Whether you’ve outgrown your favorite football shirt or stumbled upon a vintage find that’s a tad too loose, shrinking it to the perfect fit is within your reach.
While the process might seem daunting, it’s actually quite manageable with the right approach.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on how to shrink a football shirt to achieve a snug, game-ready fit.
No magic spells or complex maneuvers—just a strategic use of water, heat, and a little patience.
Table of Contents
- 1 Do Football Shirts Shrink?
- 2 What are football shirts made of?
- 3 How to Shrink a Football Shirt: A Step-by-Step Guide
- 4 How to Unshrink a Football Shirt
- 5 How to Purchase a Perfect-Fitting Football Shirt Every Time
- 6 The Final Score
- 7 This article was written by
Do Football Shirts Shrink?
Most football shirts are made from materials that have a degree of natural elasticity, which means they can shrink when exposed to heat and moisture.
However, the extent of shrinking can vary depending on factors like the jersey’s material composition, the temperature of the water used, and the heat during the drying process.
Some shirts might shrink more noticeably, while others might hardly shrink at all!
What are football shirts made of?
First thing’s first. Let’s look at the three most common types of football shirt materials: synthetic, poly-cotton blends, and 100% cotton and how much they’re likely to shrink.
Modern football shirts are often crafted from synthetic fibers like polyester.
Polyester fabrics are designed to resist shrinking, as they have minimal natural fibers that are prone to change in size.
Synthetic football shirts generally don’t shrink a lot, even after repeated washes and exposure to heat.
This makes them ideal for maintaining their original fit and appearance over time.
Poly-cotton blends shirts, which combine polyester and cotton fibres, can experience some shrinkage, although it’s usually minimal.
In the first couple of washes, poly-cotton shirts might shrink by around 3% to 4% due to the presence of cotton fibres.
After this initial shrinkage, the shirt’s size tends to stick, and further shrinking becomes less noticeable.
This moderate level of shrinkage is often manageable and might contribute to achieving a better fit for some players.
Cotton is known for its ability to shrink when exposed to heat and moisture.
Like any other piece of clothing, football shirts made from 100% cotton can shrink quite well, especially during the first few washes.
It’s common for cotton shirts to shrink in the range of 7% to 10%, depending on various factors like the specific cotton type, fabric weave, and care method.
How to Shrink a Football Shirt: A Step-by-Step Guide
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to shrink a football shirt:
Step 1: Assess the Material
Before you go diving into the shrinking process, find out what material your football shirt is made of.
Modern shirts often feature synthetic materials, poly-cotton blends, or 100% cotton. How much your football shirt can shrink depends on this material composition.
Always check the care label for specific instructions. Cotton garments or polyester materials require different treatments due to their distinct properties.
While cotton can tolerate higher heat levels, polyester may need more gentle care to avoid damage during the shrinking process.
Step 2: Prepare the Shirt
When it comes to shrinking sports shirts like a soccer shirt, adjusting the water temperature is a must.
Instead of boiling water, it’s best to stick to warm water. Don’t forget to consider the type of fabric to prevent ruining your shirt.
Here’s what you can do: Immerse your shirt in warm water, making sure it’s fully soaked.
Then, add a small amount of mild detergent and fabric softener to the water.
To maintain the vibrant and permanent colour of your soccer jersey, opt for a colour-stay detergent and follow a gentle cleaning process.
This approach can help avoid problems like colour fading or running.
Now, let the shirt soak in the hot water for about 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the fibres to absorb moisture and become more receptive to shrinking.
After the soaking period, remove the shirt from the hot water and rinse it thoroughly with cold water. This helps remove any detergent residue.
Then gently squeeze out excess water from the shirt. Be careful not to wring or twist the fabric, as this could damage it!
Step 4: Dry
The drying process depends on the shirt’s material too.
For synthetic shirts, consider using a dryer on low heat. Synthetic fabrics are less likely to shrink than other fabrics. For poly-cotton or cotton shirts, air-drying on a clothesline is best to prevent it shrinking too much.
Throughout the drying process, periodically check the shirt’s size to avoid over-shrinking. Keep in mind that high heat settings can damage the fabric or alter the design, so use caution.
Step 5: Gently Stretch (If Necessary)
As you take your freshly shrunken shirt out of the drying process, it’s an opportune moment to gently stretch and shape it further, if required.
