Does Nylon Shrink in the Wash or Dryer

Nylon is a durable, synthetic fabric that is used in clothing, industrial applications, and even in fishing lines. It has a high heat tolerance and is resistant to fire, chemicals, and abrasion. Because of these properties, it’s a popular choice for camping and outdoor gear. However, it’s not as easy to deal with as cotton or linen when it comes to washing and drying. Now you may be asking yourself does nylon shrink.

Nylon is a synthetic fabric that does not shrink much or at all. If the nylon fabric is blended with other fabrics such as cotton, it is more likely that the blended fabric will shrink. Nylon is naturally heat-resistant and repels water, which makes it difficult to shrink in hot water or by heat exposure.


Continue reading to learn more about what causes nylon to shrink and how much does it shrink, and how to shrink a nylon fabric. 

Does Nylon Shrink in the Wash

Nylon does not shrink when washed

Nylon is not water observant because the fibers themselves are made of plastic. Nylon fabrics also tend to be more resistant to heat than cotton or wool, so it is not possible for them to shrink as natural fibers do.

It is possible for nylon to shrink when blended with cotton or rayon, but if the fabric is labeled as 100% nylon, then it should not shrink when washed in warm or hot water on a normal cycle with a normal washing machine. 

Though it can be difficult for any fabric to maintain its original shape when exposed to hot water and tumbling. This means that nylon is prone to temperature damage. Temperatures above 150 degrees Fahrenheit cause the fibers in the fabric to melt and fuse together. 

Does Nylon Shrink in the Wash or Dryer 4

Does Nylon Shrink in Dryer

Because 100% nylon doesn’t contain any organic materials, it won’t shrink when it is put in a dryer on normal or medium drying temperature settings. 

The only way that 100% nylon will shrink is if it is put on a high-heat drying cycle, which is not something that should be done with this type of fabric. In fact, putting 100% nylon through a high-heat drying cycle will cause the nylon fabric to shrink or get damaged.

Blended nylon contains both synthetic materials, like polyester and spandex, as well as natural materials such as cotton and wool. For this reason, blended nylon will easily have some shrinkage when put in dryers depending on what kind of blended fabric it is made from. 

Most blended nylons are resistant to shrinking because they are made of mostly synthetic materials.

Does Nylon Shrink in Hot Water

Nylon is prone to shrinking when exposed to high temperatures. Washing nylon using hot water will cause the fabric to shrink as well as melt the fibers resulting in damage. To avoid shrinking nylon, wash the fabric using cool or warm water and lay it flat to dry.

How Much Does Nylon Shrink?

Because Nylon is synthetic fiber it will not shrink if made 100% nylon. If a nylon garment is blended with another fiber, there are chances of experiencing shrinkages.

If you have a fabric that is a blend of nylon and cotton, the amount of shrinkage depends on which fabric is dominant in the blend. Cotton is a natural fiber that reacts to heat and moisture. 

When heat or moisture comes in contact with cotton fibers, they absorb the water and expand. So when you wash cotton garments, they will shrink. On the other hand, if a fabric has more nylon than cotton, there will be a small portion of shrinking or no shrinkage at all.

Washing nylon fabric at a high temperature can lead to a contraction of about 2% in length and width for both woven and knitted fabrics. However, it does not cause any change in the weight of the fabric due to the low absorption rate of water by nylon fibers.

Can You Shrink Nylon?


It is possible to shrink nylon, but not all nylon will shrink the same way. For example, if you’re trying to shrink 100% nylon fabric, you might be disappointed with the results. However, when trying to shrink a blended fabric with some nylon in it, you might get some good results.

The first step is to determine if the fabric is 100% nylon. For example, if the label says “100% nylon” then it can not be shrunk. If it says “90% nylon and 10% Lycra,” or “72% nylon, 18% cotton and 10% spandex,” then there is a good chance that the fabric will shrink in high heat.

To shrink nylon fabric, you’ll need to wash it in hot water and dry it on the highest heat setting on your dryer. You can also use a clothes steamer or iron to gently steam the fabric until it’s shrunk to the desired size.

