Does Spandex Shrink? All Your Questions Covered.

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Spandex: A wonder material that’s conquered wardrobes across the globe with its unparalleled ability to stretch, fit snugly, and then bounce back to its original form.

No doubt it’s become a staple in activewear, underwear, and a host of trendy outfits.

But delving into the all-important question of does spandex shrink is essential for all fashion lovers and savvy home-laundry doers alike.

Our clothing is an investment, and ensuring we understand its care correctly matters!

Check out my article on how to iron the right fabrics at the right temperatures.

Does Spandex Shrink: Digging into the Facts

If you’re wondering what causes most clothes to shrink, it’s generally down to heat – whether from hot water during washing or high temperatures in your dryer.

Now let’s consider our star fabric: does spandex shrink in similar conditions?

Inherently, spandex is more resilient against shrinking compared to many materials because of its unique polymer structure.

However some claim their spandex-infused product shrank after a wash or two?

To answer this question correctly, we need to look not just at the spandex alone but also at what it’s combined with – any additional fabrics could alter how the finished product behaves in your wash.

Can Spandex Shrink? Delving Deeper

You’ve probably gathered by now that while pure spandex is relatively shrink-resistant under normal conditions, several factors can affect this behavior.

And yes, this means your beloved spandex can indeed shrink under certain conditions.

Exposure to extreme heat is one such condition – whether by washing clothes in hot water or drying them on high heat settings for extended periods.

Similarly, if exposed to harsh chemicals or rough mechanical scrubbing during cleaning processes, your spandex items might be at risk of shrinking or morphing out of shape.

But hey! It isn’t just about understanding can spandex shrink but also acknowledging that different blends like polyester spandex or cotton spandex may react differently to washing/drying processes.

Stay with me on this fascinating journey as we peek into those specifics in the sections that follow!

Polyester and Spandex: A Common Combo – Does It Shrink?

Polyester and spandex often team up to give us comfy, durable clothes.

Polyester brings sheer strength and durability while spandex adds flexibility and elasticity.

Now, does polyester spandex shrink?

Here’s something interesting – polyester is known for its resistance against shrinking; it can consistently hold shape even under heat.

Spandex too comes with built-in shrink resistance, thus when combined, these two manage to form a fabric blend that resists shrinking under normal washing and drying conditions.

But of course, intense heat or improper care can still lead to size reductions over time.

Cotton And Spandex: What Happens Here – Does this Blend Shrink?

Shifting our focus to cotton-spandex blends puts an intriguing twist in the shrinking game!

Unlike polyester and spandex, cotton is far more susceptible to shrinkage especially when exposed to heat during washing or drying processes.

This means your favorite pair of jeans made from a cotton-spandex blend might indeed shrink if not cared for correctly.

To answer the burning question then, yes, does cotton spandex shrink? Absolutely!

Washing and Drying Spandex: The Do’s and Don’ts

Setting aside specific blends for a moment, how do we navigate the does spandex shrink in the wash debate?

Firstly, regardless of what type of garment you’re dealing with, use cold water where possible when washing your spandex clothes to avoid excessive heat exposure which could potentially induce some degree of shrinking.

Does polyester spandex shrink in the dryer then?

As reiterated earlier, under normal conditions no; but if it could be avoided , stick to air drying your garments made out of this fabric combo instead of using a machine dryer.

Best Clothes Dryers Reviewed

Tips To Avoid Shrinking Your Beloved Spandex Items

Now armed with this knowledge, let’s look at some helpful tips to prevent shrinking:

  1. Aim for cold water washes to minimize heat impacts.
  2. Avoid using harsh chemicals – stick to gentle laundry detergents.
  3. Air-dry instead of machine-drying where possible.
  4. For machine drying, choose the coolest setting and shortest time.


In our discussion on does/can spandex shrink, we’ve established that while pure spandex is quite resistant to shrinkage, fabrics it’s blended with may have a significant impact on this behaviour.

By adhering to appropriate washing and drying practices, you can ensure that your beloved items retain their shape and fit you love!

Remember, caring correctly for your clothes not only maintains their quality but also contributes positively towards reducing textile waste. Now isn’t that a win-win?

Written by Shaz


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