Can Suede Shrink? (How to Shrink Suede Shoes or Clothes)

Fabrics of all stripes are prone to one of two or even both common dangers most fabrics share. Either they shrink when you do not want them to or they stretch at the wrong times. Some times fabrics do both leaving you with one big headache.

Can suede shrink? Yes, this fabric can shrink. When it does it is possible to stretch it a little to get it to fit once again. Heat is the main culprit when suede shrinks. To shrink shoes just moisten the inside of the shoe to get it to go down a half size.

To learn more about the shrinking ability of suede just continue to read our article. It has information to help you protect your suede fabrics and shoes. Take a few moments to see what you can do to avoid shrinkage or do a controlled shrink of your suede items.

Does Suede Shrink in The Wash?

It might if you could wash suede items. Submerging the fabric underwater for long periods, like a cycle of a wash, will ruin suede even if the material is on your shoes. Washing suede is not recommended at the best of times.

Suede will shrink but it will also ruin when washed. If you need to clean your suede items let the stain dry and use the appropriate cleaning method for that particular stain.

For mud and dirt, let both dry and use a brush gently to get any loose dirt or mud off your shoes. Then go to the vinegar and water mixture to get them clean. Just be careful not to get the mixture on the inside of your shoes or you may lose a half size.

When in doubt, do not wash suede no matter what other people say.

Does Suede Shrink in the Dryer?


Heat is not only unfriendly to rayon and Viscose, but it is also not a friend to suede. Too much heat, as in dryer heat, is not good for the fabric. The heat and tumble action will damage your suede items and often discolor them.

Suede will shrink when too much heat is applied to its surface. It is best to lay out any suede items you have cleaned and let the air dry each one. It may take a little longer to get those items dry but it saves you a lot of money.

Replacing ruined suede is a lot more expensive than waiting a few hours for the items to get dry. Take care of your suede and it will take care of you and always be ready to be worn when you want to look cool.

Does Suede Shrink When Wet?

There is a very good possibility that your suede shoes will shrink if you wear them on a very rainy day. Then when they dry they may shrink even more, especially when you put heat on them to get them to dry faster.

If you are one of the lucky ones, you may not see any shrinkage. One method to avoid that shrinking is to keep wearing the shoes while they remain wet. It is a slim chance but you might be able to pull it off and only end up with discolored shoes.

When that happens a good suede brush can help brush out the water stain and get the shoes looking good again. If you have treated the shoes with a waterproof sealer then you may again be lucky and have no damage to your shoes and no shrinking issues.

Protect your suede from water by applying the sealer even if it costs a little bit more. This option is cheaper than replacing damaged shoes.

Does Suede Shrink When it Gets Wet


This is a depends issue as while suede is not water-resistant a little water should not shrink your shoes. If you have taken the precaution of spraying a waterproof coat onto your shoes then again, you should not experience any shrinking.

If you go out in a rainstorm and walk through puddles of water then do not expect your sealer to protect your shoes or see them remain the same size. Too much water, even when cleaning suede will damage your shoes and cause shrinking.

How much shrinking takes place is also a depends situation. There is no real way to control how much your shoes will shrink. A controlled shrinking can take the shoe size down a half but when too much water gets on your shoes or other suede products it is anyone’s guess how short the items will go.

Can You Shrink Suede Shoes?

Yes, you can and a controlled shrinking of your shoes is better than letting them shrink on their own. If you have lost weight or bought a pair of shoes that are a little too large for your feet it is not hard to shrink suede shoes.

All you need is a little water wiped onto the inside of your shoes and they should come down about a half size. There are two ways to control the shrinking of your shoes. The first is to moisten a sponge and wring any excess water out.

When that is done, place the sponge inside your shoe and wait about 5 minutes. Then remove the sponge. The second method is to put some water in a kettle and bring it to a boil. Hold your shoes over the steam for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Then in both cases put the shoes in a sunny spot and let them air dry. The shoes, once dry, should be down about a half a size.

