Do Polo Shirts Shrink? (Answer Explained!) (2023)

When you open your Instagram and see those male models rocking out with their polo’s, the first thing that hits your mind is the fitting!

A perfect fit is all you need to enhance the appearance of your physique, which is very crucial. But, most of the polo shirts are seem to be baggy.

Do polo shirts shrink? What happens after washing with a polo shirt? These questions might arise frequently.

When it comes to shrinking, a polo shirt is not the central fact. But the thing that matters the most is the fabric used in the manufacturing of that shirt. Polo shirts made out of natural shrink-sensitive fabrics will shrink.

At the same time, a balanced blend of natural and synthetic material in polo shirts won’t cause a significant amount of shrinkage.

We shall cover the whole article regarding the same topic.

In thisCraft in geniusguide you’ll learn the following:

  • Do polo shirts shrink?
  • Will a cotton polo shrink?
  • Do US polo Assn shirts shrink?
  • How do you wash a cotton polo shirt without shrinking it?
  • Will polo shirts shrink in the dryer?
  • How much do cotton polo shirts shrink?
  • How do you shrink a polo shirt?
  • How do you air dry polo shirts?
  • How do you fix a shrunken polo shirt?
  • FAQs
Do Polo Shirts Shrink? (Answer Explained!) (1)

Do polo shirts shrink?

To get this, you should really ha knowledge about the fact of shrinkage in the first place. We are saying this for a specific reason because such a question wouldn’t be raised in the first place if everyone had that perfect knowledge about the scenario of shrinking taking place in fabrics.

With that said, shrinking is a process where contraction in size, shape, structure, and appearance occurs in any object.

But, shrinking again varies from material to material. The outcome of shrinking is familiar to all. Still, the exact scenario that may take place with the shrinking will always depend on the type of substance.

That is to say, shrinking in terms of fabrics is a lot different from shrinking some solid objects. The main difference is with the internal molecular bondings of a stable and semi-solid object or a fabric. A strong bond in solid substances does not let them shrink that much that material would do.

We won’t discuss here the action of shrinking taking place in solids. So today’s discussion is only limited to the fabrics we are going to interpret right now.

Shrinking in fabrics is generally termed as the contraction of the dimension of the clothes due to prolonged use. Such action is almost familiar for most kinds of dresses, mainly made out of natural fabrics.

(Video) How A Men's Polo Shirt Should Fit - Part 3

Coming towards the natural fibers, fabrics are mainly of two types- natural and synthetic.

Natural fabrics are entirely bestowed by nature, which comes from mainly plant-based sources. They do not contain anything that comes from any artificial source or a mixture of various ingredients. Therefore, they remain in their purest form.

Natural fabrics usually contain short-chained polymers, which turn out to be the leading cause of shrinkage.

But, coming towards the synthetic materials, they are made out of long-chained polymers in an artificial process. They also contain mixtures of various other components, which oppose the feature of shrinkage to many extents.

The short-chain polymer of the natural fabrics is elongated while manufacturing garments made out of them. This is done through weaving, spinning, and different types of mechanical forces and chemical reactions.

As a result, when they come under hot temperatures, the long polymer chains return to their natural and original state.

As a result, the natural fabrics are known to be shrunk. But, such things do not occur when it comes to the original made long-chained synthetic polymer fabrics.

That is to say; polo shirts don’t matter in terms of shrinking. The label “polo” has got nothing to do with shrinkage. The main point here is the type of fabric that your polo shirt contains. If it is a natural fabric with short-chained polymers, then yes, they will shrink.

But if the shirt is made out of a nice blend of natural and synthetic fabric that balances out the contraction and elongation, then you don’t need to worry about their shrinkage.

Again, there comes no question for shrinkage when a polo shirt is made out of 100% synthetic compounds like polyester.

Will a cotton polo shrink?

Now, if you are concerned about the property of shrinking, then you have come to the right option. That is to say, a cotton polo shirt and all about its shrinking procedures, which we will discuss in this section.

By the name cotton polo shirt, you can know about its fabrics which is cotton itself. So, by cotton polo, the shirt can be either a pure 100% cotton fabric or can also be made of a cotton-polyester blend.

But, if you consider the mix to be exact, the fundamental aspect of the mixture will be a higher concentration of cotton.

Lower cotton but more polyester in the blend cannot be addressed as cotton shirts as the cotton features would be destroyed. But, a perfect combination of cotton polo shirts serves superior features above the 100% pure cotton fabrics.

(Video) Polo Shirt Etiquette DO's & DON'Ts - Part 2

Now coming towards the shrinkage of a cotton polo shirt, yes, they shrink to a much extent. Depending on the type of cotton, percentage of cotton, and a mixture of other materials, the polo shirt can shrink to many aspects.

