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How to Shrink Leggings: Answered & Explained

Leggings are a very popular piece of clothing mostly due to their versatility. You can wear them on a daily basis depending on whether you want to go out for a run, exercise, or everyday activities They are available in a variety of sizes and types, but sometimes the size you require is inadequate and does not fit. The annoyance of the imperfect fit is unmatchable.

So, to achieve the ideal fit in these scenarios, you might need to shrink your leggings. The question “How to shrink leggings” arises. In order to transform your chosen pair of leggings into the perfect fit, I have accumulated two of the best ways to do so. Techniques that I will go into further detail as we go along this article.

Key Takeaways

  • Leggings are easily shrunk when they are under high temperatures.
  • You need to pay attention to the material that the leggings are made out of since distinctive fabrics may interact differently with the techniques.
  • If you choose to use the hot water technique you have two ways to approach shrinkage, by use if the washing machine and by boiling the water.
  • The ironing method has a few more steps but it is highly recommended as well. 
  • When using the ironing technique remember to turn the leggings inside out to not damage the design of the leggings.

Can you shrink leggings?

The short answer is yes, of course, leggings can be shrunk. But that is not the complete answer. The shrinkage of leggings depends on the material it is made from. Some fabrics are more sensitive to heat and thus contract easier while others are not. 

To check if your leggings of choice can shrink, make sure to look at the tag that comes with the article. All the details that the product’s manufacturers think it’s important for you to be aware of are contained here.  

Since now we know the material of the leggings affects the shrinkage process, we can discuss the two methods that will work with almost every type of fabric. The hot water technique and the ironing technique. 

Hot Water Technique For Shrinking Leggings

Using hot water has been proven to be the easiest way to shrink leggings. There are two ways you can use hot water to assist you in your shrinkage journey. Through a washing machine and by boiling water.

The washing machine is by far the least tiresome way. All you need is a washer to throw your leggings in. Make sure that the machine that you are using is set to the highest temperature, and at the same time the longest cycle available. The heat of the washing machine will cause the fibers of the leggings to contract within themselves, this gives it the effect of shrinking.

If you want to further intensify the shrinkage of your leggings, you can tumble dry them on a dryer with high heat. Do not forget to leave it on the longest spinning cycle as well. I highly recommend this last step because it will seal the tightening of the fibers.

The other way to use water to shrink your leggings included boiling them. Boiling is a technique that is highly recommended for leggings that are made out of cotton or wool.

To start you need to fill up a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Once it starts to steam and boil turn the stove off and submerge the leggings inside. It is important to remember to turn the heat off, so you do not end up boiling the leggings themselves. After letting them soak for 5 to 10 minutes, drain the water and tumble dry them on high heat.

Feel free to repeat any of these techniques if you do not feel like the job was done on the first try. It is also common for thicker leggings to need to undergo several heat washes until they reach a size that is comfortable for you.

Ironing Technique For Shrinking Leggings

As the name suggests you will need an ironing apparatus if you choose this method to shrink your leggings. But before you put them under the heat of the iron you need to wash them so they can be moist. This moistness is what allows the heat to interact with the fibers so your leggings can shrink.

If for any reason you do not have a washing machine near you can easily wash them by hand. While you can wash the leggings with any type of temperature it is best if you stick to the high-temperature theme we have going on and wash them with hot water. We use hot water since it is the best to shrink materials that are meant to be stretchy. 

When the leggings are finished being washed, they must be turned inside out to avoid any potential damage that might be done to them. After this step is finished and you turn on the iron make sure that the heat of the iron correlates to the material of the leggings. This means that if the fabric of the leggings is for example nylon do not turn the iron to the highest heat possible.

Move the iron down your leggings slowly, working your way up from the waistband, making sure to go over each section several times. Be cautious to avoid burning yourself since the iron might be hot to the touch. When you’re finished, remove the leggings, and allow them to cool before you try them on.

As I mentioned for the previous technique, you may feel the need to repeat this technique more than once since the leggings may not shrink to your preferred fit on the first try.

Final Words/Outro

As you may have noticed, shrinking leggings may be a bit of a ride, but it is not an unachievable task. The shrinking depends on the material so be sure to check that out beforehand because otherwise, you may need to experiment and try the above methods more than once.

All in all, I hope to have assisted you in your journey of shrinking your desired leggings!

Further Reading

There are some more blogs for you to read, you can find out if acrylic is stretchy. Not only acrylic but another blog answers if cotton stretches.

There’s also the lycra and spandex comparison that you should not miss out on.