Do Polo Shirts Shrink? (Answer Explained!)

When you open your Instagram and see those male models rocking out with their polo’s, the first thing that hits your mind is the fitting!

A perfect fit is all you need to enhance the appearance of your physique, which is very crucial. But, most of the polo shirts are seem to be baggy.

Do polo shirts shrink? What happens after washing with a polo shirt? These questions might arise frequently.

When it comes to shrinking, a polo shirt is not the central fact. But the thing that matters the most is the fabric used in the manufacturing of that shirt. Polo shirts made out of natural shrink-sensitive fabrics will shrink.

At the same time, a balanced blend of natural and synthetic material in polo shirts won’t cause a significant amount of shrinkage.

We shall cover the whole article regarding the same topic.

In this Craft in genius guide you’ll learn the following:

  • Do polo shirts shrink?
  • Will a cotton polo shrink?
  • Do US polo Assn shirts shrink?
  • How do you wash a cotton polo shirt without shrinking it?
  • Will polo shirts shrink in the dryer?
  • How much do cotton polo shirts shrink?
  • How do you shrink a polo shirt?
  • How do you air dry polo shirts?
  • How do you fix a shrunken polo shirt?
  • FAQs
Do Polo Shirts Shrink thumbnails

Do polo shirts shrink?

To get this, you should really ha knowledge about the fact of shrinkage in the first place. We are saying this for a specific reason because such a question wouldn’t be raised in the first place if everyone had that perfect knowledge about the scenario of shrinking taking place in fabrics.

With that said, shrinking is a process where contraction in size, shape, structure, and appearance occurs in any object.

But, shrinking again varies from material to material. The outcome of shrinking is familiar to all. Still, the exact scenario that may take place with the shrinking will always depend on the type of substance.

That is to say, shrinking in terms of fabrics is a lot different from shrinking some solid objects. The main difference is with the internal molecular bondings of a stable and semi-solid object or a fabric. A strong bond in solid substances does not let them shrink that much that material would do.

We won’t discuss here the action of shrinking taking place in solids. So today’s discussion is only limited to the fabrics we are going to interpret right now.

Shrinking in fabrics is generally termed as the contraction of the dimension of the clothes due to prolonged use. Such action is almost familiar for most kinds of dresses, mainly made out of natural fabrics.

Coming towards the natural fibers, fabrics are mainly of two types- natural and synthetic.

Natural fabrics are entirely bestowed by nature, which comes from mainly plant-based sources. They do not contain anything that comes from any artificial source or a mixture of various ingredients. Therefore, they remain in their purest form.

Natural fabrics usually contain short-chained polymers, which turn out to be the leading cause of shrinkage.

But, coming towards the synthetic materials, they are made out of long-chained polymers in an artificial process. They also contain mixtures of various other components, which oppose the feature of shrinkage to many extents.

The short-chain polymer of the natural fabrics is elongated while manufacturing garments made out of them. This is done through weaving, spinning, and different types of mechanical forces and chemical reactions.

As a result, when they come under hot temperatures, the long polymer chains return to their natural and original state.

As a result, the natural fabrics are known to be shrunk. But, such things do not occur when it comes to the original made long-chained synthetic polymer fabrics.

That is to say; polo shirts don’t matter in terms of shrinking. The label “polo” has got nothing to do with shrinkage. The main point here is the type of fabric that your polo shirt contains. If it is a natural fabric with short-chained polymers, then yes, they will shrink.

But if the shirt is made out of a nice blend of natural and synthetic fabric that balances out the contraction and elongation, then you don’t need to worry about their shrinkage.

Again, there comes no question for shrinkage when a polo shirt is made out of 100% synthetic compounds like polyester.

Will a cotton polo shrink?

Now, if you are concerned about the property of shrinking, then you have come to the right option. That is to say, a cotton polo shirt and all about its shrinking procedures, which we will discuss in this section.

By the name cotton polo shirt, you can know about its fabrics which is cotton itself. So, by cotton polo, the shirt can be either a pure 100% cotton fabric or can also be made of a cotton-polyester blend.

But, if you consider the mix to be exact, the fundamental aspect of the mixture will be a higher concentration of cotton.

Lower cotton but more polyester in the blend cannot be addressed as cotton shirts as the cotton features would be destroyed. But, a perfect combination of cotton polo shirts serves superior features above the 100% pure cotton fabrics.

Now coming towards the shrinkage of a cotton polo shirt, yes, they shrink to a much extent. Depending on the type of cotton, percentage of cotton, and a mixture of other materials, the polo shirt can shrink to many aspects.

But the number one thing about the cotton polo shirt is that the fact of shrinking is indisputable here. This is because cotton being a natural fabric, is so much evident towards shrinking for their internal molecular bonding.

The short-chained polymers of cotton fabrics do not let the preparation of industrial-grade garments. But, when they are elongated, various kinds of high-quality super comfortable materials can be manufactured.

And to do so, the cotton fibers are passed through multiple mechanical stress, strain, force, chemical compounds, spinning, and weavings.

As a result, the polymer chains are forced to get stretched, which is not permanent. The stretching is done by forming a kind of tension between the internal compounds of the polymer. This tension works in sticking one chain with another with the highest distance possible.

But, as heat is applied, the strength of the tension starts to weaken. Therefore, a maximum distance between the chains is no longer maintained. The polymer chains again get back to their natural position. And when this happens, the fabric is considered to be shrinked.