But the number one thing about the cotton polo shirt is that the fact of shrinking is indisputable here. This is because cotton being a natural fabric, is so much evident towards shrinking for their internal molecular bonding.

The short-chained polymers of cotton fabrics do not let the preparation of industrial-grade garments. But, when they are elongated, various kinds of high-quality super comfortable materials can be manufactured.

And to do so, the cotton fibers are passed through multiple mechanical stress, strain, force, chemical compounds, spinning, and weavings.

As a result, the polymer chains are forced to get stretched, which is not permanent. The stretching is done by forming a kind of tension between the internal compounds of the polymer. This tension works in sticking one chain with another with the highest distance possible.

But, as heat is applied, the strength of the tension starts to weaken. Therefore, a maximum distance between the chains is no longer maintained. The polymer chains again get back to their natural position. And when this happens, the fabric is considered to be shrinked.

The presence of such kind of material causes the cotton polo shirt to shrink as well.

Do US polo Assn shirts shrink?

We don’t know, should we address this as fortunately or unfortunately, but the thing here is that US Assn shirts do shrink!

Us polo shirts are generally made out of such materials that are favorable to shrinkage. The prevalent example of that is the presence of cotton.

Our shirts are specially made out of cotton. After hearing this, if anyone still asks about the shrinkage from their side, they should first get better knowledge from some other source.

How do you wash a cotton polo shirt without shrinking it?

Well, there are innumerable ways of washing procedures for the cotton fabric to prevent them from shrinkage. But, we will not have a comprehensive list of this technique which will make no difference between us and other sources that you find on the internet.

Here, we generally like to close the topic by mentioning the top last thing you should follow to avoid letting your cotton shirt go smaller.

And, the best thing for this is only to allow cold water during the washing session. As a result, when there is no contact with heat, shrinking will also not take place as an obstacle.

Also, it would help if you minded passing your fabrics in an air-drying process other than any unnatural heat dryers.

(Video) Drs. Rx: Here’s a Simple Trick to Unshrink Your Clothes

Will polo shirts shrink in the dryer?

Yes, polo shirts will shrink in the dryer, being they are made naturally or under synthetic procedures.

A dry heater forces hot air inside the fabrics. That air weakens and breaks the internal bonding structure of the materials, which results in shrinkage.

Not only shrinking but a prolonged session of using the dryer can cause fading of the bandwidth, bleaching out, and altering color for some cases.

How much do cotton polo shirts shrink?

Cotton polo shirts shrink depending on the amount of cotton injected into the fabric.

A pure 100% cotton polo shirt will act similarly to any other 100% cotton fabric. They can shrink up to 20 percent and even more to some extent at the first wash. Next time, they don’t shrink as they did during the first time wash after the purchase.

For a well-balanced polo shirt with cotton blends like 60 cotton 40 polyester fabric, the shirt will shrink up to 5% on average.

And those for the pre-shrunk cotton polo shirts won’t shrink more than 3%.

A graph on the shrinkage of cotton polo shirts is:

Do Polo Shirts Shrink? (Answer Explained!) (2)

How do you shrink a polo shirt?

It is just opposite to the question “how to wash a polo shirt without shrinking it”? And, the answer is hot water! As the opposing characteristics of cold water, hot water comes into the place.

All you need is to throw your cotton polo shirt in the washing machine and blow it in a gentle cycle of hot water for the recommended time. Then take it out from the device and let it dry.

The drying can either be done in a natural process and can also be led artificially. Air drying can be done, but that is not recommended generally if you are looking for your polo shirt to shrink.

So, it is better to go for a dryer instead, which will even further cause shrinkage to your clothing.

How do you air dry polo shirts?

Air drying is a prevalent method, especially in terms of cotton fabrics, to resist shrinkage.

(Video) How Can Polo Shirts Be Shortened? Easy Alteration Tricks | Side Slit Hem to Straight Hem.

To air-dry your polo shirt efficiently, hang them somewhere higher to avail them with sufficient air and light. You can also put them in a rag. Then, you can either place them under direct sunlight or can protect them from sunlight according to your need.

If you want a slight bleach, then prefer the sunlight in that case. After the shirt is almost dried up, take it and dry them with a moderate dryer to soften the fabrics.

How do you fix a shrunken polo shirt?

