Nothing is more frustrating than finding a fantastic Screen Printed Shirt only to realize its several inches too long. Alternatively, perhaps you received a new personalized t-shirt in the mail and realized you bought a size too large. If that is not a personalized or bespoke t-shirt, you may be able to exchange it for a different size. If this is a custom screen-printed shirt, you will need either to put on weight or shrink the item. As you will not put on weight for just a Tshirt, it would be better for you to shrink it!

To begin with, the peculiarities of the materials used in the process of making T-shirts, printed ones are more difficult to shrink than regular cotton or cotton polyester mix t-shirts due to cracking or fading printings that normally arise from the procedure. Nevertheless, this is not to say that it is impossible to permanently shrink these kind of t-shirts. You can do this!

First, inside out, turn the t-shirt you want to be shrunk, and then soak the garment in the regions where you want it to shrink, such as the neckline, bottom opening, sleeves, or the entire garment. After this phase, you can just place the shirt in the dryer and set the temperature to the maximum setting. It should be enough to run the dryer for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the shirt is very dry.

On the other hand, if you are concerned of using a hairdryer to shrink screen-printed tees, which could damage the graphics, there are other options. Clothing can be effectively shrunk using a washing machine and hot water, but exposure to high levels high temperature is inevitable.

To do so,

  • Toss the shirt inside out into the washer.
  • Switch to the hot water setting.
  • And during rinse cycle, use an extended cycle setting with hot water.
  • Take the tees from the washing and roll between two towels to dry avoiding squeezing or bending the shirt, which could cause the print to break.
  • Allow the garment to dry naturally flat in a ventilated place.

One alternative technique of shrinking your screen-printed t-shirts is boiling water technique. On the stove, bring a clean pot of water to a boil and when the water begins to boil, remove the pot from the heat and decide how much shrinkage you want. Allow the water to cool for 10-15 minutes before submerging the shirt if you simply want it to shrink by a quarter to half size.

In this stage, it will be enough if you allowed 5 minutes for the water to settle before putting the clothing inside to compress it by half to one size. If you put the graphic t-shirt in the water right after its boiled, there may be some issues.

So, after waiting for the water to cool a little;

  • Turn the shirt inside out and soak it in hot water for 5 minutes; the longer it soaks, the more it shrinks.
  • After 5 minutes, drain the water and set the shirt aside to cool. Move it around with tongs and avoid handling it with your hands while it is still hot.
  • Roll the shirt between two towels to allow it to dry slightly without stretching, and then hang it to dry in a ventilated place.
  • If required, repeat the instructions until you find a size that is comfortable for you.

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