The presence of such kind of material causes the cotton polo shirt to shrink as well.

Do US polo Assn shirts shrink?

We don’t know, should we address this as fortunately or unfortunately, but the thing here is that US Assn shirts do shrink!

Us polo shirts are generally made out of such materials that are favorable to shrinkage. The prevalent example of that is the presence of cotton.

Our shirts are specially made out of cotton. After hearing this, if anyone still asks about the shrinkage from their side, they should first get better knowledge from some other source.

How do you wash a cotton polo shirt without shrinking it?

Well, there are innumerable ways of washing procedures for the cotton fabric to prevent them from shrinkage. But, we will not have a comprehensive list of this technique which will make no difference between us and other sources that you find on the internet.

Here, we generally like to close the topic by mentioning the top last thing you should follow to avoid letting your cotton shirt go smaller.

And, the best thing for this is only to allow cold water during the washing session. As a result, when there is no contact with heat, shrinking will also not take place as an obstacle.

Also, it would help if you minded passing your fabrics in an air-drying process other than any unnatural heat dryers.

Will polo shirts shrink in the dryer?

Yes, polo shirts will shrink in the dryer, being they are made naturally or under synthetic procedures.

A dry heater forces hot air inside the fabrics. That air weakens and breaks the internal bonding structure of the materials, which results in shrinkage.

Not only shrinking but a prolonged session of using the dryer can cause fading of the bandwidth, bleaching out, and altering color for some cases.

How much do cotton polo shirts shrink?

Cotton polo shirts shrink depending on the amount of cotton injected into the fabric.

A pure 100% cotton polo shirt will act similarly to any other 100% cotton fabric. They can shrink up to 20 percent and even more to some extent at the first wash. Next time, they don’t shrink as they did during the first time wash after the purchase.

For a well-balanced polo shirt with cotton blends like 60 cotton 40 polyester fabric, the shirt will shrink up to 5% on average.

And those for the pre-shrunk cotton polo shirts won’t shrink more than 3%.


A graph on the shrinkage of cotton polo shirts is:

Fig: Know from the graph if the polo shirt shrinks or not!

How do you shrink a polo shirt?

It is just opposite to the question “how to wash a polo shirt without shrinking it”? And, the answer is hot water! As the opposing characteristics of cold water, hot water comes into the place.

All you need is to throw your cotton polo shirt in the washing machine and blow it in a gentle cycle of hot water for the recommended time. Then take it out from the device and let it dry.

The drying can either be done in a natural process and can also be led artificially. Air drying can be done, but that is not recommended generally if you are looking for your polo shirt to shrink.

So, it is better to go for a dryer instead, which will even further cause shrinkage to your clothing.

How do you air dry polo shirts?

Air drying is a prevalent method, especially in terms of cotton fabrics, to resist shrinkage.

To air-dry your polo shirt efficiently, hang them somewhere higher to avail them with sufficient air and light. You can also put them in a rag. Then, you can either place them under direct sunlight or can protect them from sunlight according to your need.

If you want a slight bleach, then prefer the sunlight in that case. After the shirt is almost dried up, take it and dry them with a moderate dryer to soften the fabrics.

How do you fix a shrunken polo shirt?

A shrunken polo shirt can be fixed in the following number of ways:

  1. Consider lukewarm water with the combination of any laundry soap or shampoo.
  2. Let your shirt soak the solution where it will start to loosen up its internal fibers gradually.
  3. Then, remove all the water from the shirt without any rinsing. After that, all you can do is some gentle squeeze.
  4. By laying your shirt on a flat towel, roll the towel for some further gentle squeezes to remove all that extra water.
  5. Finally, let your shirt air dry and see how much they have retrieved their size from the shrinkage.

FAQ about Do Polo Shirts Shrink

1. Can polo shirts be altered?

Obviously, along with polo shirts, almost all sorts of garments can be altered by your tailor to fit your the best. Expensive fabrics don’t matter when it doesn’t fit you perfectly, for which you can have your clothing like a polo shirt altered to show up your physique efficiently.

2. What can you do with old polo shirts?

There are innumerable lists of things you can do with your old polo shirts. The best thing amongst them is to donate them and also recycle them. Besides, polo shirts can be used as rags, garden ties, etc.

3. Do Ralph Lauren Polos shrink if put on high heat?

For shrinking, the fact of high heating is the most worth mentioning. But, no matter the type of fabric, high heat will cause them to shrink anyway. Depending on the type of fabric, the level of shrinking will vary, and it’s specific for Ralph Lauren polo shirts of certain materials.

4. Do Ralph Lauren polo shirts shrink?

To be exact, it’s not about the Ralph Lauren polos but mainly about their fabric for the differences in shrinkage. If the polos are made out of cotton, then obviously, they are susceptible to shrinkage.

However, in the case of synthetic fabrics like polyester, they won’t shrink in that case.

5. Do 100 cotton polo shirts shrink?

Most definitely! Not only polo shirts but all the clothes of this entire universe will shrink indeed if they are made out of 100% cotton. The central fact of consideration here is the natural shrinking fabric cotton but not the polo shirt.

Read also:

Our verdict on Do Polo Shirts Shrink

If you have read all the above facts carefully, your question descriptively answered within the above discussions.

Polo shirt shrinks as it is made with natural cotton fabrics.

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