A shrunken polo shirt can be fixed in the following number of ways:

  1. Consider lukewarm water with the combination of any laundry soap or shampoo.
  2. Let your shirt soak the solution where it will start to loosen up its internal fibers gradually.
  3. Then, remove all the water from the shirt without any rinsing. After that, all you can do is some gentle squeeze.
  4. By laying your shirt on a flat towel, roll the towel for some further gentle squeezes to remove all that extra water.
  5. Finally, let your shirt air dry and see how much they have retrieved their size from the shrinkage.

people also ask

1. Can polo shirts be altered?

Obviously, along with polo shirts, almost all sorts of garments can be altered by your tailor to fit your the best. Expensive fabrics don’t matter when it doesn’t fit you perfectly, for which you can have your clothing like a polo shirt altered to show up your physique efficiently.

2. What can you do with old polo shirts?

There are innumerable lists of things you can do with your old polo shirts. The best thing amongst them is to donate them and also recycle them. Besides, polo shirts can be used as rags, garden ties, etc.

3. Do Ralph Lauren Polos shrink if put on high heat?

For shrinking, the fact of high heating is the most worth mentioning. But, no matter the type of fabric, high heat will cause them to shrink anyway. Depending on the type of fabric, the level of shrinking will vary, and it’s specific for Ralph Lauren polo shirts of certain materials.

4. Do Ralph Lauren polo shirts shrink?

To be exact, it’s not about the Ralph Lauren polos but mainly about their fabric for the differences in shrinkage. If the polos are made out of cotton, then obviously, they are susceptible to shrinkage.

However, in the case of synthetic fabrics like polyester, they won’t shrink in that case.

5. Do 100 cotton polo shirts shrink?

Most definitely! Not only polo shirts but all the clothes of this entire universe will shrink indeed if they are made out of 100% cotton. The central fact of consideration here is the natural shrinking fabric cotton but not the polo shirt.

Read also:

  • Does Cotton Shrink Every Time You Wash It?


If you have read all the above facts carefully, your question descriptively answered within the above discussions.

Polo shirt shrinks as it is made with natural cotton fabrics.

Do Polo Shirts Shrink? (Answer Explained!) (3)




Do polo shirts shrink? ›

Any polo shirt made from cotton has the potential to shrink, particularly if exposed to high temperatures in the wash. Here's the thing, your pique polo shirt is still a form of cotton and without the proper washing care, it can shrink.

Do polo shirts shrink over time? ›

Cotton especially is susceptible to shrinking and air drying will prevent this from happening. That should keep your polo shirts in tip-top condition and they should retain its original size and fit you nice and snugly still.

How much does polo shrink? ›

All cotton knits shrink. 3% is allowed by law. If you follow the care label instructions (wash & dry) and the garment shrinks more than the above amount then you should return the shirt to where you bought it using the 3% rule as a reason.

How much do polo T shirts shrink? ›

100% cotton will shrink by 2%. And it might fit just right. Yes it will shrink in the dryer but hopefully not in the wrong places-like the sleeve length. If it does shrink down just right, you'll know what to buy, and the size next time.

Should polo shirts be tight or loose? ›

“The most important rule for wearing a polo is that it's not too tight. You want a little breathing room around the midsection especially if you're not sample size or in tip-top shape”, Michael Fisher, who styles Jonah Hill and James Cordon told us.

Do Polo Ralph Lauren shirts run big or small? ›

Polo ralph lauren does run small. This is a known fact. I normally wear medium to large. Both large and extra larges in polo fit me though extra large is just a tad big on top.

Do polyester polo shirts shrink? ›

Yes, 100% polyester shrinks but in some circumstances because it resists shrinkage by nature. Polyester is resistant to shrinkage but if you wash polyester with hot water or if you iron polyester with excessive heat iron, it can cause shrinkage as it is a man-made fabric that is made with polymer.

Does polyester polo shrink? ›

Your polyester fabrics will not shrink in the washer unless under extreme conditions. Your polyester clothes should come out just fine if you use cool or lukewarm machine cycles. However, your polyester might have a small shrinkage if you use hot water. The safest temperatures to wash polyester are those below 230F.

Do shirts permanently shrink? ›

Luckily, cotton typically only shrinks once. The fibers could continue tightening if you keep washing the item in hot water and tumble-drying it on high heat. But generally speaking, most of the contracting will happen on the first laundry cycle.

Which polo shirts don t shrink? ›

The BAOBAB Polo shirt is the first sustainable, performance polo shirt that is resistant to shrinking, fading, odors, wrinkles.

Can polo shirts go in the dryer? ›

Polo shirts can be dried in a dryer on the lowest heat setting. Drying the polos in the dryer can cause damage, especially in polyester polos, they are more prone to heat damage than cotton. Keep the polo's collar up while drying, so it retains its shape.

