How to Shrink Cotton Jeans

Sometimes, a pair of jeans fits almost perfectly. Other times, the bottom may be a bit large, the thighs a little baggy, or the whole pant is just a touch oversized. To fix these problems, all you need is a washer, dryer or steam iron, and some patience. Keep in mind, however, that cotton jean shrinking techniques work only on a temporary basis. Try using the services of a good tailor for lasting results.

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Make denim jeans more flattering by using shrinking techniques.

All-Over Shrinkage

Step 1

Run a hot-water wash for your jeans. Detergent isn't necessary, unless you want to clean them at the same time.

Step 2

Select the "soak" function on the machine to get the maximum amount of shrinkage. By sitting in a bath of hot water, the fibers will contract more than simply using an agitator cycle.

Step 3

Remove the jeans from the washing machine at cycle completion. Tumble dry on high for additional shrinkage, or hang dry to preserve the shrinkage you already have.

Spot Shrinking

Step 1

Heat your iron to the hot cotton/denim setting. Ensure that the steam setting is turned on. Alternately, turn on your steamer and allow it to heat up.

Step 2

Select the section that you'd like to shrink, and iron or steam it. Move the iron with inward strokes to contract the weave.

Step 3

Allow the jeans to cool completely before putting them on. Wearing the jeans while warm will cause the fibers to stretch out once more.