Shirt Stretched: Effective Ways to Fix a Stretched Shirt

Shirts are designed to be worn, and when they are, they stretch out. Carrying groceries to doing yoga can all loosen the fabric of your shirt, especially when moisture and sweat are present. Fortunately, the same shirts that are most prone to stretching (particularly cotton and cotton-blend versions) also return to form very quickly with a little free time and a lot of hot water. A word of caution, however: repairing a stretched out shirt neck or stretched out v neck is not as straightforward as repairing a stretched out shirt. So, for all your doubts, trust Teeanime!

Fixing Stretched Shirts: Stovetop Method

Step 1

Fill a big pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil.

Step 2

Take the water off the heat. Submerge the clothing in the water carefully with tongs. If you wish to shrink the shirt by a whole size, do it immediately after removing it from the heat. Alternatively, allow the water to cool for 5 minutes (if you want to shrink the shirt by half a size) or 10 minutes (if you want to shrink it by a quarter size) before placing the shirt in. This procedure works for 100% cotton clothes as well as some types of wool.

Step 3

Allow the clothing to soak for around 5 minutes. The longer it soaks, the smaller it becomes. After the shirt has soaked, drain the water from the pot.

Step 4

Allow the clothing to cool before hand-wringing it thoroughly. Spread the shirt out flat on a flat surface, taking care not to pull on the cloth while you do so. Allow the clothing to air dry. If the shirt hasn’t shrunk enough, repeat the process until it fits properly.

Fixing Stretched Shirts: Machine Method

Step 1

Wash your 100% cotton shirt or wool clothing for one cycle at the highest temperature setting on your washing machine. Moisture, heat, and agitation can all assist stretched fabric fibers shrink back to their normal size.

Step 2

Place the shirt in the dryer after removing it from the washing machine. Run a medium-heat drying cycle until the shirt is totally dry. For a more severe shrinking effect, set the dryer to high heat, unless the shirt’s label warns against it.

Step 3

Repeat the washing and drying process until the shirt fits well. The initial washing usually causes the most shrinkage. Although the returns will be reducing, consecutive washings may still gradually shrink the clothing.


Add a cup of white vinegar to the washing machine to protect the color of your shirt from fading and bleeding, especially if you need to wash it several times to shrink it.

Top-load washing machines, which produce more agitation than front-loaders, are typically more effective at shrinking stretched textiles. Increased agitation causes increased fiber reversion, or shrinkage.

Preshrunk textiles are less prone to shrinking due to boiling or laundering; some may shrink slightly, while others may not shrink at all. Fabric with a loose weave is more likely to shrink than textiles with a tight weave.