We all have a favorite when it comes to clothing, and we tend to wear this item more than others. Therefore, it’s easy to see why these garments shrink or lose their shape faster than others. Learn how to stretch polyester using simple methods, whether it is your most-loved t-shirt or the pair of pants you cannot live without.
Cotton fabric like denim, jersey fabric, and twill are notorious for shrinking, but spandex, Lycra, rayon, elastane, and polyester fabrics also tend to shrink if not cared for properly.
A polyester garment, such as leggings, swimwear, and neoprene scuba knit fabric is form-fitting, and this fashion fabric is very uncomfortable if it’s too small. Polyester is a man-made fiber that is resilient, long-lasting, and often fade resistant.
While materials made of polyester handle wear and tear with ease and generally don’t shrink, there are times when clothing is a bit too small, especially if it’s a polyester blend.
- Stretching Polyester Back to its Original Form
Stretching Polyester Back to its Original Form
Shrinking is not an uncommon issue with clothing. You may wonder, “Why do my clothes shrink after washing?” Often, it is because you did not follow the laundering instructions on the garment’s care label. However, many materials shrink even with proper care.
Unfortunately, most fabrics can shrink. Does rayon shrink? What about polyester? Yes, these fabrics are included in the shrinkage problem.
There are several ways to stretch polyester fabric to get it back to its original size, and some of them are easier than others. It all depends on the amount of stretching your polyester shirt or garment requires.
Ways to Stretch Polyester with Your Hands
Does the dryer shrink clothes? The clothing dryer is often the culprit when it comes to clothing shrinkage due to high temperatures. However, there are ways to stretch polyester and 4 way stretch fabrics, and one of the easiest is to use your hands.
Fill a bottle with warm water and spray both sides of the polyester until all the material is wet but not soaked. To stretch the cloth wider, start at the garment’s upper side section and use your hands to pull the material outward.
Continue this action as you make your way to the bottom of the item. If the article is too short, grasp the cloth at the top with one hand and grab the bottom with the other.
Pull your hands away from each other to stretch the fibers. Move both of your hands over an inch or two and repeat the pulling process until you get the desired length.
It’s also useful to place your arms on the inside of the clothing and stretch the fabric out. Slide your arms inside, and pull outward while moving from one side of the garment to the other. Once the stretching is complete, place the item on a hanger to air dry.
How to Unshrink Polyester with Hair Conditioner
If plain water doesn’t do the trick to stretch your polyester, try using a hair conditioner to relax the fibers for easy stretching. Here is how to unshrink polyester using a bit of conditioner and warm water.
Fill the bathroom or kitchen sink with hot water and add about one tablespoon of hair conditioner for every quart of water. Agitate the water with your hand and submerge the garment in the liquid for about half an hour.
Pull the polyester out of the water and use your hands to wring excess water from the material. Don’t be afraid to twist the cloth with force, since the act of squeezing out water helps begin the stretching process.
Grip each side of the cloth with your hands and pull with an outward motion. Continue doing this as you move around the garment’s edges, paying special attention to the tight sections. Allow the article to air dry by laying it on a flat surface.
How to Stretch Polyester T-Shirts with Your Body
Your body is the ideal tool for stretching clothes to fit your shape. While this method is not the most comfortable, it does the job of getting your clothes to fit you just right.
Pour warm water into a large tub or sink and place the t-shirt into the water to soak it. Wring as much water out of the fabric as possible and then put it on while it’s still damp.
If the shirt has buttons, make sure to keep them fastened in the eyelets for optimal stretching. Move around the house doing physical activities to help the fabric stretch to your shape while the shirt dries. To expand the material even more, try mild exercises and body stretches.
How to stretch a fitted hat is just as simple. You can put the hat on your head to stretch it out or place it over a ball that is just the right size and let it dry on the form.
Stretching Polyester with a Washing Machine
If you are lacking in patience or time for stretching a garment by hand, the washing machine is a great way to make the process easier. It’s also the best way for removing stains from polyester.
Turn the item inside out, set it in the washing machine, and use the warm or hot water cycle. Adding laundry detergent is unnecessary if the item is not dirty.
Include one cup of white vinegar to the machine during the rinsing cycle to prevent the garment from bleeding or fading.
After the wash cycle completes, remove the fabric and lay it out on a clean, flat surface. Stretch the material outward and lay a heavy item, such as a large book, at each corner of the fabric to hold it in place as it dries.
Using Clothespins to Stretch Polyester
Clothespins are useful for hanging your clothes to dry, but they are also handy little gadgets for stretching your clothing back to the desired size and shape.
Does recycled polyester shrink, too? Yes. For a simple way to make it bigger, clip clothespins in place, walk away, and let the spandex stretch on its own.
Pour warm water into a bottle and lay your garment on an ironing board. Spray one side of the item, flip it over, and spray the other side. Pull opposite sides of the material outward and clip them to the edge of the board with a clothespin to keep it in place.
Continue doing this until the entire item stretches out to the desired size. Remove the clothespins halfway through drying, and attach them to different sections of the garment and ironing board while pulling the material out.
Doing this allows for even stretching and prevents the material from being misshapen. Allow it to sit in this fashion until dry.
Stretch Polyester with an Iron
High temperatures are one of the best tools for stretching out fabrics, and this includes both wet and dry heat. Using a combination of hot water and a clothing iron helps polyester and spandex materials stretch with ease.
Spread the polyester item out on an ironing board and preheat a clothing iron to medium heat. Fill a bottle with warm water, spray the top side of the garment, and both sides of a large, clean towel.
Lay the damp towel over the polyester and iron it from top to bottom while using your other hand to pull the material outward.
Flip the garment over, spray the backside with warm water, and place the damp towel on top. If the towel is dry, spray it once again with warm water. Repeat the ironing and pulling process until it stretches to the desired size.
Ways to Prevent Polyester Fabrics from Shrinking
Stretching polyester is relatively simple, but performing repeated stretches is not good for the material. After you get your clothing back to the perfect size, it’s important to care for them properly to prevent further shrinkage.
Handwashing clothes is always the best way to prevent them from shrinking. However, if you wash your polyester in the washing machine, avoid using the heavy-duty cycle. This cycle spins very fast, causing the fibers to stretch.
Learn how to clean polyester stains before washing and apply the proper treatment. Always wash your clothing with cold water and use laundry bags for extra protection. To prevent your polyester garments from bleeding or fading during the wash cycle, try using white vinegar.
Turn the garment inside-out before putting it in the washer to reduce friction, and include one cup of white vinegar during the rinsing cycle.
Consider air-drying your clothes on a hanger or secure them to a clothesline with clothespins rather than placing them in the clothes dryer.
If you decide to dry them in the machine, use a low heat setting instead of high temperatures to prevent further shrinkage. Always remove the polyester from the dryer immediately to prevent the garment from wrinkling.
Slipping into your favorite clothes only to discover that they’re tight in all the wrong places is disappointing and uncomfortable.
The great news is that it’s fairly easy to stretch fabric, whether it is a cotton blend or polyester spandex fabric, using a few simple stretching solutions.
Now that you’ve learned how to stretch polyester so that your preferred article of clothing fits you perfectly again, why not share our polyester stretching techniques with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest?