Skip to Content

How To Shrink A Dri-Fit Shirt In 4 Steps

December 21, 2022
How To Shrink A Dri-Fit Shirt In 4 Steps

Sometimes knowing what fit is best suited to your shape and size can be difficult. This is especially true for garments of a company whose clothing you haven’t worn before. So, can you shrink a dri-fit shirt?

Shrinking your dri-fit shirt is entirely possible; however, the shrinking method varies depending on the shirt’s materials. Most shrinking methods involve heat, and the dri-fit shirt is no exception. Remember that there’s always the possibility of damaging your garment or shrinking it too much.

That’s the short answer; there’s much more to it.

Disclaimer: Be aware that there’s always a risk of shrinking the pants too much or damaging them with DIY shrinking methods. 

With that in mind, let’s explore this further.

How To Shrink Your Dri-Fit Shirt In 4 Steps

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to shrink your dri fit shirt.

These steps will help you shrink your dri-fit shirt the safest way. However, there’s the ever-existing possibility of damaging your dri-fit shirt in the process.

1. Research Your Dri-Fit Shirt

While it may seem like dri-fit shirts are all made of the same material, this is simply not the case.

Dri-fit shirts are made of many different kinds of materials, and it’s important to know which your shirt is made of.

This is because different materials have different shrinking conditions, and while one method might be suitable for a material, it might not be suitable for a different one.

Most dri-fit shirts are made of a synthetic fiber blend. The synthetic fiber is typically polyester; however, elastane is sometimes used too.

On the other hand, a cotton blend is also seen in dri-fit shirts. Because cotton is easier to shrink than synthetic fibers, it’s best to be extra careful if yours is a cotton blend.

To find out the make-up of your dri-fit shirt, you should check the label. The label will pretty much always have the shirt’s materials clearly listed.

Alternatively, you can find the materials online if your shirt doesn’t have a label. The place you bought it from will likely have it listed, along with its materials. 

2. Make Sure You Prepare

Preparation is key to shrinking dri-fit shirts. Without preparing properly, the chances of damaging your shirt or shrinking it too much are greatly increased.

You should prepare according to the materials your shirt is made of.


100% cotton needs no preparation when using this method to shrink clothing. However, you’re unlikely to find a 100% cotton dri fit shirt – they are usually a blend.


Dri fit shirts are much more likely to be cotton-blend than 100% cotton. Therefore, knowing how to prepare your cotton-blend shirt for shrinking is essential.

Usually, cotton-blend means that the cotton fibers are blended with synthetic fibers to improve durability, etc.

Unfortunately, however, this means that it’s much more difficult to shrink than 100% cotton.

To prepare a cotton-blend shirt for shrinking, you should machine-wash the garment using hot water and a gentle laundry detergent.

washing machine
Image From Deposit Photos


Arguably the most common dri-fit shirt material, polyester is also the most difficult to shrink.

Artificial fibers, such as polyester, aren’t intended to shrink easily. Consequently, shrinking them can be a challenge. 

The process of preparing a polyester shirt for shrinking may seem extreme, but it’s crucial if you want your shirt to shrink.

Before doing anything, it’s important to turn your shirt inside out. Conditions that are hot enough to get polyester to shrink also have the potential to make the colors of your shirt fade, and turning your shirt inside out will prevent this to some extent.

Put it in the washing machine at the highest heat. The water should be at least 140 °F (60 °C). You should also use the longest wash cycle.


Polyester-blend garments are pretty much always blended with another artificial fiber.

To see if this is the case, you can check the label or place you bought it.

If your dri-fit shirt is blended with another artificial fiber, such as elastane, follow the instructions for preparing “Polyester.” 

On the other hand, if your dri-fit shirt is blended with cotton, follow the instructions for preparing “Cotton-Blend.”

3. Put Your Dri-Fit Shirt In The Dryer

The next step to shrinking your dri fit shirt is putting it in the dryer. This is where the shrinking process will take place.

Your dri-fit shirt’s material will determine the dryer conditions, such as the heat and cycle length.

Image From Deposit Photos


100% cotton is unusual because it doesn’t require any preparation prior to being put in the dryer. In short, it can be put straight in without any concerns.

When putting your 100% cotton shirt in the dryer, you should ensure that you use a short cycle and medium heat.

Despite the popular belief that heat shrinks cotton, this is not the case. What actually shrinks cotton is the agitation from the dryer.

Therefore, you should regularly check on your 100% cotton shirt to make sure it hasn’t shrunk too much (or too little).


You should put cotton-blend dri-fit shirts in the dryer for the duration of a standard cycle. The heat setting should be medium.

Once the cycle is complete, check the shirt’s size. If it hasn’t shrunk enough, simply redo the procedure.


Polyester is much more difficult to shrink than the other mentioned fabrics. Therefore, more extreme measures must be taken in order to get it to shrink.

Once you have prepared your polyester dri-fit shirt following the aforementioned preparation instructions, you should transfer your shirt straight to the dryer.

Doing this as soon as possible is very important for the shrinking process because maintaining the extreme heat is what will do the most shrinking.


Knowing how to shrink polyester-blend dri-fit shirts can be confusing because of the different polyester-blend fibers.

If your polyester-blend dri-fit shirt is solely made up of artificial fibers, follow the steps for shrinking polyester.

Alternatively, if the polyester blend is partly wool, you should follow the steps for wool-blend dri-fit shirts.

4. See If It Fits

The final step to shrinking your dri-fit shirt is ensuring it fits. Dri-fit shirts typically fit closer to the skin than other fit garments.

This means that if the shirt is baggy, it is likely still too big. In this case, you should redo the steps respective to the material your dri-fit shirt is made of.

A well-fitted dri-fit shirt should be slimming without feeling restrictive; it should still feel comfortable and not inhibit movement in any way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you understand how to shrink a dri-fit shirt in 4 simple steps, here are some frequently asked questions to round things off.

Do Nike Dri Fit Shirts Shrink?

Nike dri-fit shirts can and will usually shrink. The shrinking method varies depending on the material; however, usually, dri-fit shirts are made of artificial fibers, meaning that high heat is required to shrink them.

The best, safest way to shrink Nike dri-fit shirts is in the dryer. They must be prepared correctly before being put in the dryer.

To prepare and shrink your Nike dri-fit shirt correctly, check the previously mentioned steps.

Do Dri Fit Cotton Shirts Shrink?

Dri-fit cotton shirts will shrink in the dryer. You should put them straight in the dryer on a gentle cycle at medium heat. Additionally, checking on it every few minutes is essential. Be aware that there’s always the possibility of damaging your shirt or shrinking it too much.

No prior preparation is usually needed – just put them straight into the dryer.

You should check on your cotton dri-fit shirt every few minutes to make sure it hasn’t shrunk too much.


Now you are fully equipped to shrink your dri-fit shirts – regardless of their materials. Always remember that home-shrinking your clothes can be risky to their shape, size, and condition.