Does Polyester Shrink? By How Much?

Are your bedding made of polyester? If you have bed sheets made of this fabric, you could be wondering whether it shrinks or not. Does polyester shrink? That is the question we will answer in this article.

Does Polyester Shrink?

Yes, polyester shrinks but the fabric is also capable of resisting shrinkage. The nature of polyester allows it to resist shrinkage except when washed in extremely hot water or when being ironed. Being an artificial fabric made with polymer, it does not easily shrink in cold water.

Moreover, polyester can shrink in the dryer and it will melt if you have the heat over 180 degrees F.

How much does polyester shrink

What else do you need to know? There are a ton of other things about polyester bedding that you need to know.

Do not soak polyester for too long and avoid drying in a hot dryer. Temperatures above 140°F leads to shrinkage. Therefore, avoid soaking the fabric in hot water for more than 3 minutes. Hand-washing is the preferred method for cleaning but you can put polyester in the washing machine. Set it on gentle cycle and dry in the open naturally.

To limit shrinking your 100% polyester, use normal tap water, a gentle detergent and make sure you’ve read all the washing guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Polyester will not shrink in a warm washing machine cycle. It can safely go in a normal dryer setting as well. The mistake you want to avoid is soaking polyester in hot water or leaving it in the dryer for too long. This may lead to polyester shrinking or warping.

When polyester is mixed or blended with other fabrics, the resulting fabric will shrink more easily than 100% polyester. After answering the question “does polyester shrink?” it is worth asking, by how much?

How Much Does Polyester Shrink?

Phrased in another way, how much will your polyester shrink? Polyester will not shrink significantly at lower heat. That is, it will shrink a lot less than at a higher heat level. When exposed to hot temperatures, expect polyester to shrink by about 1/4 to 1/2 size depending on the method you use. Remember that your polyester will begin to shrink at a much lower temperature than cotton will.

Why Does Polyester Shrink in Hot Water?

Polyester does not shrink in warm and cold water

Polyester shrinks because it is essentially plastic. It is a synthetic fabric made with long, durable yarns. When exposed to high temperatures, the fibers undergo a chemical degradation, shortening its life cycle. However, the process of melting and spinning allows polyester to withstand a lot of heat without getting damaged.

It is important to remember that heat does not treat polyester very well. But you can still wash polyester in 30 degrees C or 100 degrees F water as well.

So, as long as you keep the fabric away from extremely high temperatures, it will pretty much last forever! Washing and drying in normal setting using cold water and air drying should never damage a 100% polyester bedding.

What Temperature Does Polyester Shrink?

Polyester shrinks between 212 and 230 degrees F. It is impossible to highlight the exact temperature at which the fabric will begin to shrink, but all you need to do is to avoid washing polyester in water temperatures above 230 degrees F.

When you use hot water for cleaning you face the risk of damaging your polyester things for good. Real hot water can melt or stiffen the material and that is neither a nice fashion statement to make nor a true reflection for your washing skills.

Our hope is that your washer and dryer have a polyester setting on them. This will help you control the water and drying temps better and keep your polyester bedding in good condition. Cleaning polyester is easier than other fibers since it does resist shrinking and you have a bit more freedom in its maintenance.

Does Polyester Shrink In the Washer?

Yes, polyester shrinks slightly in the washer if the temperature setting is above 140°F. However, with cold water, polyester will not shrink and the same applies to warm washing cycles. Polyester will shrink in the washer if the temperature is above 212 degrees F.

If you want to avoid causing any shrinking, you should never wash polyester in temperatures above 230℉.

Several blends of polyester, as you’ll discover in a moment, require more careful treatment than 100 percent polyester. Before tossing a garment in the washing, always read the care label to see what sort of fabric it is made of and how to best care for it.

Does Polyester Shrink In the Dryer?

No, polyester will not shrink in a normal dryer cycle. With the exception that you should always follow the instructions on the care tag of any given clothing, running polyester through a typical dryer setting is usually totally safe.

Use the lowest heat setting on your dryer in case it has more than one. The settings for your dryer may be found in the machine owner’s manual.

You’ll want to avoid drying polyester at temps more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

What causes the shrinkage of textiles in the dryer? To dry clothing rapidly, dryers rely on motion and heat. As previously stated, heat causes fibers to constrict than the required levels. This constriction damages the fibers.

How to Get Wrinkles Out of Polyester

The best ways to get wrinkles out of polyester is to use three methods: use steamer method, the dryer methods, and the iron method. Ironing polyester on a low-heat setting can also remove wrinkles. Synthetic fibers can scorch easily when you expose them to too much heat thus care is needed when removing wrinkles from polyester.

1. The Steamer Method

The method involves using a hand-held steamer.

It is the safest and easiest way to get creases out of polyester. Even without your own a steamer, you can also use the steam setting on your iron, though this process requires a little extra care.

2. The Dryer Method

The other way to remove wrinkles from polyester is to use a dryer.

Dryers have a bit of a love-hate relationship with polyester because too much heat can scorch the fabric.

Having said that, the permanent press setting on most modern dryers was invented specifically for these synthetic fabrics!

3. The Iron Method

To remove wrinkles from polyester using Iron, turn your bedding inside out. Set iron to lowest temperature.

Some modern irons have special “synthetics” setting. Use it. Establish a work station as you let the iron warm.

Sprinkle a few drops of water over the wrinkled cloth surface to dampen it. Lay a smooth pressing cloth over the surface and iron as usual.


We hope you have found the answer to the question: does polyester shrink?