Nylon is one of the most durable and versatile synthetic fabrics out there. But before using fabric such as nylon, it’s important to know all of its characteristics. For example, when taking care of it, you may be wondering, “Does nylon shrink?”
Nylon is a synthetic fabric that was invented by DuPont. Like most synthetic fabrics, nylon is pretty resistant to shrinking, especially when it is washed. However, if the fabric has another fiber blended in besides nylon, it is more likely that the fabric will shrink.
The chances that 100% nylon shrinks when it is washed or dried are pretty low. However, that doesn’t mean that nylon won’t shrink at all. In this article, I’ll explain which conditions could cause it to shrink and how to shrink nylon if you should need to. I’ll also explain how to stretch nylon back out if it does shrink.
Does Nylon Shrink?
Many people love synthetic fabrics such as nylon due to their durability and characteristics, such as being shrink and wrinkle-resistant. With that being said, fabric made up of 100% nylon fibers should not shrink very much, if at all, as long as you care for it properly.
However, if you need to shrink 100% nylon fabric, it is possible that you can shrink it some if you change the way that you care for it. But by doing so, you could end up accidentally ruining the fabric by trying to shrink.
If you have a blended nylon fabric, that’s a different story. This is especially true if the nylon is blended with natural fibers such as cotton that are more prone to shrinking. Blended nylon fabrics will shrink more than pure nylon fabrics, especially if you don’t care for them properly.
Does Nylon Shrink In The Dryer?
The main concern with putting nylon in the dryer is not shrinking but rather that it will become damaged. Using a high-heat drying cycle can cause some nylon fibers to melt since synthetic fabrics can’t tolerate much heat due to what they are made of.
However, nylon has a higher chance to shrink in the dryer than it does in the washer. Although 100% nylon likely won’t shrink very much, the chances increase when other fibers are mixed in. While heat causes synthetic fibers to melt, it can cause natural fibers like cotton and wool to relax and shrink.
You can try to shrink nylon in the dryer, but by doing so, you could risk ruining the fabric. It could either lose its shape or the heat from the dryer could cause the fibers to melt. If either of those happens, you may not be able to repair it.
Does Nylon Shrink When Washed?
It is not common for 100% nylon fabric to shrink in the washer. Overall, nylon is a very strong and durable fabric that can handle water very well. One of the main causes of shrinking is due to clothing fibers absorbing water and swelling up, which can cause the fibers to get slightly bigger while the overall fabric gets smaller.
The synthetic fibers that are used to make nylon don’t absorb water very well because the fibers themselves are essentially made of plastic. However, another cause of fabric shrinkage is due to hot water that causes the fibers to relax.
You don’t have to worry about this happening with nylon either because you shouldn’t wash nylon in hot water. Synthetic fabrics like nylon can’t tolerate high temperatures, so washing nylon in hot water could damage it by causing the fibers to melt instead of shrink.
Although 100% nylon shouldn’t shrink in the wash, it is possible that a blend of nylon and cotton or rayon could shrink some because cotton and rayon fibers can absorb more water than nylon can. But just because a fabric has some cotton or rayon in it, that doesn’t mean it will shrink. It just depends on the percentage of other fibers besides nylon that the fabric is made up of.
For example, fabric that is made up of more nylon than cotton likely won’t shrink that much because nylon is more shrink-resistant. But if the percentage of cotton is higher than the percentage of nylon, then the fabric is more likely to shrink in the washer.
How Much Does Nylon Shrink?
If the fabric is made of 100% nylon, it is very likely that it will not shrink. But if the fabric is made of a blend of nylon and another fiber, it will have a greater chance of shrinking depending on what type of fiber it is blended with.
For example, cotton by itself can shrink up to 20% unless the cotton is pre-shrunk. But even pre-shrunk cotton can still shrink some. If you have a fabric that is a blend of nylon and cotton, it likely won’t shrink up to 20% because the nylon fibers help to prevent shrinkage. But the cotton fibers in the blend could cause the fabric to shrink some.
Another common fiber for nylon to be blended with is rayon. This is because there is no certain percentage amount that rayon will shrink. Fabrics made of rayon could shrink more every time you wash them, so blending rayon with nylon helps prevent the fabric from shrinking so much.
If the fabric is made of more rayon than nylon, it’s possible that it will shrink a little more every time you wash it, although the amount of shrinkage won’t be as much as it would with rayon fibers alone. But if the percentage of nylon is higher, then it likely won’t shrink very much at all.
Can You Shrink Nylon?
If for some reason, you do need to shrink nylon, you can try, but you may not have much luck if the fabric is made of pure nylon. You’ll have more luck with a blended nylon fabric, depending on the percentage of other fibers.
With pure nylon fabric, you can try to just put it in the dryer. It could shrink a little, but if you aren’t careful with the temperature and how long you leave it in there, you could end up damaging it in the process. But if the fabric is a nylon blend, you can try shrinking it both the washer and dryer. I’ll explain how to do this in more detail.
How To Shrink Nylon
If you have some nylon fabric or clothing made from nylon that is too big, you can try to shrink it in the dryer. Follow these steps to learn how to do this. But you should follow them carefully because you don’t want to shrink the fabric too much.
Check the Tag
The first thing you should do is check the tag on the fabric to see if it is pure nylon or a nylon blend. If the fabric is made from 100% nylon, you can still try to shrink it, but you may not have much luck. However, if the fabric also contains cotton, rayon, or another natural fabric, you’ll have a lot more success.
Wash the Fabric
If the fabric does contain a natural fiber such as cotton or rayon, you should wash the fabric first because it could shrink a little in the washing machine. You’ll want to use the hottest water setting on the washing machine.
You don’t have to add detergent unless the fabric needs to be cleaned anyway. Detergent won’t affect whether or not the fabric shrinks. If the fabric is made up of 100% nylon, you can skip this step because washing it won’t cause the fabric to shrink.
Dry the Fabric
After washing the fabric, put it in the dryer just like you normally would. But even if the fabric is a nylon blend, you don’t want to use the hottest temperature setting. A hotter setting will cause the most shrinkage for fibers like cotton, but you could end up melting the nylon fibers in the process.
Turn on the dryer and let it run for about 15 minutes. You don’t want to let the dryer run for too long because it could shrink the fabric more than you want it to. After 15 minutes, take the fabric out and try out the size. If the fabric is the right size, don’t put it back in the dryer. Let it air dry instead.
If it isn’t the right size, put it back in the dryer to try to shrink it some more. Check it periodically until it is the right size. If the fabric gets completely dry and it still hasn’t shrunk enough, you may have to start over by washing and drying it again.
The important thing to remember when shrinking any type of fabric is that you can’t make it shrink in just one area. It will shrink in both length and width. If the fabric is too long and you just need it to be shorter, you should hem it instead.
Does Nylon and Polyester Shrink?
If a fabric is made of a blend of nylon and polyester, then it likely won’t shrink very much at all. This is because both nylon and polyester are synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers normally don’t shrink because since they are made from plastic, their structure can’t be changed that easily due to water or heat. If you try to shrink a nylon and polyester blend fabric in the dryer, you will more than likely melt the fibers instead.
Does Nylon and Spandex Shrink?
Just like with the question above, a blend of nylon and spandex won’t shrink either. Spandex is also a synthetic fiber, and although it is only made of around 85% plastic fibers, it still won’t shrink very much. Spandex is also made partly of elastic fibers. Nylon itself also stretches some, so a nylon and spandex blend is more likely to stretch than it will shrink.
Does Cotton Nylon Blend Shrink?
You’ll have the greatest chance of shrinking nylon if the fabric is a blend of cotton and nylon. While the nylon fibers still won’t shrink that much, the cotton fibers will likely shrink some. However, the amount that the fabric shrinks depends on what percentage of the fabric is made of cotton.
A higher percentage of cotton will make the fabric shrink more than a higher percentage of nylon. But even if the percentage of cotton is high, the fabric likely still won’t shrink the full 20% that cotton is capable of.
I hope this guide was helpful in answering all of your questions about shrinking nylon. Nylon is not likely to shrink on its own since it is a synthetic fiber. However, if nylon fabric is blended with a natural fabric, especially cotton, then it has a greater chance of shrinking. You can shrink nylon blends by using the washer and dryer. Just be careful not to over-shrink it in the process. If you found this article helpful, share it with others who could benefit from this information. Thanks for reading!