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Will Corduroy Shrink? How to Shrink and Unshrink Corduroy Clothing (2024)

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does corduroy shrinkYou just picked up that killer corduroy jacket from the thrift store, but uh oh – it’s a little too big. No worries, fashionista, shrinking corduroy is a cinch with the right techniques.

Let me share some tricks I’ve learned over years of revamping secondhand treasures into perfect fit couture.

First, check the care tag. If it says Dry Clean Only, take it to a professional. But if you’ve got the green light to launder it yourself, it’s time to get shrinking.

Using hot water and high heat can tighten the woven cords, so wash on warm and dry on medium.

With some love, you’ll be rocking that retro jacket like it was made for you. And for future corduroy scores, you’ve got shrink-to-fit secrets up your tailored sleeve.

Key Takeaways

  • Check the care label to follow washing instructions for your corduroy items. Corduroy can shrink if washed improperly.
  • Use hot water, heat, and steam to intentionally shrink corduroy clothing or fabric. The heat causes the fibers to tighten and shrink.
  • Bring corduroy to a tailor for precise, professional shrinking and customization. A tailor can expertly control the amount of shrinkage.
  • Add moisture and heat to unshrink corduroy if it has shrunk too much from washing. This can help relax the fibers and regain some of the lost size.

Does Corduroy Shrink in the Dryer?

Does Corduroy Shrink in the Dryer
You’ll wanna keep that cord jacket outta the dryer, hon, unless you’re aimin’ to make it snug as a bug. That dryer heat works like magic to shrink up fabrics, and corduroy is no exception.

Like a stern mama bear, the tumblin’ dry air hugs every thread tight. One toss on high and your relaxed retro jacket turns into a shrunken second skin.

Save dryer heat for emergencies only, like minor spill mishaps. Stick to open air dryin’ to keep your cords lookin’ fly.

For pre-loved pieces needin’ some shrinkage love, a short low heat tumble can revive a baggy relic into a customized retro-chic gem. Controlled dryer time shrinks corduroy gradually, so you get that perfect tailored fit.

Can You Shrink a Corduroy Jacket?

Can You Shrink a Corduroy Jacket
You know, while corduroy pants often shrink when washed improperly, corduroy jackets require extra special care. When it comes to shrinking a corduroy jacket, heat is your best friend – but use it cautiously.

Strategically apply a steam iron to areas needing to be taken in, continuously brushing the iron to avoid scorching.

For a more even shrink, soak your jacket in hot water before tossing it in the dryer on medium heat.

With some patience and precision, you can revive and customize any oversized corduroy jacket into a stylishly snug statement piece. Just remember – when shrinking corduroy, heat is helpful, but too much heat is not.

How to Shrink Corduroy

How to Shrink Corduroy
Let’s get shrinking! Submerging corduroy in hot water followed by machine washing and drying on high heat are proven methods for shrinking your cords a size or two. For more precise control, try ironing damp trousers – just take care not to scorch the fabric.

Another option is to wear damp corduroys and go for a jog or do jumping jacks to shrink them through movement. Focus on areas that feel loose like the knees or seat. Check fit after exercising and repeat as needed.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution since overshrinking is difficult to reverse.

Soaking in Hot Water

Dash over to your old jacket, toss it into a steaming bath, and watch happily as it fits snugly again.

  1. Check fabric type
  2. Prepare basin
  3. Immerse in water
  4. Reshape garment

Treat your threads with love and they’ll love you back, darling.

Ironing Damp Corduroy

If you want to shrink a corduroy jacket, ironing it damp on a low heat setting helps evenly target specific areas. Focus the heat on areas needing more shrinkage. Move the iron slowly and avoid creases.

Let the jacket dry fully flipped inside out before assessing if more shrinking is needed. Ironing damp corduroy should only be done a few times to gradually shrink areas. Excessive repeated ironing can damage the fabric’s texture and appearance. For the best control, take corduroy items to a tailor.

Machine Washing and Drying

Washing corduroy in hot water and tossing it in the dryer on high heat for an extended time can shrink it significantly. As a fabric care specialist, I recommend washing corduroys inside out in cool water and low heat drying to prevent shrinkage.

