot water. However, the shrinkage is going to be very little in contrast to the first wash.

How to prevent shrinkage in 100 cotton jeans?

The best way to prevent shrinkage in 100 cotton jeans is to wash them less often. Most jeans brands like Levi’s recommend wearers wash their jeans rarely when they see dirt or sense a bad odor. The best is to wash your jeans after at least 6 wears. However, you may need to wash more frequently if you sweat a lot.

For instance, if you have to wash your jeans to look clean and fresh all the time then make sure to wash your jeans in cold water or at least water below 50 degrees. Moreover, use a mild detergent or no detergent at all while washing jeans. Cotton is a natural fabric and it demands care. So, particularly if your jeans are made of 100 percent cotton then follow these steps.

Lastly, if you want to reduce the shrinkage in jeans and don’t want to change the size of your jeans then buy preshrunk jeans. Preshrunk jeans are basically jeans that are already been through a washing cycle and shrunk to their maximum limit during manufacturing. Beloved brand levis sell most of their jeans as preshrunk jeans.

How to unshrink jeans?

The best thing about 100 cotton jeans is that you can unshrink them very easily as cotton can stretch under pressure.

Sometimes shrinkage is best if you are short and you have jeans that are big for you. On contrary, it can be frustrating for tall people.

Before knowing how you can unshrink the jeans first you should know which part of the jeans shrinks the most. well, the problem is that jeans can shrink from the waist, widthwise, or lengthwise from the hem.

Unshrink jeans from the waist

If your jeans shrink from the waist then you have to do nothing as cotton itself can get back to its shape when you wear jeans 2 or 3 times because of the pressure.

Unshrink jeans from hem lengthwise

If your jeans shrink from the leg area, then you have to manually stretch it out as no pressure is will be there to naturally stretch the fabric, especially if your jeans shrink from the bottom.

The simple method to unshrink your jeans is to…

Pour some hot water into the area you want to stretch out with the help of a spray bottle.
Next, pull the fabric down and sideways with force to stretch the fabric. Cotton can be easily stretched when wet.

Hi, gurbi is a fashion blogger, designer, and fashion consultant. He is 25 yrs old man who love the world of fashion.