Does Satin Shrink? (How to Shrink Satin Clothes Easily)

In the movies shrinking something, like kids, is not a problem. There is always a magical way to bring the shrunken items back to their original size without damage. Unfortunately, real-life and fabrics do not respond to movie magic when the material is in your home.

Does satin shrink? Yes, satin does shrink. If you use warm or hot water you are looking at between a 10 to 20% shrinkage rate. If you need to shrink your satin fabrics, the easiest way is to pre-wash them in warm or hot water. That is before you start your cutting.

To learn all about the shrink factor that comes with satin, just continue to read our article. It is filled with the information you want to know about. Getting the straight scoop on satin helps you handle that material easier.

Can Satin Shrink?


Satin is made from wool, cotton, silk, and other fibers. That means that satin inherits any qualities those materials contain. To answer the question, yes satin does shrink. It can shrink a lot if not handled correctly.

That is why it is recommended you store satin items not being used in airtight containers and keep those containers in cool places away from the light. Heat is not good for the fabric. That is why you need to follow the cleaning labels the manufacturer places on its satin garments and fabrics.

Dry clean those items that say dry clean only on those cleaning labels. You can hand wash other satin items. Hand washing is preferred over machine washing because the former is gentler than the latter.

It may take a little extra work but the effort is worth it when your satin gowns, etc., look their best.

Will Satin Shrink If You Wash It?

Not always. Satin is okay with being washed in cold or cool water. Those low temperatures are satin friendly and do not harm the fibers in your satin bedding or clothing. If you want your satin clothing items to last then do not use warm or hot water.

Those higher temperatures will help satin shrink by at least 10% and as much as 20% if you are not careful. It is best to send satin items out to be dry cleaned. The dry cleaning process is about the safest way to handle this fabric.

Machine washing in cold water is good but all that friction is not good for the longevity of the item. Hand washing is better than machine washing and is extra gentle on the fabric so it lasts a long time.

Always check the cleaning label to make sure you know the right way to clean your satin material.

Does Satin Shrink in The Dryer?


The best answer that can be given is that it might. Heat is not known to be very friendly to satin materials so it is best to err on the side of caution here and let the satin bedding and clothing you own air dry.

Then when you put the satin garment, etc., in the dryer with other clothing items, you run the risk of having it snag on those drying companions. It is also possible that the hot air will decrease the sheen that satin is popular for having.

If you are hand washing or machine washing your satin items, it is best to let the air handle the drying process. Just keep the satin fabrics out of the direct sunlight or you run the risk of fading and other harm UV rays and sunlight can do to the delicate material.

Can You Shrink a Satin Dress?

This is not impossible to do. Since satin is satin, you can expect some shrinking to take place if you are not careful while you clean the dress. Always remember that warm and hot water are not the friends of this material.

Even though you want to get all the germs and bacteria out of the fabric, let the soap handle that task and not the water. You want to protect your satin items like they were made of gold. Protection and prevention are far better than repurchase.

Now if you need to shrink a satin dress, then that is a different story. You can purposefully shrink the item so that it fits better or so you can pass it down to your daughter. Then you need to be careful as purposefully shrinking a dress is not always going to produce the right results.

How To Shrink a Satin Dress


The reasons for shrinking a satin dress are many. Someone may have given you one but it is a little bit too large. Or you bought one that was perfect in the department store fitting room but not so perfect when you got home.

It doesn’t matter the reason, you just need to make the dress smaller so that it fits better. There are ways you can try to shrink the dress but if they do not work, it is because there are always risks involved when trying to shrink fabric after it has been turned into a clothing item.

1. Machine wash- you can take a chance here and hope that the dress does not shrink the full 20% unless you really need that much taken off.

2. Soak in warm water- this needs a minimum of about 6 hours to do but it may produce the results you want and keep the shrinkage even. The only danger here is that colors may fade and satin may not be the best fabric to use with this system.

3. Ironing- the steam function on your iron may handle the shrinking duty the best. If your satin clothing item is made from silk fibers, then avoid this method. You may get water spots.

