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Does Nylon Shrink: How Nylon Shrink and Stretch You Should Know?

Nylon is one of the most popular synthetic fabrics that we interact with almost every day. Clothes made of these materials are readily available in the market. Are nylon fibers stretchable?

Nylon was invented by DuPont and is resistant to stretching, just like many other synthetic fibers. However, it can shrink under some conditions. In this article, we will be answering the big question, does nylon shrink? And if yes, under which conditions? Keep reading to find out more!


Does Nylon Shrink in the Dryer or When Washed?

Does Nylon Shrink in the Dryer or When Washed

Chances that your 100% nylon cloth will shrink when washed or dried are minimal. If you think of buying a tight outfit hoping that it will stretch, you better think twice. Many people like nylon fabric because its shrinkage is not noticeable. These fabrics also show excellent resistance to wear and tear.

Unlike cotton and other natural fabrics, which are prone to shrinking, 100% pure nylon clothes do not shrink when washed by hand. But what happens when a dryer comes into the picture?

The main question here is not whether nylon will shrink in a dryer or not. You should focus on the safety of the operation. Using a drier, you can achieve more shrinkage than in a washer. However, there are more chances of damaging it than successfully shrinking nylon. If you must use a dryer, then consider low-temperature settings. High-temperature settings not only trigger yellowing of the material but might also wrinkle the garment permanently.

A 100% nylon fabric will shrink in the dryer, but still, you won’t notice much difference. Many clothing manufacturers have successfully increased the shrinking property of nylon by blending it with other materials. Much on that later.

How Much Does Nylon Shrink?


How Much Does Nylon Shrink

Now that we know nylon can shrink in a drier, how much shrinkage can you achieve? With 100% nylon, you can expect a negligible shrinkage. However, to make it shrink further, compare a blend of nylon and other fabrics. But you still cannot quantify the shrinkage.

If blended with cotton, nylon can significantly shrink. Cotton, by itself, can shrink by 20%. During manufacturing, cotton fabrics can be preshrunk. But it can still shrink when dry-washed.

We can expect a blend of cotton and nylon to shrink, but it is not possible to achieve the 20% shrinkage because of the resistance caused by the nylon part.

There is also a blend of nylon and rayon. This is believed to have the best shrinkage percentage, but again impossible to quantify because it will shrink in bits every time you wash it.  

Does Nylon-Polyester Blend Shrink?

Does Nylon-Polyester Blend Shrink

Polyester and nylon are both synthetic fabrics made of plastic material. They are less affected by water or heat during washing. A blend of the two will be very resistant to shrinking. Some people think that it is possible to shrink a nylon-polyester blend garment in a dryer.

While it is possible to achieve an insignificant change, the chances of damaging it are higher. If you adjust the temperature setting beyond the recommended for the blend, it will melt instead of shrinking. More information about polyester stretch?

Does Nylon-Spandex Blend Shrink?


Does Nylon-Spandex Blend Shrink

Spandex is also a synthetic fiber made of about 85% plastic fibers. As a result, it will not shrink or stretch any further than it is. Its blend with nylon will retain the same properties. Do not expect to shrink a blend of nylon and other synthetic fibers.

Does Cotton-Nylon Blend Shrink?

Does Cotton-Nylon Blend Shrink


Cotton is a natural fabric that can shrink by up to 20%. That depends on the manufacturing process and the amount of cotton in it. The higher the percentage of cotton in the blend, the more you can expect it to shrink.  We can expect its blend with nylon to stretch but not by much since nylon is resistant to shrinkage.

How to Shrink Nylon?

Shrinking synthetic fabrics like nylon is a delicate process that often results in less success. However, you can get better results for a blend of nylon with cotton and wool.

The methods we will be using here depend on the blend and the garment. There are different ways, and we will look at quite a number of them. The following are some of the most successful methods:

Shrinking Nylon Using the Washing Machine

Shrinking Nylon Using the Washing Machine


Most of the nylon garments you buy come preshrunk. They can only stretch but are not easy to shrink under normal conditions. Some people have managed to shrink nylon leggings under controlled temperatures, such as in a washing machine. If you notice a stretch in leggings or any other nylon garment, use heat agitation to restore them to their original sizes.

Natural fibers such as cotton, wool, or cashmere will naturally shrink when washed. Their blend with nylon will also shrink but under set conditions. To achieve that, use about half a cup of ammonia.

Put the garments into the washing machine and set the highest washing cycle and temperature settings. Add the ammonia and allow the wash cycle to start. And after the wash cycle, change to medium heat dryer cycle and set it to about 25 minutes. Remove the garments from the dryer and air-dry by laying them flat.

Shrinking Nylon Using Hot Water Bath

Shrinking Nylon Using Hot Water Bath


Soaking nylon in hot water is the cheapest way of shrinking the fabrics that everyone can afford. Usually, hot water is used, and the clothes are submerged in it for about six hours and then soaking overnight. Use hot, boiled water and put the fabric in it.

Remove the fabric from water the following morning and air-dry. Do not wring the garments as you can introduce permanent wrinkles. This method is very effective for nylon pants. If the nylon garment has a bright color, it might fade in the process. To avoid that, consider reducing the time it takes in hot water. A half-cup of ammonia can also help. Add it to the hot water when soaking.

Shrinking Nylon Shorts and Dresses Using a Dryer

Shrinking Nylon Shorts and Dresses Using a Dryer


Dryers are effective in shrinking a nylon blend with other natural fabrics. Before attempting this method, check the label to confirm that the dress or shirt is made of a mixture of nylon and rayon, cotton, wool, or linen. Otherwise, avoid using a dryer to shrink it.

Hot dry the clothing after a wash cycle. Set your dryer to a medium to high temperature during the dry phase, and then put your shirt or dress in the machine. Avoid the maximum heat because the clothes can melt. Run the dryer for about 15 minutes and check if you have obtained the required size. You might need to repeat the process to achieve your desired shrinkage.

Shrinking Nylon-Spandex Blend with Ice Water

This process is effective but temporary. The heat from your body will be enough to stretch the fabrics to their original sizes.

Nylon-spandex blends stretch under heat. A reverse of this process is all you need to shrink your cloth made of the same material. Put the clothes in ice-cold water for about one hour and then take them out. Before they expand again, you will notice the shrinkage.

Shrinking Nylon-Polyester Fabric Using an Iron Box

Both nylon and polyester are synthetic fabrics. So, do not expect much from this process. Steam ironing has been proven effective. If you want to shrink oversized clothes without distorting them, then this may be the best approach. You will need an iron box and an ironing board.

Fill the iron with cold water and set it to steam. Hover the steamy iron over the fabrics without touching them. The hot steam produced is enough to shrink them to size.

This method is not ideal for shrinking nylon-rayon blends. Water spots may be introduced on the garment. You also have to be cautious with the nylon-polyester mix. It can melt under the highest temperature settings. Try not to bring the fabric and the iron into contact. Rely only on the heat from the steam.


Does nylon shrink? It is possible to shrink nylon clothes, but the change is insignificant. However, nylon blends with other natural fabrics can noticeably shrink under some conditions. In this article, we looked at ways of shrinking nylon clothes. Try them, but you need to be cautious because shrinking nylon fabrics can be a delicate process.

Some nylon garments can only distort when you attempt to shrink them. If you cannot shrink it any further, consider pinning and sewing it to the appropriate size. It is better that way than losing the entire clothing. But if you are successful with the methods mentioned, we would like to invite you to share this article. Help a friend in need.