Skip to Content

Can Suede Shrink? Tips to Shrink Suede Shoes, Jackets, and Clothes (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

can suede shrink how toYou! Yeah you, wondering if suede can shrink and how to handle it. Let’s get down to brass tacks in a New York minute, ’cause we’ve got your back.

Suede loves attention but hates getting hot and bothered. She’ll shrink from heat, water, and even your dryer’s fiery breath! No need to walk on eggshells, though.

TLC for suede is easier than falling off a log. With some know-how, you can shrink shoes to fit, restore shrunken jackets, and even protect that high-maintenance fabric.

We’ll show you the ropes from A to Z—how to clean, care for, and even shrink suede with style.

Key Takeaways

  • Suede can shrink from heat, water, and the heat of a dryer.
  • Wet suede should be allowed to dry at room temperature, avoiding direct sunlight.
  • Faux suede is less prone to shrinking and can withstand washing and moisture better than real suede.
  • Suede items should be protected with water repellent spray and cleaned gently by hand using a suede brush.

Does Suede Shrink in the Wash?

Does Suede Shrink in the Wash
You’d be wise not to throw your suede in the washer, as that moisture and agitation will likely cause it to shrink up real snug. To prevent moisture damage, store properly and clean gently by hand. Condition regularly using a suede brush to maintain the material’s supple texture.

Consider professional dry cleaning for tougher stains. Wet suede is vulnerable to shrinkage, so allow it to fully dry at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Avoid heat damage by never machine drying. Water causes the fibers to tighten and contract.

Does Suede Shrink in the Dryer?

Does Suede Shrink in the Dryer
My friend, do not risk letting that lovely jacket wither under the harsh heat.

  1. Use cool or low heat settings only.
  2. High heat can damage and shrink suede fast.
  3. Let it air dry fully after washing.
  4. Have it professionally cleaned if unsure.

Exposing suede to high heat, like in a dryer, can severely damage the delicate fibers and cause intense shrinkage. The shrinking process requires caution since suede is so vulnerable to moisture-induced damage.

For items like jackets and shoes, it’s best to avoid machine drying completely or use only the coolest setting. Allow suede to fully air dry after washing instead of subjecting it to heat. If uncertain about safely drying a suede item, take it to a professional cleaner for guidance.

Does Suede Shrink When Wet?

Does Suede Shrink When Wet
Suede’s soft, open fibers act like a sponge and readily absorb liquids, which can cause permanent damage. When suede gets wet, the fibers swell and shrink as they dry. Just a small amount of water exposure is all it takes for suede to shrink significantly.

You’ll need to act fast using suede restoration techniques like reshaping and stretching while still damp. Stuffing the suede with towels or crumpled paper helps it retain its original shape. Once fully dried, continue gently working the suede with your hands to minimize shrinkage.

Specialist suede cleaners can also help rescue wet suede and prevent excessive shrinkage through professional cleaning methods.

Can You Shrink Suede Shoes?

Can You Shrink Suede Shoes
Gently moisten them inside, then let ’em air dry without heat to potentially get a better fit. After shrinking, stretch your suede shoes back out carefully with shoe trees to help retain the shape.

If they get too small, you can try reshaping with steam from an iron or kettle. Faded or scraped areas on suede shoes can be rejuvenated by dyeing or covering with acrylic paint. Take care when shrinking suede shoes, as the delicate material is vulnerable to heat and moisture.

Suede cleaner can restore shoes after the process. With caution, you can shrink suede shoes for an improved fit.

How to Shrink Suede Shoes

How to Shrink Suede Shoes
You’ll want to moisten the inside, let them air dry without heat, then use conditioner to restore moisture and maintain quality.

  1. Wet the inside of the shoes gently with a damp sponge.
  2. Let the suede shoes air dry completely at room temperature. Avoid using a hair dryer.
  3. Apply a suede conditioner once fully dried.

Limiting wear, conditioning regularly, and storing properly help prevent shrinking suede shoes. Controlled shrink technique with gradual, cautious wetting allows shrinking suede moccasins or other suede shoes.

Avoiding rain protects against uncontrolled shrinkage. With care, you can shrink suede shoes while maintaining quality.

How to Shrink Suede Jackets

How to Shrink Suede Jackets

Transitioning from shrinking suede shoes to shrinking suede jackets, you’ll find that the process demands a different touch. To maintain your suede jacket’s quality, follow these steps:

Shrinking Suede Jackets:

  • Pre-Shrink Wash: Gently clean the jacket following care instructions, helping it relax before the shrinking process.

  • Stretch Spray: Apply a suede-safe stretch spray to ensure flexibility during the shrinking process.

  • Gentle Agitation: In a basin of cold water, agitate the jacket gently to encourage slight shrinkage.

  • Low Tumble Dry: Use a low-heat tumble dry cycle to gradually reduce size, checking the fit periodically.