How to Shrink Suede Shoes


The first step in shrinking shoes is to put out of your mind any thought of using your clothes dryer, your hairdryer, or another device that creates a lot of heat. You won’t be able to control the amount of shrinkage if you resort to those dry tools in your suede shoe shrinking task.

Your hardest choice in this process will be deciding which of the two methods described above you will use. The easiest one and probably the safest one to you would be the sponge in the shoe method.

When you are done with that process, brush the shoe in the direction of the nap. Again, be gentle and don't press too hard. Then apply a leather conditioner to help the suede regain its moisture again.

Getting your shoes to look great hides the fact that you shrunk them and have people wondering if you bought new shoes.

Shrinking Suede Moccasins

One way to shrink your moccasins is to place them on your feet and tie the laces so that your feet are comfortable and not too tight. Then dip the bow of the moccasin in the water. Do not place the whole shoe in water just that one section.

Once that is done the show will shrink a little bit but not a lot. To protect your moccasins from shrinking after they get soaking wet, you need to remove them from your fit first. Then stuff them with newspaper to soak up the excess moisture.

Next, undo your laces and lay them flat so the air can circulate around them. Place the moccasins and laces outside but not in direct sunlight and let them fully dry. Or put them in front of a fan. Just do not use high heat levels to speed up the process.

Does Faux Suede Shrink


Faux suede is not made from natural or real suede. Instead, it is a product of the plastic revolution that took place many decades ago. At that time plastics were replacing everything including natural fabrics like suede.

Though you may not like the idea of plastic replacing suede, it does come with a lot of benefits. One is that the material can be washed without worrying about shrinkage. You can even place it in the dryer and there should be no problem.

There is one caveat though and it is an important one. Not all faux suede materials are made the same so you need to read the care label that comes with the garment or shoes. Follow those instructions carefully and do not deviate from the heat settings.

Always read the care level as some faux suede is not meant to be machine washed or dried.

How to Shrink Suede Jacket

This may not be a good idea especially if the jacket is lined with a material that cannot be washed or placed in the dryer. If you try to use your machines with a lined suede jacket your results may not look pretty and you will end up spending a lot more money replacing the garment.

If the jacket is unlined then you have different methods you can try. One is to fill your bathtub full of warm water and submerge the jacket for 5 to 10 minutes. Then lay out the jacket to dry. The danger here is that the dye may run and you will ruin the jacket or add more work to your alteration task by having to redye it.

Then there is the washing machine method which requires you to wash your jacket in cold water through one cycle. You need to wash the jacket alone as if the dye runs it will ruin your other clothing items in that wash.

After the wash cycle is done, wring the excess water out and place in the dryer on medium heat. Try your jacket on after this and if it is too large repeat the process. The 3rd method is to go o a professional tailor and have them alter the size for you. It is the safest way to shrink your suede jacket but it is also the most expensive.

Shrink Suede Skirt


This will depend on where you want the shrinking to take place. If it is in the length, then all you need to do is re-hem the skirt bringing the hem up to where you want it to lie. Or you can take it to a professional seamstress and have them do it for you.

They would have the right needles and thread on hand saving you the cost of those items. If you want to shrink the waistband because you lost some weight and want to continue wearing the skirt, you can try applying a little water to the inside of the waistband and see if that shrinks the fabric a little.

Shrinking the waist may not be a good idea s you could go too far and stretching it won’t bring it back to the size you want it at. It is a little risky when you try to shrink a suede item as they are very hard to control.

Shrinking Suede Jacket

We have already provided you with the ways to shrink a suede jacket but we are not recommending those methods. One reason is that it is very risky and you will end up ruining the garment making it worthless.

The methods have no controls to guide you and they use heat and water which may stain or remove the dye. If the dye goes then you are looking at buying a new jacket. Which is something you should do in the first place.

If you need a smaller jacket, go out and buy it. That way you save yourself a lot of hassle and frustration.

Some Final Words

Yes, this fabric can shrink but you do not want to risk going too far. When you shrink any fabric it is very difficult to say stop at the point where you want the length or width to be at. The fabrics have their own mind here.

But if you must shrink then follow the procedures described above and cross your fingers.

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