Does Nylon Shrink or Stretch? (How to Stretch Nylon Fabric)

The world of sewing and fabrics is a very interesting world to be involved with. Not just because you can use your creative talents and be innovative in your fashion designs. But because you have a large variety of fabrics you can work with, like nylon.

Does nylon shrink or stretch? One of the very best characteristics that nylon fabric has is that it does not shrink or stretch. But only in its pure form. If the nylon fibers are blended with other fibers then you may have a stretching problem. If you try to shrink nylon it may stretch instead.

To find out more about nylon and its properties just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can work with nylon and do an upstanding job.

Does Nylon Shrink or Stretch?


Even though nylon is a man-made fiber, nylon is more of a what is called a quirk of nature. It is not supposed to shrink or stretch which makes it a perfect material to use for athletic wear and other very active activities.

But it is still possible to shrink or stretch the fabric. If you go to shrink it though, you may end up stretching the fabric out of shape. Then while using your dryer to shrink the nylon material, you may end up ruining it because nylon is not resistant to high heat temperatures.

To stretch nylon safely, the fabric should be blended with other fibers that can stretch a little.

Does Rayon Nylon and Spandex Shrink?


Yes, rayon can shrink when it is by itself in a clothing item. The material is vulnerable to both heat and water so shrinkage should be expected. The problem with rayon though is that you cannot control how much it will shrink.

If it shrinks a little you may not notice it because rayon does stretch again. That is the reason why they combine Rayon with other materials like nylon. The latter material does not shrink so the rayon should remain the original size.

Spandex doesn't shrink unless it is blended with other fabrics that do. Spandex is a lot like nylon and holds its shape well even after lots of washings.

Can Nylon Shrink in The Wash?


No, nylon is a very strong fabric that resists shrinking when it is on its own. Any clothing item made of pure nylon should not lose its size when you use your washing machine. Although you need to be careful of the heat of the water when washing nylon.

Usually, the only time nylon shrinks is when it is blended with other fibers. Then it is not the washing machine that does the evil deed. It is the dryer. If any shrinkage does take place, the reason for it is that you have used too hot of water and a too high of heat in the dryer.

Does Nylon Shrink in The Water?

Nylon fabric comes with unique qualities. Those qualities prevent it from shrinking even if you soak it in water for a day, a week, a month or longer. What nylon does is absorb moisture at a fairly high rate especially if it is very humid out.

But once the nylon fabric has absorbed moisture up to its saturation point, then it will not absorb any more moisture. That characteristic still doesn't cause nylon to shrink.

Another unique quality about nylon is that it has no shelf life. In other words, it is going to last no matter how many times you reach that saturation point and dry the fabric out.

Does Nylon Shrink in the Dryer?


The best that can be said on this topic is that it can shrink in the dryer. It would depend first on which fabrics are blended with the nylon or if it is a pure nylon outfit you are trying to dry.

Because of its unique properties, trying to shrink the nylon in the dryer may end up stretching it out of shape. It is strange to see happen but that is nylon. Also, high dryer temperatures can shrink nylon but it may ruin the material at the same time.

The attempt to shrink nylon may cause it to lose its elasticity and become baggy. Nylon is a very complicated fabric to try to shrink or stretch.

How Much Does Nylon Shrink?

By itself do not expect nylon to shrink at all. While there is a remote possibility for pure nylon to shrink it is a rare occurrence and instead of a smaller clothing item, you have a baggy one.

How much nylon will shrink when blended with another fiber depends on the finer it is blended with. Cotton may have it shrink more than if the nylon was blended with polyester.

To avoid shrinking a blended nylon article of clothing, make sure to read the washing instructions on the label before trying to clean it. Take into account the blended fibers and adjust your washing machine water temperature accordingly.

How to Shrink a Nylon Dress or Shirt


The first step in shrinking nylon is to check the tag and see what material the fabric is blended with. If it is a cotton or other easy to shrink material then a little hot water in your washing machine may do the trick.

Next, you put the nylon garment in your dryer and use medium heat. Let the dryer run for about 15 minutes and then check the garment. If the nylon blouse, etc., did not shrink as much as you wanted then repeat the process until you get the desired result.

Again, you have to be careful not to ruin the garment. If it is just the length you want shorter, then save yourself the trouble and hem it instead.