  • Cold Iron Press: Finish by placing a cloth between the jacket and a cold iron, pressing lightly to set the size.

Remember, shrinking a suede jacket requires patience and care. If uncertain, seek professional advice for the best results. Safeguard your jacket’s allure by avoiding excessive heat and water exposure, allowing you to enjoy your stylish suede for years to come.

Can Faux Suede Shrink?

Can Faux Suede Shrink
Keep the faux more stable when exposed to water and heat since it’s made from synthetic materials, not animal hide. Unlike real suede from animal skin, faux suede has a different fiber composition that makes it less prone to shrinking.

Examine the texture and appearance of faux suede, feeling the fibers between your fingers. Note the subtle differences from genuine suede’s delicate, feathery softness. Faux suede withstands washing, drying, and exposure to moisture better than real suede.

Still, care for faux suede by checking clothing tags and avoiding excessive heat when ironing or drying to keep the texture smooth. With reasonable care, faux suede can maintain its quality and appearance better than real suede.

How to Shrink a Suede Skirt

How to Shrink a Suede Skirt
Beware, drenching that suede skirt too hastily to shrink it risks irreparable damage.

  1. Make a mild solution of warm water and leather conditioner in a spray bottle. Spray the interior of the skirt evenly.
  2. Gently stretch and shape the skirt over your knee while damp, then allow it to air dry fully.
  3. Once dry, try on the skirt. If it needs more shrinkage, repeat steps 1-2 until you achieve the desired fit.
  4. Apply leather conditioner again after final sizing to restore suppleness.
  5. Have a professional tailor handle any needed alterations like hemming. Their experience protects the suede’s delicate fibers.

Avoid excess moisture, heat, and pulling when shrinking suede. With care, you can gently ease that favorite skirt to just the right size without harming its luxurious texture.

How to Clean and Maintain a Suede Jacket

How to Clean and Maintain a Suede Jacket
When treating your suede jacket, best be gentle. Be sure to care for it properly with these handy tips:

  • Repair tricky zippers and replace lost buttons to maintain structure.
  • Patch small tears and reinforce elbows where wear shows most.
  • Re-dye faded spots to revive rich color.
  • Consider professional suede jacket alteration for complex fixes.
  • Stick to specialty suede cleaners when cleaning. Avoid water.
  • Use suede conditioner to nourish the supple hide.
  • Weatherproof and store properly to protect your investment.
  • For stubborn issues, seek a trusted leather repair shop. Their expertise repairs and restores well.

With a soft touch, your suede jacket will hold up for seasons to come. Handle with care and it’ll treat you fair.

How to Protect and Waterproof a Suede Jacket

How to Protect and Waterproof a Suede Jacket
Now that you know how to clean a suede jacket properly, it’s equally important to learn how to protect it from future stains and damage.

  1. Use a suede protector spray to create an invisible barrier against moisture and stains.
  2. Allow the jacket to dry completely after cleaning or getting wet before wearing or storing.
  3. Store the jacket in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not wearing.

With the right maintenance and protection, your suede jacket will maintain its beauty and supple texture for many seasons to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much will suede shrink if exposed to heat or moisture?

You can expect suede to shrink considerably if exposed to high heat or soaked with moisture. The delicate fibers will contract, so take precautions. Handle carefully, allow proper drying time, and maintain shape while drying to prevent excessive shrinkage of your suede items.

What are some signs that a suede item has shrunk too much?

The seams may pucker, the fabric becomes stiff or misshapen, areas feel tighter than before, the color seems faded or r믭 off, the nap wears down, or cracks appear on the surface.

Is it possible to stretch suede back to its original size after shrinking?

Yes, it is possible to gently stretch suede back close to its original size after shrinking. Carefully pull and massage the material in all directions, using your hands or a shoe stretcher for shoes. Take it slowly to avoid damaging the fibers. Conditioning can help soften and relax the material too.

Does using suede protectants help prevent shrinkage?

You bet, using suede protectants helps prevent shrinkage! Spraying on those moisture barriers creates a shield against rain and heat that keeps the fibers from contracting. Just be sure to apply the protectant before the suede gets wet. That’ll lock out the moisture that leads to ruining your beloved suede pairs.

Can you put suede items in the refrigerator or freezer to help shrink them?

I would not recommend putting suede in the refrigerator or freezer to shrink it. The extreme cold risks drying out and damaging the fibers. There are gentler methods to gradually shrink suede, like using a damp sponge and air drying.


Whether it’s shoes, jackets, or clothes, you’ve learned that suede can shrink if exposed to heat and moisture. But armed with tips on cautiously wetting, air drying, testing sizes, and gently reshaping, you’re now equipped to shrink suede items successfully.

Handled with care, suede’s beauty can be preserved. So breathe easy – you’ve got this handled. With smart prevention and gentle correction, you can shrink suede without damage, keeping its supple texture and vintage vibe intact.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.