Does Polyamide Shrink? How To Shrink Polyamide Clothing

When you go smaller, you want your favorite clothes to go smaller as well. But not all fabrics will agree with that decision. Some of them resist shrinking while others will embrace it. What happens to your clothing when you lose a size or two will depend on how they are made.

Does polyamide shrink? No, polyamide is not supposed to shrink. This fabric was designed to hold its shape and to get the material to stretch well, it needs to be blended with elastane. However, some people claim you can shrink polyamide by using heat. The results may not be that good.

To learn more about shrinking polyamide, or if you can’t, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about before you make the attempt. Most likely, the way to make polyamide fabric smaller is to melt it with heat.

Does Polyamide Shrink?


The jury may still be out on this for some people. We have one story where the answer was an emphatic no. In fact, the term ‘never’ was closely following the word ‘no’. Multiple washing should not harm the fabric and it should remain the same size as it went into the wash.

Then other people have claimed that you can melt polyamide by using heat. But they may misunderstand the term polyamide as it also can be applied to natural materials like wool and silk and those fabrics do shrink.

In chemistry, the term polyamide only refers to a type of molecule that has repeating amide bonds. Silk and wool have those molecules. But in the practical and actual application of the term, polyamide only refers to nylon and other plastic-like materials made from the same chemical compounds.

Can You Shrink Polyamide?


For the purpose of this article, we are only going to refer to the synthetic materials that are created by polyamide molecules. That is the real application of the term. If it was used to describe wool and silk, then you already know how to shrink those fabrics.

The real synthetic polyamide fabrics are not designed to shrink. They are designed to hold their shape and hold it well. There are and may be those who say you can shrink polyamide fabrics but polyamide is basically plastic material and you can re-shape plastic bit nor shrink it.

Shrinking usually tends to deform the plastic content and ruin its integrity and look. It does not keep the integrity of the plastic intact when the material shrinks. In other words, you are going to end up with a big mess if you try to shrink pure polyamide.

If the polyamide fibers are blended with shrinkable material, you might get some shrinking taking place but don’t hold your breath.

How Much does Polyamide Shrink?


The shrinking factor of polyamide may be as high as 30% but that figure is not for fabrics. It is for when polyamides are turned into other plastic products. It would be difficult to provide a figure on the shrink factor due to several good reasons.

One, polyamides are designed not to shrink. If you do see some shrinkage count your lucky stars the material did not melt on you. You should not expect a lot of shrinkage because, and this is number two, plastic does not shrink, it melts.

Or it deforms and generally, it will not retain its original shape or integrity as its fibers are weakened. If you have ever watched a plastic item sitting near a direct heat source, you will see that the fibers do not maintain their strength and merely go down a size or two.

You usually see a puddle of plastic on your table or floor. Plastic materials do not have the qualities that natural fibers have and they do not shrink as natural fibers do.

Polyamide Shrinkage

Some people have said to keep polyamides out of the dryer. Their reasoning is that this material will shrink on you if exposed to heat. Maybe it will shrink if it is blended with wool, cotton, silk, or even linen and other natural fibers.

Your pure nylon materials should be air-dried to prevent any problem with the fabric. Then if the material has been treated to resist heat, you should not see any shrinkage take place. Polyamide material is made to keep its shape all the time unless exposed to the wrong elements it is not given protection.

If your material shrinks, then it was probably not 100% nylon. If the material is 100% polyamide then the manufacturer can stretch it to very thin formats. That is how nylon stockings got their start.

Unfortunately, being stretched that thin gives polyamide another weakness. It will run on you. That is why you see so many runs in nylon stockings. They just do not have the strength to maintain their structure.

Does Polyamide Shrink in The Dryer?


If you keep the heat off then you stand a good chance of avoiding any deformation of your nylon clothing. But you won’t if you turn the heat on and use high heat to dry your nylon clothing.

While nylon and other polyamide fabrics have a 490 degree F melting point, lower heat can still affect the material depending on different factors. One of those factors will be how thick the fabric is.

This is why most women hand wash and air dry their nylons. The material used to create those nylons is very thin and it doesn’t take much to ruin them. Dryers also cause friction among the clothes inside them.

Some fabrics do not respond well to friction and can be damaged quite easily. So it is best to err on the side of caution when trying to dry nylon clothing.

How to Shrink Polyamide Clothing

The first step in this process is to check the label. If you have a nylon blend then all you will need to shrink that clothing is your dryer. You can use heat but not too much of it, to get those large jackets, etc., down to their new size.

But, if your clothing is 100% nylon, then your only option is to use your sewing machine and re-hem the item. or you can try to take it in to shorten the width and other problem areas.

Pure nylon clothing items cannot be shrunk. They can be melted if you put them in the dryer and if you are not careful. As we have said many times in the past, it is best to buy the item in a new size as there are too many risks involved when you try to shrink synthetic and other materials.

Can You Wash Polyamide?


Yes, you can wash polyamide and this is about the only good news you will get in this article. Nylon and other polyamide materials can easily be washed and if you use the right temperatures you should see no damage.

Nylon stockings should be hand washed and then hung up to dry. What you do not do is send the material out to be dry cleaned. There may be a chemical reaction between the ingredients of the polyamide material and the chemicals used in that process.

Then if you have polyamide upholstery, spot cleaning is the best option. use the right cleaners and your furniture should last you a long time and continue to look clean and good.

Just make sure you do not use heat to dry the material and you should be fine.

How to Wash Polyamide

For delicate nylon and other similar polyamide fabrics, you should hand wash in cold, cool, and possible warm water. be gentle when you do this as even a little hard rubbing may cause holes or runs.

Hang dry these items to make sure they do not lose their shape on you. For thicker and more durable polyamide fabrics, you can wash them in your washing machine. Keep the cycle from being too rough on the clothing items. use cold water and even cool. You may get away with using warm but there also may be some risk to using that water temperature.

Never put your polyamide fabric in the dryer even though a no-heat option may be possible. To be safe, simply hang dry the items to make sure they are protected from harm.

You should use a mild or delicate soap when washing as well. Avoid the bleach unless the cleaning tag says it is okay to use bleach.

Some Final Words

Polyamide material is made not to shrink. It may if it is blended with material that does shrink but in its pure form do not expect any success. If you have had some success at this, then good for you.

If you want a polyamide material smaller, buy it in a smaller size.

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