To preserve color, wash dark cords separately from light colors. To maintain your corduroy garments’ precise fit, consider professional tailoring rather than machine washing and drying.

How to Shrink Corduroy Pants

How to Shrink Corduroy Pants
Toss your cords in the dryer on high heat to snug them up before hemming. For a fashionable fit, here’s how to shrink your corduroy pants at home:

  1. Soak the cords in hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. Tumble dry on high heat for 1 hour.
  3. Iron the damp pants on high heat.
  4. Repeat washing and drying for maximum shrinkage.

When shrinking corduroys, go gradually and check often for your ideal slim fit. Consider having a tailor professionally taper the pants for a bespoke look.

How to Shrink a Corduroy Jacket

How to Shrink a Corduroy Jacket
Check the care label and then have your tailor take in the cord jacket for a more fitted look.

  • Soak the jacket in hot water to shrink it before alterations.
  • Have the tailor taper the sleeves and body for a sleek silhouette.
  • Consider shortening or cropping the jacket for a modern twist.
  • Add functional details like buttons to roll up sleeves.

Trust an experienced tailor for precision shrinking and resizing without compromising the texture and color. Proper steaming and pressing maintains the nap. With some clever tailoring, you can customize your corduroy jacket into a versatile statement piece.

How to Shrink Corduroy Hats

How to Shrink Corduroy Hats
Goodness, applying excessive heat will demolish that precious corduroy hat you cherish! Here are some safe ways to shrink your corduroy hat and obtain the perfect fit:

  • Use strategic hat tape placement to gently reduce the circumference and shrink the hat size.
  • Wet the inside band with cool water, shape the hat on your head or a form, and let air dry to shrink.
  • Insert rolled socks into areas needing shrinkage for an improvised custom fit as the hat dries.
  • As a last resort, use very low heat from a hair dryer on cool setting to softly shrink targeted tight spots for slight size reductions.

Gentle reductions done gradually ensure your corduroy hat maintains its texture and shape for years to come.

How to Wash Corduroy

How to Wash Corduroy

  1. Wash in cold water.
  2. Use a gentle cycle.
  3. Wash inside out.

Washing your cords this way helps the colors stay vibrant and maintains the soft, velvety nap. Avoid washing corduroy with lint-producing fabrics to prevent fuzz buildup. For tailored fit, bring your cords to a tailor.

Skillful alterations like hemming provide precision shrinking and customization. Proper at-home care preserves your corduroy’s lifespan and beloved lived-in look.

How to Unshrink Corduroy

How to Unshrink Corduroy
Grab your iron, ’cause we’re fixin’ to make that shrunken corduroy right again. Few spritzes of water and some strategic pressing oughta do the trick.

Lay the garment flat on an ironing board. Mist it lightly with water. Press sections methodically, easing out the shrinkage.

With some patience and precision, you’ll have that beloved corduroy piece looking brand new. A bit of moisture and heat can revive even the most shrunken cords. Just go slowly and don’t overdo it, letting the fabric relax into its intended shape.

Caring for Corduroy Long Term

Check the care label and follow the recommendations when washing your cords to maintain their look over time. To preserve the corduroy’s texture and colors long-term, have them professionally dry-cleaned.

For pants, request they be cleaned and pressed inside-out to avoid damaging the nap.

If washing at home, launder cords inside-out in cold water, reshape and air dry to prevent shrinkage.

When hemming pants, allow a tailor to shape the leg and account for slight shrinkage over time. With proper specialized cleaning and tailored alterations, you can cherish quality corduroys for years while maintaining their distinctive appearance.


Girl, if your vintage cord jacket’s getting a bit snug, don’t fret! Remember that time we soaked your corduroys in hot water and they shrank right up? Try it again, but this time lay them flat while damp to shrink evenly.

Always wash inside-out in cold water – heat is the enemy! Respect the fabric – corduroy will love you back. A little TLC keeps your cords looking fly. Follow these care tips and you’ll keep that cozy textured look around for years.

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.