If you want your leggings to last long, you may have to shrink them. There’s more than a way to go about it. This also means you can ruin the shape of the leggings in many ways. So to know how to shrink leggings the right way is more important.
Many people shrink their leggings to avoid a wardrobe catastrophe. And since leggings are made up of thin and stretchy fabric. They expand and become loose way too soon.
By shrinking them, you’re avoiding the hassle of using thread and needle to fix them. Or paying some money to take them to the tailor or buying new leggings. This method really saves your leggings game. And how to wear leggings for any occasion.
So if your leggings have mushroomed into a lousy item of clothing. It’s time to know how to shrink leggings at home.
How to Shrink Leggings?
I’m sure you have more than one type of leggings. They could be made of cotton, nylon, spandex, or lycra. Or a blend of some. This calls for a new and improved way to shrink leggings – based on their material.
1. Nylon Leggings
This synthetic material is not as simple as the others to shrink. You need to increase the fabric’s temperature that is to make it hot. But you’ll also need to be super careful about preserving the color of the leggings.
This is why using ammonia in the washing cycle is necessary. It prevents color fading and shrinkage of nylon leggings. Put the leggings in a washing machine with the highest heat setting. Add ammonia and tumble-dry of medium (not high) heat. Once that is done, allow the leggings to air dry but on a flat surface.
2. Cotton Leggings
Shrinking cotton leggings can be tricky but it’s also super simple. Cotton contains cellulose which has a good water absorbency rate. So the fabric is not stubborn or unaffected by a washing cycle.
Just like nylon, you need to wash cotton in hot water. But with a few things changed. You don’t need ammonia to prevent color fading of the fabric. You don’t need to tumble dry the cotton leggings on medium or high heat. This will prove ineffective as the leggings will expand.
To shrink cotton leggings well, you can use an air drying on the hottest setting. But only after making sure you’ve washed the leggings in hot water for the longest time.
3. Polyester/Spandex Leggings
Polyester and Spandex blends have more in common with nylon than cotton. They’re both quick to shrink and you can avoid color fading. However, you can’t just throw them in a dryer without doing this. Put them in a pillowcase or washable bag as soon as the washing is done.
So this is how you go about it.
Put them in the washing machine, as they are. But use less water at the highest heat temperature. Before you put them in the dryer, make sure you use a pillowcase. No water should get through the opening of the pillowcase. Keep it tight with a knot.
Dry the leggings, on high heat, for less than 10 minutes. And let them air dry at the same time. Don’t hang them up but leave them on a flat surface.
4. Lycra Leggings
Lycra leggings are quite popular but they lose their tightness very soon. Since it’s a tough synthetic fabric, you may not be able to shrink every single lycra leggings. But you can try.
When you buy Lycra leggings, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s a blend. Lycra is infused with either cotton or nylon or polyester. So whatever is the shrinking process for those other materials, you stick to those.
So if it’s cotton, hot wash the leggings in a washing machine for the longest of time. Then, add 10 minutes more to the process. After it’s done, air drying on the highest heat setting until all the water has evaporated.
Some Tips Before You Go
Everyone has a washing machine at home. So this is the easiest way to shrink leggings without a needle and thread.
#1 You can iron the leggings
A non-washing machine way to shrink leggings is by ironing. But that’s not always effective for synthetic fabrics. You’re supposed to spray some water on the leggings and then iron it crisply and effectively.
#2 Never hang the leggings to dry
This will do the opposite of shrinking the leggings. Gravity will stretch the fabric from top to bottom. Rather, leave the damp leggings – no matter what fabric – on a flat surface.
#3 Always use air drying
Hot air drying is the only effective way to know how to shrink leggings. It’s fast, hot, and long-lasting. For some materials, they’re a better option than tumble drying in a washing machine.
#4 Wash new leggings in a mesh bag
This is a good and spectacular way to ensure longer shelf life. Not only that, but it also prevents stretching and expansion of the fabric. Be it your undies, bras, or leggings. This prevents sensitive fabrics from getting tangled in the washing machine. And the water doesn’t over-stretch them with the cycle’s force.
#5 Never use harsh detergents
If you think your detergent has this or that scent, it’s going to ruin your leggings in the long run. Such harsh chemicals over-stretch the fabric sooner rather than later. It can cause more troubles than you think.
And what’s the point of clothing if it smells good but doesn’t fit you well?
Shrinking your leggings is an effective way to save money. You then know if you’ve done everything to salvage that item of clothing. Even if it’s not the most expensive fashion item in your wardrobe. That doesn’t mean it’s not the most important, right?
Wearing leggings is more common than jeans. Why wouldn’t it be? Leggings are comfortable, stylish, and versatile. You can wear workout leggings for yoga, running, and outdoor activities. And some can also be worn casually for dinner parties or coffee dates.
This is why it’s only natural to know how to shrink leggings. But over-stretched out leggings that have been shrunk once before need to go. You can only successfully shrink leggings once. Do it again and again and they stay to look worn out and flimsy.