While the fabric is still slightly damp, delicately use your hands to ensure that the football shirt retains its proper shape and fits comfortably on your body. This step is particularly important if certain areas seem slightly uneven due to the shrinking process.
How to Unshrink a Football Shirt
Unshrinking a football shirt can be a bit more challenging than shrinking it! But there are a few methods you can try to relax the fibres and regain some of the original size.
Keep in mind that the success of these methods depends on the material of the shirt and the extent of shrinkage.
Warm Water Soak and Stretching
Start by filling a basin with lukewarm water. Make sure it’s not too hot, as excessive heat can worsen the situation.
Gently place the shrunken shirt into the water and let it soak for around 30 minutes.
Once the fabric has absorbed some moisture, carefully stretch it while it’s still submerged. Use gentle pulling and massaging to encourage the fibres to relax.
When you’re done, lift the shirt from the water and continue the shaping and stretching process.
To dry, lay it out on a clean, dry towel and avoid wringing or twisting the delicate fabric.
Conditioner and Water Method
Create a mixture by adding a small amount of hair conditioner to lukewarm water in a basin. Stir well until the conditioner dissolves.
Submerge the shrunken football shirt in this solution and let it soak for about 15 to 20 minutes. As you gently stretch and massage the fabric during soaking, the fibres may start to loosen up.
Rinse the shirt with cool water to remove the conditioner, then carefully press out excess water. Reshape the football shirt to its original size and lay it on a towel to air dry.
If you have access to a clothes steamer or steam iron, this method might help you unshrink the shirt.
Hang the shrunken shirt on a hanger or lay it flat on a clean surface.
Set your steamer or steam iron to its lowest setting and hold it a few inches above the fabric. Gently direct the steam over the football shirt without making direct contact. The goal is to dampen the fabric slightly and relax the fibres.
While the fabric is damp, use gentle stretching and shaping to restore the shirt’s original size.
After you’re satisfied with the results, allow the football shirt to air dry in its stretched state.
How to Purchase a Perfect-Fitting Football Shirt Every Time
When you find and buy a football shirt that matches your measurements, you won’t have to worry about making adjustments later.
It’s all about ensuring a comfortable and perfect fit right from the start. Plus, it keeps the shirt looking great for a long time!
To ensure you always snag the ideal shirt size, follow these methods to save you the hassle of attempting to shrink a top later on.
Know Your Measurements
Start by taking accurate measurements of your chest, shoulders, waist, and hips. This will serve as a baseline when comparing sizing charts provided by the shirt manufacturers.
Different brands may have slightly different sizing, so knowing your measurements will help you choose the correct size across other brands.
Consider Fit Preferences
Understand the different types of fits available, such as slim fit, regular fit, or athletic fit.
Think about your personal style and comfort preferences when choosing a fit. Keep in mind that an athletic fit might be more snug around the body, while a regular fit is often a size larger.
Read Reviews and Recommendations
Online reviews and customer feedback can provide valuable insights into how a particular football shirt fits.
Reading reviews can give you an idea of whether a shirt runs true to size or if adjustments are needed.
Try On In-Store
If possible, try on football shirts in-store to see how it fits.
This gives you a chance to assess how the shirt looks and feels on your body.
Move around, stretch, and mimic sports movements to ensure it doesn’t restrict your activities.
Pay attention to the material composition of the shirt.
Different fabrics drape and fit differently. Consider your comfort preferences and how the material might behave during physical activity.
When shopping for football shirts, you’ll find options including authentic shirts, replica shirts, and even non-branded football shirts.
Pick a brand that works for you. Adidas shirts can run small whereas Nike seems true to fit. We also loving matching football shirt brands with our cleats!
Check Return and Exchange Policies
Always be aware of the shop’s return and exchange policies.
Even with careful sizing, there might be instances where a shirt doesn’t fit as expected. Knowing the store’s return policies can provide you with peace of mind.
The Final Score
If you follow these steps and take good care at each stage, you’ll be able to shrink your football shirt for a personalised fit that boosts your on-field performance and keeps you super comfy.
Understanding your shirt’s material and being patient throughout the process is key to getting the results you want.
Just remember, unshrinking a shirt isn’t a surefire fix, especially if the fabric has gone through permanent changes. So, be cautious and gentle throughout the process to avoid any harm to the fabric. You got this!.