How do I keep my cotton polo from shrinking? ›

Rule #1: Use low heat or no heat only for machine wash

If you prefer using the washing machine to clear your weekly laundry, be sure to set the temperatures to low or no heat. Better yet, use cold water for washing. This way, you'll be able to keep your cotton shirts in good condition without risk of shrinking!

How do you make Polos shrink? ›

Place your shirt in a washing machine and wash it in hot water on a high agitation setting. At the end of the wash cycle, remove the shirt from the washer and tumble-dry it using the dryer's highest heat setting. If you want to shrink the shirt further, you can repeat this process more than once.

Why do cheap T shirts shrink? ›

Cotton shrinking is not a bad thing, more like a natural occurrence. Cotton shrinks because there is tension being applied to its yarn and fabrics during the construction of the particular garment. The heat from the washer or dryer releases the tension, which causes the material to shrink down to its original size.

Will 100% cotton T shirts shrink? ›

It's absolutely normal for clothes made from 100% cotton to shrink, especially if they haven't been pre-shrunk. Pre-shrunk cotton will generally only shrink 2-5%. Non pre-shrunk cotton, on the other hand, can shrink as much 20% if you're not careful. This is only true for 100% cotton, however.

How do I know my polo size? ›

Measure from the shoulder seam to the end of the cuff. Lay the garment flat and measure from shoulder seam to shoulder seam. Lay the garment flat and double the measurement between the lowest point of the arm seams. The length at the centre back, from the base of the collar to the hem.

How many polos should a man own? ›

How many polo shirts does a man need? The answer is that you should own 2-3 polo shirts in different colors and 1-2 rugby polo shirts. Again, the five-finger rule will help you cherish your polo variety.

How tight should polos fit? ›

Even if you're wearing a slim fit polo shirt, tight styles can be very unforgiving, on any body type. The standard rule is that you should be able to pinch 1-2 inches of fabric on either side of your torso—even if you have a fuller body type.

How do you size a polo shirt? ›

Chest: Place the tape close under the arms and make sure the tape is flat across the back. Waist: Measure across the waist area while having the Polo Shirt laying flat. Hem: Measure from one side to another. Front Length: Measure from the highest point of the shoulder to the desired hemline.

How do you pick a polo shirt size? ›

The ideal length of a polo shirt ends approximately at the level of the hips, while the length of the sleeves should end about 10 centimeters above the elbows. Under no circumstances should the polo shirt be excessively long. When in doubt, go a little shorter rather than too long.

How much will a cotton polo shrink? ›

2. There's Only So Much That Cotton Can Shrink. Listen, you won't be able to take an XXL T-shirt and turn it into a small. You'll most likely shrink your clothing between 1 and 3 percent, or up to two sizes.

Does 100% polyester shrink in dryer? ›

Polyesters can resist shrinking up to a great extent, but. High heat with 140 degrees Fahrenheit minimum temperature can shrink the 100% polyester fabrics. You need to be very careful while setting the heat for your washer, dryer as well as iron to shrink your Polyester material.

Does polyester shrink worse than cotton? ›

Cotton material will shrink more than polyester. A cotton- polyester blend might not show any signs of shrinking because the polyester a part of the fabric will keep the cotton in shape and original.

Do under Armour polos shrink? ›

Like most Under Armour 60% Cotton/40% Polyester blend shirts they shrink about half a size in the dryer, so go up one size if you like your shirts loose, but not baggy, and plan on throwing it in the dryer.

Are polyester polo shirts good? ›

Although polyester is often recommended for polo shirts – especially for sports purposes – we strongly advise against it. On top of being harmful to the environment, fashion items made of synthetic fibres, i.e. plastic, also leave a lot to be desired in terms of quality.

What fabric doesn't shrink? ›

Polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, and acetate won't shrink and will resist water-based stains. Most produce static and may permanently wrinkle in a hot dryer, so dry on low. How to wash: Machine-wash in warm with all-purpose detergent.

What shirt material shrinks the most? ›

Cotton. Cotton is by far the easiest fabric to shrink during the laundry process. During the construction of cotton clothing, tension is applied to its fabrics and then the tension is released by heat from the washer or dryer, which causes the cotton to revert to its natural size.

What temperature do shirts not shrink? ›

Washing clothes in cold water can actually help to prevent them from shrinking. Hot water, on the other hand, is more likely to cause fabric damage and shrinkage.

What shirts dont shrink in dryer? ›

Some popular options we carry in our shop include the Hanes SL04 and the Fruit of the Loom 3930R. Both of these shirts are in the cost-effective range since they are 100% cotton and come pre-shrunk so you won't have to worry about shrink!

What's the best shirt material that doesn't shrink? ›

100% Polyester

This material always keeps its shape, so there's almost zero shrinking or stretching, regardless of what kind of extreme wash and dry cycle you put it through.

Should polo shirts be folded or hung? ›

T-Shirts and Polos

You can badly stretch out and damage t-shirts and polo shirts if you hang them since they're made of thin cotton. Fold these bad boys up and stack them in a pile.

How do you wash polos without ruining them? ›

Choose a short, daily cycle, it is suggested to wash polos at 30°. Be sure to not add any fabric softener and a gentle liquid detergent to avoid any damage to your polo.

How do you shrink a polo shirt in the dryer? ›

Drying your shirt in the dryer may also help to shrink it a bit more. If your shirt is has not shrunk as much as you want it to after washing and air drying it, then try placing it the dryer on high heat. Use the "gentle dry" setting if you're concerned about how the fabric will hold up.

Can you reverse clothes shrinking? ›

It is effortless to unshrink many clothes . Take a bucket of warm water, add half a cupful of hair conditioner and a squirt of washing up liquid and mix. Add clothes and stir until hair conditioner has covered all fibres. Squeeze clothing to expel excess liquid.

How do you shrink a polo top? ›

Simply heat up a pot of water, and then shut off the stove as soon as it reaches a boil. Drop the shirt in the water immediately, and then let it sit for about five minutes. If you're looking for a more serious degree of shrinkage, you can leave the shirt in the water for up to 20 minutes.

Do shirts get bigger or smaller over time? ›

Shrinkage happens over time, not all at once

The first time a shirt is washed it usually shrinks the most, but it can still be expected to shrink more over the life of the shirt.

Does cold water shrink clothes? ›

Cold-water washing means clothing is less likely to shrink or fade and ruin clothes. Cold water can also reduce wrinkles, which saves energy costs (and time) associated with ironing.

Why do shirts shrink in length but not width? ›

This is because filling yarns, which run the width of the fabric, are much less prone to shrinkage than warp yarns, which run the length of the fabric, Gagliardi explains. “Clothing shrinks in the length and waist because these pieces are usually cut along the length of the fabric,” she says.

Will a 95% cotton shirt shrink? ›

The usual fabric content is 95% cotton and 5% elastane. Cotton is a natural fibre, and like all natural fibres – wool, silk and cotton - it will shrink when it mixes with heat.

Should you buy cotton shirts a size bigger? ›


With the quality kinds being largely comprised of cotton, you're at risk of dryer shrinkage of up to 20 percent. Sizing up means you don't have to sweat it if the shirt accidentally tumbles dry.

What temperature will shrink cotton? ›

The chance of cotton shrinking increases the warmer you wash. At 90 degrees, the fabric will shrink more than at 60 degrees. Do you want to prevent shrinkage? Then preferably wash lower than 60 degrees.

How do you shrink a new polo shirt? ›

Place your shirt in a washing machine and wash it in hot water on a high agitation setting. At the end of the wash cycle, remove the shirt from the washer and tumble-dry it using the dryer's highest heat setting. If you want to shrink the shirt further, you can repeat this process more than once.

Should you wash polo shirts? ›

The polo shirt is compatible with your usual detergent, machine wash it with your laundry. Don't add any fabric softener when cleaning polo shirts. It won't give any suppleness to your polo and can even damage the fibres.

How do you stretch a shrunken polo? ›

How to Unshrink Clothes in 6 Steps
  1. Use lukewarm water and gentle shampoo or soap. ...
  2. Soak for up to 30 minutes. ...
  3. Gently remove water from the clothing. ...
  4. Lay the clothing on a flat towel. ...
  5. Lay the clothing on another dry flat towel. ...
  6. Let the clothing air dry.

How do you stretch a shrunken polo shirt? ›

Put 3 tablespoons of hair conditioner in a basin of warm water. Add the shirt and let it soak for about five minutes. Rinse and stretch the shirt out on a flat surface, like a countertop, until you reach the desired size. Use cans or jars to hold the garment in place, and allow it to air dry.

Does cotton and polyester shrink? ›

Yes, you can actively shrink a cotton and polyester blend shirt. However, polyester does not shrink and cotton does, so don't expect the shrinkage to be very much. What is this? To shrink a 50/50 blend shirt, you will need a washing machine and a dryer.

Can you shrink a polyester polo shirt? ›

Hot drying can also shrink polyester. You can also try to shrink the fabric further by using the heat setting in the dryer. In hot Ironing, you can shrink polyester. You can use a temperately hot iron to attempt further shrinking.


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