Do You Need 100% Cotton Shirts That Don’t Shrink?

Do You Need 100% Cotton Shirts That Don’t Shrink?

Do you need 100% cotton shirts that don’t shrink? You plan to buy a t-shirt online or at a local store. Which one would you prefer? The pre-shrunk fabrics that are priced higher or buy if you knew the cheaper one would shirk after one wash. Would that affect your decision? You must also plan to buy a not-the-cheap along with the price if it doesn’t shrink and fits as it had been in your first trial.

What is the reason behind that makes the t-shirt last for long? The t-shirts with the least shrinkage last for a long time. Unfortunately, shrinkage is a common issue in fabric, especially cotton, and ringspun fabrics shrink even faster. Natural fibers like cotton shrink because they want to return to their natural state during the fabric-making process.

When fibers are spun into a thread, there’s a lot of tension put on the fibers. And they stretch out beyond their natural length. When fibers are warmed by warm water or hot air during the drying process, they try to return to their original state. And that is the reason your clothes shirk after a wash. You are now stressed and stranded, trying to figure out what shirts to buy that don’t shrink.

Don’t be surprised by Pre-shrunk Fabrics:

You definitely did not plan to buy t-shirts that shrink, but despite your meticulous efforts, it happens. Now it’s time to deal with the problem. Not everyone likes to wear a 100% polyester t-shirt.

You want a cotton t-shirt. To be more specific, shrinkage is more minimal with pre-shrunk fabric. However, there is nothing like a no or 0% shrinkage t-shirt. The level of shrinkage is lesser with pre-shrunk fabrics.

Even Shrinkage is Important for T-shirts:

There is little room for shrinkage of up to 5% in length and width, especially for side-seam tees. Because after a wash, the side seam isn’t quite on the side seam anymore.

While the non-croissant fabrics return to their original state pulling the seam along with it through a shrink drying process through stretching and shrinking the fabric before sewing eliminates any torque or twisting of the fabric after it’s been washed at home.

The reason that pre-shrunk fabric being more expensive:

The reason that pre-shrunk fabric being more expensive is that it involves higher manufacturing expenses. Moreover, it involves equipment like pre-shrunk dryers involved in producing minimal shrinkage fabrics compared to the brands adopting a direct sewn process.

Cotton fabric does not shrink after the first wash because of a process involved in the fabric finishing process in the industries. Basically, it gets the fabric to return to its natural state(after pre-shrunk) before the garment is sewn. Such fabrics shrink up to a maximum of 5%, while the cheaper shirts out there shrink up to 10% or more.

Steps to Make Shirts That Don’t Shrink(Pre-shrunk fabrics):

To make shirts that don’t shrink or pre-shrunk fabrics involves an industrial procedure as follows:

  • The fabric is first over-stretched width-wise to compensate for all the length-tension it had previously.
  • Secondly, it goes through shrink drying chambers in which the air blower tumbles the fabric and heat trigger the cotton to revert to its natural state as it shrinks and dries like an industrial version of your dryer at home.
  • Third, the fabric goes through a compactor that compresses the fabric’s length using steam, making it physically shorter. Since the length is where most of the shrinkage tends to occur, it ensures that when a tee comes to you, the fabric has been shrunk both lengthwise and widthwise.

Basically, it involves an expensive process that small brands or manufacturers usually skip.

Top 5 Places to Buy 100% Cotton Pre-shrunk T-shirts:

The following apparel brands offer 100% cotton t-shirts (both blank & printed) with is preshrunk before sewing from the decorated apparel industry to personal use.

1. Bella + Canvas:

Bella Canvas is a popular and the biggest manufacturer of pre-shrunk tees. They come equipped with heavy pre-shrunk industrial dryers that shrink the fabric before the sewing process. After washing it multiple times, it does not lose its size and remains as you buy a new one.

2. Gildan:

Gildan shirts are known for lightweight, soft, tight-knit, and durable fabrics. It comes with five different fabric styles: Ultra Cotton, Heavy Cotton, DryBlend, Performance, and Softstyle.

The Gildan Ultra Cotton series, especially the Gildan Ultra Cotton 2000 Adult T-Shirt, Gildan G500L, Gildan G500B, Gildan G510P, etc., are sewn with preshrunk jersey knit. It is 6 oz/yd² 100% cotton fabric offered in Adult, Ladies, and Youth sizes.

3. Delta Apparel:

Delta Apparel is a reputed manufacturer and supplier of activewear and lifestyle apparel products that are. It offers a huge catalog of tee shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, pants, leggings, uniforms, caps, face coverings, and more.

Within plenty of offerings, all of the 100% cotton Delta Apparel t-shirts are pre-shrunk. Some popular ones are Delta Apparel Pro Weight 11730U Adult Tee, Delta Pro 11736, Delta Pro 11730, etc.

4. Port Authority:

Port Authority is a popular apparel manufacturer and supplier of polos, shirts, uniforms, jerseys, organizational clothing, and more.

It not only offers preshrunk shirts for tight-knit ring-spun combed cotton but also for soft spun cotton. Some popular Port Authority preshrunk t-shirts include Port & Company PC61R(6.1-ounce) and Port Authority Long Sleeve K320 Heavyweight Cotton(7-ounce). These are 100% preshrunk cotton t-shirts available in adult sizes.

5. Next Level:

Next Level is known for combed ring-spun cotton fabrics that are soft and durable.  While dealing with the preshrunk apparel, the  Next Level – Ideal Crew – 1800 is a 5.6 oz 100% cotton regular fit pre-shrunk t-shirt.

Related question:

Does cotton shrink?

Cotton will shrink when exposed to water. This is because the fibers are not waterproof. When washed, the cotton fibers are exposed to water, which causes them to shrink. The result is a shorter garment, but it will be much softer.

Written by Davis Brown

Hi! I'm Davis Brown, Head of Editorial Team of HowNest. We are team of researchers, writers and veterans. We publish articles, whitepapers, journals and blogs with full-proof research and proper analysis. We focus on various areas such as eCommerce, industrial operations, corporate management, technologies, and DIY solutions.

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