Shrinking a Nylon Jacket

This is something you do not want to try to do. Nylon, especially if it is blended with polyester, will not shrink. Instead, you will ruin the jacket and make it so bad that even Goodwill may reject it.

The reason for this inability to shrink a nylon jacket is that it will most likely melt due to the high temperatures you need to use to shrink the fabric. When buying a nylon jacket, if it is for you buy it at the correct size.

If you are buying one for a growing child, then make sure to buy it a size or two larger than their actual size. That way you can have the jacket around for a long time.

How to Shrink Nylon Bathing Suit


This is something else you do not want to try if the bathing suit is made of pure nylon. The best result you will get for your efforts is another trip to the department store in order to replace the suit you just bought and then damaged.

If the nylon suit is made with spandex there may be a possibility that it will shrink but by how much is anyone’s guess. Then if the nylon is blended with cotton, you can shrink it the bathing suit some or maybe too much if you are not careful.

Hot water in the washing machine and medium to high heat in the dryer should do the deed if the suit is made of blended fabrics.

Does Nylon Stretch Over Time?

Not necessarily. When used in regular clothing like socks, underwear, jackets and so on, you should not expect those clothing items to lose their original shape and design. Nylon is a man-made fiber that is designed not to stretch or shrink.

There is one exception to this rule and this rule applies to woven nylon. If you use knitted nylon, for example for a rain poncho, then you have the possibility that the fibers will stretch some over time and use.

The other good aspect of nylon is that it holds its color well. You should not experience any fading either even after lots of washings.

Can You Stretch Nylon Clothing?


The best way to stretch nylon is to try to shrink it. The process for shrinking seems to take the elasticity out of the fabric causing it to lose its shape. That loss means that the nylon clothing item may end up a little too baggy but remain the same length.

To shrink any clothing item made with nylon is to see if it is blended with a material that does shrink. Since polyester does not shrink or stretch either, then your clothing items made from a blend of those two fabrics should not stretch.

You need a stretchable fiber blended with the nylon to get any real stretch out of the fabric.

How to Stretch Nylon Spandex

The good news here is that even with 5% spandex blended in with the nylon, you can get some stretch out of the clothing item you want to wear. The key is that the nylon should be knitted not woven.

One way to stretch this combination of materials is to soak the clothing item and put it on wet, letting it dry as you walk around the house. Another way is to use weights and stretch put the material by letting the weight of the weights do the work for you.

A third way requires soaking the garment in baby shampoo and warm water mixture. Or you can use a hair conditioner if there is no baby shampoo around.

Stretching Nylon Pants or Shirt


This is not going to be an easy task to do if the shirt or pants are made from pure nylon or it has been woven. These two elements exclude stretching of any clothing item and if you try using heat, you might as well toss the items in the trash and go buy more.

If the shirt or pants are knits and blended with other fibers then use the above methods already described for stretching nylon spandex. There is no miracle stretch process and each method works with all clothing items.

But again, be careful as it is very easy to ruin nylon clothing items even if they are blends and knits.

How to Stretch Nylon Shoes

There are several ways to stretch nylon shoes and these methods work with other shoe material as well. Just to remind you the nylon used in shoes will follow the nylon policy that applies to clothing items. It may be very difficult to stretch those types of shoes.

First, you can fill bags up with water and stuff them in your shoes. Once that is done, you can place the shoes in your freezer and allow the expanding water to ice process to do all the work.

You can also try to wear extra thick socks and let your normal daily routine help you stretch the shoes, But if you are placed in this situation where stretching gets them to fit, you should just go out and buy a new pair of shoes.

Nylon in any form is very difficult to stretch.

Which has More Stretch Nylon or Polyester?


This is a very tough call as both nylon and polyester are man-made fibers that are designed to resist stretching. If push came to shove then polyester may stretch more than nylon.

Because of its toughness and water resistance, nylon is used for more industrial products than polyester is.

Some Final Words

Nylon is a man-made material that is designed to offset the ills other natural fabrics possess. It should not stretch or shrink if it is in pure form and kept away from high temperatures.

Its complicated elements make stretching or shrinking nylon clothing a very risky venture. You may end up ruining your clothing items long before they stretch or shrink.

When you want to stretch or shrink this material make sure it is a knit and it has been blended with other materials that do stretch or shrink.

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