Can You Shrink Chambray? How to Shrink Chambray Easily

The trick to fabrics is to learn the key characteristics and nuances that all fabrics have. Once you get those details down, you know how to work the fabric and develop it to its fullest potential. Purposefully shrinking an item is not always a good idea.

Can You Shrink Chambray? It is possible to shrink chambray if you are not careful. The shrinkage usually takes place lengthwise and normally about 5% loss can be expected. The easiest way to shrink chambray fabric is to wash it in very hot water.

To get all the facts about chambray fabric just continue to read our article. It is filled with the data you need so you know how to handle the fabric and keep it looking great. It is a tough material that competes with denim

Can You Shrink Chambray?


Yes, you can because this fabric is usually made from 100% cotton. Any shrinkage yo find in cotton should show up in this fabric as well. Hot water and high dryer heat are the two main suspects when your nice chambray shirt shrinks a size or two.

It is best to keep the water temperatures on cold when using your washing machine and low heat when using your dryer. The good aspect of this fabric is that it keeps you cool in the summer when the heat levels are both dry and very humid.

The normal thread count found in chambray shirts is the source for the coolness and the breathability of the fabric.

How Much Does Chambray Shrink?

This is not an easy measurement to gauge as everyone’s results may differ. There are a lot of factors involved that may have the chambray clothing shrink more or less than other people’s results.

Generally, you should expect the material to dry by about 5% and this figure is more in the length design than the width design. If your Chambray fabric is made from a cotton-poly blend then expect it to shrink even less than that 5%.

Synthetic materials are made to not shrink. Their presence in a chambray shirt means you should not have to stretch the clothing item very far to get it back to its original shape.

Do Chambray Shirts Shrink?


It is usually made of 100% cotton and whenever cotton is involved in creating a fashion outfit, you risk the chance that it will shrink somewhat. Cotton should only shrink once so your chambray shirt should be able to go through future washes without any problem.

If you are careful and keep the water and dryer temperatures on the cotton setting or cooler, you should not have any problem cleaning the shirts. Make sure to read the cleaning tag so you do not make any mistakes.

Proper cleaning is essential when you do not want to lose more time trying to stretch the fabric back to where it fits you comfortably.

Chambray Shirt Shrinkage

It is a good idea not to try shrinking chambray fabrics or clothing to get a smaller size. You have no control over the amount of shrinkage that does take place. Then each person’s result may be different so you are stuck with a shirt you can’t wear.

If you need a smaller Chambray shirt size the smart thing to do is go out and satisfy your shopping urge. Buy one that fits you just right. This will save you a lot of time and frustration.

There is no point risking ruining the shirt when you do not have to. Buying a smaller size guarantees you that the shirt will fit perfectly.

How To Shrink Chambray


The best and easiest way to shrink chambray fabric is to use heat. There are two good ways to use heat. The first is putting the chambray fabric in your washer and use the highest water temperature you can. Then place the item in your dryer and again use high heat.

If you think that is too risky, you can always boil water in a pot on your stove. Once at that level, remove it from the heat and put your shirt in the hot water for 20 minutes.

Next, drain the water and let the shirt cool. Dry the shirt after that in your dryer if you want it to shrink a lot. If you don’t then hang dry the garment and wait to put it on again.

Can You Stretch Chambray?

It is possible to stretch chambray fabric. The amount of stretch you get may not be all that much but it does help to get the garment back to original size. If you need a figure on how much the fabric stretches then that figure is about 10%.

It is not a lot but it still comes in handy. Being made of cotton the fabric is a little two-faced. Sometimes it will stretch and sometimes it won’t. You can try the hair conditioner or the baking soda and vinegar methods but do not be too disappointed if those methods do not work to your satisfaction.

Cotton itself can be stretched some so chambray should also stretch some. But if it is a cotton and poly blend then you may not be able to stretch the fabric.

Some Final Words

Chambray is a very popular fabric. That is because it is almost as tough as denim but retains its breathability. You get the best of both worlds when you have a chambray work shirt.

Chambray is lighter and softer than denim is which makes it a very good clothing option on those hot humid days that are too much for the latter fabric. If you are careful you should be able to avoid shrinking the fabric and making it unwearable.

One thing is for sure though, despite the risk, this is a very good fabric to wear.

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