How To Fix A Shrunken Shirt With Hair Conditioner

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  • Dave Spencer

Jun 6, 2016

    Dave Spencer Jun 6, 2016

    “Soaked a denim shirt in boiling water in the sink, let it soak for 10 minutes and transferred it after wringing into tumbler. Worked well.” …” more

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How to tighten a loose shirt without sewing Machine

Lay the shirt flat, face side up, and use a ruler to measure the width across the back.

Now take the amount that you want your shirt to be smaller by (in inches) and divide that number by 2.

From here cut the front of the shirt at that distance from where it curves upward on either side of your chest.

Cutting the front of the shirt at this point will give you two pieces that are essentially triangle shaped when flattened out-

Finally, lay those two pieces together with right sides facing each other and stitch a seam that connects them together along both curved sides then sew straight across the top edge of the triangle.

How to make a shirt tighter without cutting

If you just want to make your shirt tighter without cutting, some options are to wear a sweater over the shirt or put on (or wear) a vest.


If your shirt is big, it can be lightened to give you a more tailored look by adding stitches. It’s a simple fix that will make your clothes wearable again.

Fold the shirt in half length-wise, and then lay the middle on top of the part where it is too large.

Wherever there is excess fabric, pinch the fabric together and stitch over it.

Do this all along the sides and sleeves of the shirt, and then cut off any excess fabric for an even hem at both ends of each sleeve.

How to Fix Shrunken Shirt

Method 1: Use Conditioner or Baby Shampoo

Step 1

Wet your shirt thoroughly.

You can sop it in a bowl of water or sink. Use coo

You can sop it in a bowl of water or sink. Use cool water and ensure that every part of the shirt that needs stretching is soaked.

Again, remember that you should not use hot or warm water because it affects the garment structure.

Step 2

Pour one-fourth cup of any hair conditioner in the water. If you do not have this product around, you can use baby shampoo.

Use a comb or stick to mix it up. Make sure the co

Use a comb or stick to mix it up. Make sure the conditioner fully dissolves into the water. The conditioner will soften the fibers in your shirt and make them stretch.

Step 3

Use both your hands to push down the shirt to the bottom of the mixture in the bowl. Leave it there for about 20 minutes.

Step 4

Drain the water from the bowl into the sink and fill it again with cool water.

Squeeze out the conditioned water from the shirt gently and then soak it in the bowl for a few more minutes.

After this, remove the water from the shirt by squ

After this, remove the water from the shirt by squeezing it lightly. Repeat this step two or three times to get all the conditioner out of the shirt.

Step 5

Step 5

After squeezing the water out of the shirt, spread it on a plain surface.

Step 6

Step 6

Use both your hands to mildly stretch the shirt from its neckline, making your way down to the sides.

Repeat this process on the sleeves. Do this until the shirt is back to its normal size.

Step 7

Step 7

Lay the shirt flat and let it dry.

This method works best for cotton shirts.

Method 2: Stretch Your Shirt with Hands

Step 1

Wash your shirt using the washing machine or your hands. Rinse it and squeeze out the extra water, but do not wring the fabric.

Instead, just press on the shirt. That way, you don’t interfere with the shape of the garment.

Step 2

Place your shirt on a flat surface. Spread the shirt completely and ensure that there are no folds or wrinkles on it.

Step 3

Pull onto each corner of your shirt. Stretch the shirt, starting with each sleeve, slightly pulling by an inch or two. Stretch along the collar of the shirt and the top line of it.

Finally, pull both sides.

Step 4

Step 4

Leave the shirt outside under a shade to dry.

Method 3: Stretch with Heat

Step 1

Wet your shirt by dipping it in cool water. Make sure that all corners are wet. You don’t have to soak it.

Step 2

Step 2

Squeeze out any excess water and spread it on a flat surface for ironing. Make sure that your iron’s temperature is on medium-low.

Slowly go over your shirt while exerting slight pressure. With the shirt in one hand and the iron in the other, start pulling and pressing out the shirt with the iron.

Ensure that you go over the shirt in all directions.

Step 3

Step 3

Leave it outside to dry on a flat surface.

Method 4: Use a Cloth Hanger

Step 1

This method is great for stretching polyester shirts, which can be a bit difficult.

Soak your shrunken polyester shirt in conditioned water.

Remove the shirt from the water and squeeze to remove excess water.

Step 2

Tug on the shirt to remove the creases and folds.

Step 3

Hang it on a hanger to air dry.

Method 5: Stretch with Some Weight

Method 5: Stretch with Some Weight

Step 1

To unshrink a shirt, spread it on a flat surface when dry and apply some free weights to manipulate its size. On the edges of the shirt, you can place something heavy like books, bags of rice, or just free weights.

The items have to be heavy to keep the shirt stretched out. If you want to stretch out the arms, you can use wide bottles full of water – just place them in the sleeves.

Step 2

Step 2

Leave the shirt in that state for about 30 minutes to an hour. The weights will stretch out the fiber and make the change more permanent.If you have used either of the methods mentioned above (1 to 4), you can also use this one because it complements them.

For example, stretching with heat may not return the shirt to its original full size. In that case, use the weights to stretch it even further.

Prevent Shirt From Stretching Out Again

When the fabric stretches out, it’s best to take care of the problem before your shirt becomes unwearable. Here are a few quick tips for preventing this from happening again:

  • Turn off your dryer when you switch fabrics to get mixed and stretch out in different directions.
  • Remove clothes from the dryer immediately, and hang them up to air dry. Hanging helps the fibers regain their natural shape before they’re folded or put away in a drawer.
  • Don’t overload the washer. Check pockets for tissues, coins, or other items that might cause it to break down faster than usual.
  • Use cold water after washing instead of hot or warm water, which can cause shrinking that will lead to more stretching out over time.  If you’re concerned about smudging colors while ironing, use steam with caution because too much heat can also cause shrinkage over time if done improperly.
  • Avoid using bleach as it contains harsh chemicals that may weaken fibers; opt for vinegar or oxygenated detergent instead (they’re equally as effective).
  • When selecting your next shirt, opt for a material such as cotton with natural elasticity.

Can You Unshrink Clothes?


Imagine this: you’ve just finished doing your laundry. You’re pulling your clothes out of the dryer and gearing up to fold them when you hold one of them up. Maybe it’s a pair of pants, or perhaps it’s a new shirt.

Whatever the case, you discover that during its time in the dryer, the garment is a couple of sizes smaller than it was when you put it in. Now what? Clothes are expensive. The last thing you want to do is toss it and have to buy another. What’s the alternative?

Can you repurpose it or give it to someone? Maybe you could unshrink it. Can you even unshrink your clothes? Before you toss the garment in the trash or give it away, realize that yes, you can unshrink clothes.

To Wrap Up

Use the above methods to fix the shrunken shirts. They are very effective.

Remember that the fabric also plays a big role in preventing shrinkage. Shirts made from cotton and wool are the most sensitive. Never use hot water with them.

Bonus tip: the most effective way of how to stretch out a shirt is to use weights – they can make the shirt stretch back to the original size without applying too much force.

Find kawaii shirts on modakawa:

Find kawaii shirts on modakawa:

Let’s look kawaii!


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