4. The wet sheet method- you press your satin dress between a wet sheet or towel, if large enough, and use your iron to press both. Keep the wet sheet on top of the satin item and press with your iron many times until shrinking occurs.

5. Use a tailor- they will be able to do the above step a lot better and turn out professional-looking results. You can do this at home but only if you have the right iron that can get hotter than your normal house iron.

6. Fabric manipulation- this is risky as it may not work. You wet the clothing and then rearrange it into a smaller position and let dry. It could shrink and it could not. There is no way to control this option.

Shrinking a Satin Shirt or Pants

The above methods should work for these satin clothing items as well. The question is why take the risk? While it makes sense to shrink larger clothes you actually have no control over how much the fabric will shrink.

You may get a lot of shrinkages to find that it went too far or you may not. In the last case, you may have to repeat the process to get the items down to a size you need. Every attempt brings the risk of going too far and can cause a lot of stress.

We know that there may be some special reason why you do not want to put the larger clothing item away and go buy a new one. But sometimes that is just the best and safest option to use.

Shrinking clothes is very risky and you may not even get an even shrinking of the garments. That is a factor you need to consider before you use any of the shrinking methods you know about.

How To Shrink Satin Shoes


One of the best methods you can try is the hot water wash method. You will definitely get some shrinkage when you use that option. The only problem is you cannot guarantee how much shrinkage you will get. Count on at most about 20%.

You can try the dryer method. It works for canvas shoes and it may work for your sating ones. The tumbling action though may ruin their look. Then you can try the fabric manipulation method and wet the shoes, rearranging them as much as possible, and hope for the best.

That last option has absolutely no control over it and you are just doing a lot of wishful hoping that the process does the task right. To be on the safe side, if your satin shoes are too large, either return them and buy a smaller pair. Or keep them and still go out and buy a smaller pair.

At least this way you know you are getting the size that fits your feet and you will remain nice and comfortable.

How To Shrink Satin Robe

The best way to do this is to choose one of the 6 methods we have already listed above. Satin is satin and there are no special methods of shrinking satin items for every piece of clothing.

Hot water would be the best method. Soaking it for a few hours should have that robe trimmed down some. But do not get disappointed if it shrinks more than you wanted it to. There is no way to control the robe’s shrinking ability.

One thing that should be mentioned, if the satin robe or other garments were made from polyester fibers, then you may not be able to shrink any satin item made from those fibers. Check the labels to see what the garment is made of before you decide to shrink it.

What is Satin Fabric?


To best manipulate the fabric it is best to know more about it. Here are some facts to help you determine if you want to shrink the material or not:

1. Satin is not natural- it is made from other fibers and the term satin describes the weave. It is not a consistent weave at that.

2. What fibers is satin made from? - if you are one of those purists that think satin is only made from silk, then you would be half right. Satin is made from silk fibers but it is also made from wool, cotton, nylon, polyester. Its the process, not the fibers that make satin.

3. Is there a difference between satin and sateen? - yes, supposedly there is. It is said that sateen is made from cotton and uses a different weave to produce that fabric. Satin uses a warp floating weave while sateen uses a weft floating weave.

4. Is there a difference between silk and satin? - not really. The latter fabric is made from the former and will have the same qualities. The term satin merely refers to the weave it is made with and not the fibers used in the satin’s construction. Satin made from silk will be more expensive than if you used wool, nylon, or polyester fibers.

5. Where did satin come from- the weave was first used in China approx. 2,000 years ago. It was a closely guarded secret until about the 12th century AD when Italy became the first western country to weave this fabric. The term satin comes from the Arabic word, Zaitun. This word was used for the Chinese port of Quanzhou where the weave was first used.

Some Final Words

It is a part of life that you will come across clothes you like and they will not be in your size. Or you were successful in losing a lot of weight on your diet and your clothes are now a couple of sizes too big.

Instead of spending a lot of money buying a new wardrobe, you can try to shrink your satin garments so that they will fit again. It is a risky venture but if you do not have the budget for new clothing, it may be a risk you have to take.

Just be careful when you do attempt this process.

Leave a Comment: