It’s important to pay attention to the washing instructions in a blended fabric. Some fibers may need to be handwashed while other fibers can be machine washed on hot. If you blend these fibers together, it can be tough to determine the right washing method.
One perfect example is a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend. Cotton doesn’t do great with heat, but polyester can withstand heat just fine. Washing it incorrectly can result in some unwanted results, such as wrinkling and shrinkage.
So, will 60 cotton 40 polyester shrink? Material that’s 60% cotton and 40% polyester will shrink if washed in hot water and dried on high heat. The best way to prevent shrinkage is to wash in cold water and hang up or flat to air dry.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how 60 cotton 40 polyester blends react to different washing methods. We’ll give you the details on how much it shrinks, what causes shrinkage, and how to avoid shrinking.
Will 60 Cotton 40 Polyester Shrink?
Yes, 60% cotton 40% polyester blends will shrink. They’re not guaranteed to shrink no matter what, but they will shrink under certain washing conditions.
Cotton is a natural fiber, and natural fibers that come from plants often shrink. The fibers are stretched in the production process to be long enough to weave into a fabric, so when they’re exposed to heat, they shrink back to their natural, smaller size.
Just as heat causes other natural materials to warp, such as wood, it can cause these plant fibers to warp.
This can be heat from x either the water used to wash or heat in the dryer. Even if you wash it in cold water but dry it in the dryer, it will still lead to some shrinkage.
How Much Does 60 Cotton 40 Polyester Shrink?
Because this fiber blend still has 40% polyester, it won’t shrink as much as 100% cotton will.
However, if you wash your 60 cotton 40 polyester clothes in hot water and dry them in the dryer on high heat, you can expect it to shrink around 5% each time.
This may not seem like much, but if this is a clothing article you wear often and wash every week or two, it can lead to significant shrinkage over time.
If you take steps to avoid your 60 cotton 40 polyester clothes from shrinking, then you can reduce the shrinkage down to 1% or less.
Shrinking and warping is normal and can be expected with most clothes over time. When washed and taken care of properly, this shrinkage will be so small you won’t even notice.
How Can You Prevent 60 Cotton 40 Polyester Clothing From Shrinking?
If you want to prevent your 60 cotton 40 polyester blends from shrinking, then the best course of action is to hand wash them with cold water and lay them out to dry.
This is the best way to guarantee minimal, if any, shrinkage. Hand washing is better than machine washing because the garment won’t be stretched and pulled as much.
Washing machines are designed to agitate clothes, either with a center agitator or with high-speed spinning in a washing machine that doesn’t have an agitator column.
If your clothing is agitated in the washing machine, even while washed on cold, this can warp the clothing and cause it to shrink.
The shrinking will still be minimal compared to washing on hot water, so if you’re in a hurry or have a lot of these 60 cotton 40 polyester blends, you can still wash them on cold in the washing machine.
Just keep in mind that they’ll still go through agitation, which may alter the hang of the garment slightly. It’s also a good idea to lay your 60 cotton 40 polyester blends to dry rather than to put them in the dryer.
The high heat from the dryer will cause them to shrink, so if you want them to retain their shape and size, it’s best to lay them out to dry.
How To Shrink A 60 Cotton 40 Polyester Garment
With the prevalence of online shopping, more and more people find their clothes online. The problem with shopping online is that you never know if the clothing is going to end up fitting right.
Then once you get it in the mail and try it on, it’s just a little too big. But returning online purchases can be a hassle, so you might as well just keep it.
If this has happened to you with a 60 cotton 40 polyester blend, there is good news. You can shrink the clothing down to the size you need!
This isn’t guaranteed to shrink a clothing article by a whole size or two, but if your clothing is just a little too big, you can easily shrink it enough to fit a little more snug.
The best way to do this is to wash the clothing on your washing machine’s hottest water setting. After washing it in hot water, put it in your dryer on the hottest heat setting.
After this one wash and dry on your highest heat setting, the clothing item will definitely have shrunk. If it’s still not as small as you need it, you can certainly do this process again as many times as needed until it fits better.
An extra step you can take that will also help it to shrink is to put it in a garment bag before putting it in the dryer. Putting the clothing in a garment bag can further help you shrink it while in the wash.
How To Fix 60 Cotton 40 Polyester Clothing That Already Shrank?
If your 60 cotton 40 polyester blend clothing already shrank in the wash, but you want to reverse it, you can try this simple method.
Keep in mind that this won’t always work, depending on the garment and how much it already shrank. It also depends on how long ago it shrank and if the shrinking happened from repeated exposure to heat.
In most cases where the garment was mistakenly washed and dried on high heat, the shrinking can be reversed. A good way to do this is to soak the garment in cold water, then hang it up to dry. Don’t lay it flat, since this won’t help it to stretch back out.
Instead, you want to put it on a hanger and hang it somewhere – maybe over your shower curtain rod where it can drip water into the tub.
The weight of the water will work with gravity to pull the shirt down, stretching the fibers. This can help stretch the shirt back out after it has shrunk from high heat.
You can also take a look at this tutorial for using conditioner to unshrink clothes from JairWoo on YouTube!
What Percentage Of Cotton Will Shrink?
In general, you can guarantee that 100% cotton clothes will shrink over time from being washed and dried at high heat settings.
As we mentioned, natural fibers that come from plants are just prone to shrinkage because of their structure. This is normal but can be easily avoided by only washing in cold water and hanging or laying it flat to air dry.
Blends that have a majority cotton fibers – as in 51% or more – will definitely still have shrinking problems. This is obviously due to the fact that the shirt is primarily made of cotton.
However, just because you go down to a 48% cotton and 52% polyester blend doesn’t mean that you won’t see any shrinkage. There is still a large part of the shirt made with cotton, so you can still expect a little shrinking to happen from high heat.
Cotton blend shirts that have 20% cotton or less will shrink the least amount compared to other cotton blends. The cotton content of the fabric is so small compared to the other fiber that you’ll probably notice very little shrinking.
This only works for cotton blends that are mixed with a synthetic fiber, such as polyester or rayon.
If the cotton is blended with another natural fiber, then you can still expect shrinking to occur, even if the cotton is only 20%. Natural fibers are best hand washed with cold water and laid out to air dry.
Will 100% Polyester Shrink In The Dryer?
If you’ve wondered about shrinking from a 60 cotton 40 polyester blend, it makes sense that you’d also wonder about other clothing articles.
Clothing that is made from 100% polyester will typically not shrink.
Synthetic fibers such as polyester are manufactured to already be long enough to weave into fabric. Since they start off as a long enough to begin with, they don’t shrink back to their “original” size with heat because they’re already the original size.
Now, this doesn’t mean that polyester is invincible to shrinking. All clothing has the potential to shrink and warp over time.
The good news is that polyester shrinks very minimally, so you’d never notice that it shrank and it’s easy to continue wearing without any issue.