How To Shrink Nylon

Shrinking nylon is a tricky process. This fabric is extremely durable and is resistant to shrinking. With that being said, it is possible to shrink nylon if you do it properly. Here are some things you must consider before you shrink nylon:

Check the instructions on the tag

Before you begin trying to shrink your nylon clothing item, check the tag to see what kind of fabric it is made from. If the garment is 100% nylon, you won’t have good results. However, if a nylon fabric is blended with cotton or another natural fabric, you will see great results.

Wash the Fabric in the hottest water

If the fabric is made up of 100% nylon, you might try but there won’t be much success. However, if your fabric contains a blend of natural and synthetic fibers, the next step will be to wash it in hot water. The hot water should be at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). If the hot water isn’t hot enough, you probably won’t see much shrinkage in your fabric.

Dry on the high heat temperature

Once your garment has been washed, transfer it over to a dryer. Make sure that the dryer is set on high heat and leave the nylon item inside until it is completely dry. Remove from dryer and let cool for about five minutes before trying on again.

Does Nylon and Polyester Shrink?

Most of the time, you won’t have very much shrinkage of a blend of nylon and polyester. The main reason for this is that both nylon and polyester are synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers normally don’t shrink since they are made from plastic.

They are chemically made to retain their shape. This is different from natural fibers like cotton or wool which do shrink when washed because they are organic.

Does Nylon and Spandex Shrink in the Wash

Fabrics made from nylon and spandex will not shrink in the wash. However, if the fabric is a blend of nylon and spandex with cotton, you may have some shrinkage of the cotton fibers.

Nylon is a synthetic fiber (plastic) made from coal and petroleum by-products. Spandex is also a synthetic fiber made from polyurethane. Synthetic fibers don’t shrink because they are made from plastic.

If your nylon and spandex blend shrinks, it means that it contains some natural fibers such as cotton or wool, which have shrunk during the washing process.

Does Cotton Nylon Blend Shrink?

Nylon is a synthetic fiber that doesn’t shrink when exposed to heat. While natural fibers like cotton will shrink when exposed to heat.

The shrinkage of the cotton-nylon blend is determined by the percentage of cotton in the fabric. If you have a fabric that is 65% cotton and 35% nylon, then it will shrink more than a fabric that is 35% cotton and 65% nylon.

So if you have a higher percentage of cotton than nylon then you will have a higher chance of shrinkage.

Does Nylon Shrink as Much as Cotton?

Nylon is a man-made fabric made from plastic, so it does not shrink as much as cotton. Cotton is prone to shrinking because it is made from natural fibers.

Nylon clothing may shrink slightly when washed in hot water and then dried on high heat, but the shrinkage will not be significant.

How to Shrink Nylon Jacket

You can shrink a nylon jacket by soaking or washing it in hot water. Then drying it at high heat temperature settings.

Hot water is the best way to shrink nylon, as well as other fabrics. The fabric will contract and change its shape if the temperature of the water is high enough. Maximum heat levels, such as those used for boiling and steaming, are thus very effective.

How to Shrink Nylon and Polyester

Polyester and nylon are synthetic materials that are highly resistant to shrinking and are also difficult to dye. The fibers in these fabrics will stretch when wet, and this will cause the fabric to look larger than before washing. 

The most effective way to shrink a garment is to wash it in hot water and machine dry it at high heat settings. If you prefer not to use the washing machine, you can steam iron a garment made of Nylon and Polyester.

Final Words

Nylon is an incredibly durable and synthetic fiber used to make a variety of products from jeans to sweaters. Nylon fabric is also used as a component in many blends. Because nylon is a synthetic fiber, it very rarely shrinks on its own. This would only happen if the nylon was exposed to high temperatures that would melt it. Blends are another story, however. Blending the synthetic thread with cotton or rayon can create shrinkage issues. The more of these natural fibers you have in your blend, the greater your chances of shrinkage.


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