Does Ringspun Cotton Shrink? How To Shrink & Unshrink

Does Ringspun Cotton Shrink

What Is Ringspun Cotton?

Ringspun cotton is a type of cotton that has undergone a specific spinning process to create a finer, stronger, and more comfortable yarn.

Unlike regular cotton, the fibers in ringspun cotton are straightened and aligned before being twisted. This process produces a smoother surface and a softer feel, making ringspun cotton ideal for high-quality textiles like T-shirts, towels, and bed sheets.

The resulting fabric is known for its durability and luxurious texture. Ringspun cotton is favored for its superior comfort and is often sought after by those looking for a soft and long-lasting textile option.

Does Ringspun Cotton Shrink?

Yes, ringspun cotton has the potential to shrink. Ringspun cotton refers to a specific spinning process that creates a smoother and more refined yarn compared to regular cotton. While this spinning technique produces a softer and more durable fabric, it does not necessarily make the cotton immune to shrinkage.

The extent of shrinkage depends on various factors, such as the quality of the cotton, the manufacturing process, and the care instructions followed during washing and drying.

To minimize shrinkage, it is recommended to follow the garment’s care instructions, including washing in cold water, using a gentle cycle, and avoiding high heat during drying.

However, it is always advisable to check the care instructions specific to the ringspun cotton garment in question.

Does Ringspun Cotton Shrink In The Dryer?

Yes, ringspun cotton can shrink in the dryer. Although ringspun cotton is generally less prone to shrinking compared to regular cotton due to its tighter weave, it is still susceptible to some degree of shrinkage when exposed to high heat.

When placed in a dryer, the high temperatures can cause the fabric to contract and reduce in size. To minimize shrinkage, it is advisable to use a low or medium heat setting when drying ringspun cotton garments or to air dry them instead.

Following the care instructions provided by the manufacturer can also help maintain the fabric’s size and shape.

Does Ringspun Cotton Shrink In Wash?

Yes, Ringspun cotton has the potential to shrink in the wash. While Ringspun cotton is known for its softness and durability, it is still susceptible to shrinking if not cared for properly.

The shrinking can occur due to the natural characteristics of cotton fibers, which can contract when exposed to heat and water.

To minimize shrinkage, it is recommended to follow the garment’s care instructions, which typically include washing in cold water, using a gentle cycle, and avoiding high-heat drying.

Additionally, allowing the garment to air dry or stretching it gently while damp can help prevent excessive shrinkage.

How Much Does Ringspun Cotton Shrink?

The amount of shrinkage that occurs in ringspun cotton can vary depending on various factors, such as the specific fabric blend, manufacturing processes, and care instructions. Ringspun cotton is generally known for its higher quality and durability compared to regular cotton.

However, it can still shrink to some extent when exposed to heat or improper washing and drying methods. On average, ringspun cotton may shrink between 2% to 5% in length and width.

Can You Shrink Ringspun Cotton?

Yes, ringspun cotton can shrink, but the extent of shrinkage is generally less compared to regular cotton. Ringspun cotton is known for its tighter and more stable structure, which makes it less prone to significant shrinkage.

However, factors such as fabric blend, construction, and finishing processes can still influence shrinkage.

How To Shrink Ringspun Cotton?

Shrinking ringspun cotton garments can be achieved by following a few simple steps. Keep in mind that shrinking cotton is not an exact science, and the degree of shrinkage may vary depending on the fabric and garment construction. Here’s a general method you can try:

Check the care instructions:

Before attempting to shrink your ringspun cotton garment, review the care label to ensure it can withstand the shrinking process. Some garments may have specific instructions or recommendations regarding shrinking.

Pre-wash the garment:

Start by washing the garment in hot water using a regular laundry detergent. Hot water helps to relax the fibers and facilitate shrinkage. Follow the garment’s care instructions for the appropriate water temperature.

Machine dry on high heat:

After washing, transfer the garment to a dryer and set it to the highest heat setting. Run the dryer until the garment is completely dry. The high heat will further aid in shrinking the cotton fibers.

Repeat the process if necessary:

If you’re not satisfied with the amount of shrinkage after the first cycle, you can repeat steps 2 and 3 to further shrink the garment. However, keep in mind that excessive heat and repeated shrinking attempts can damage the fabric and affect the garment’s overall quality.

Monitor the process:

Throughout the shrinking process, it’s important to keep a close eye on the garment to prevent any damage or excessive shrinkage. Check the garment regularly to gauge the level of shrinkage achieved.

Air dry and reshape:

Once you’ve achieved the desired level of shrinkage, remove the garment from the dryer and let it air dry. Afterward, reshape the garment if necessary, gently stretching it back into its original shape.

Note: It’s important to note that while these steps can help shrink ringspun cotton garments, the extent of shrinkage can vary. Additionally, shrinking cotton garments repeatedly may lead to accelerated wear and tear. It’s advisable to exercise caution and consider the potential impact on the garment before attempting to shrink it.

Read Next: How To Shrink Modal Fabric

How To Unshrink Ringspun Cotton?

When ringspun cotton garments shrink, it can be challenging to restore them to their original size, as the fibers have undergone a structural change.

However, you can try the following methods to potentially regain some of the lost sizes:

  1. Soak in lukewarm water: Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a gentle fabric conditioner. Submerge the shrunken ringspun cotton item in the water and let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour. The conditioner might relax the fibers slightly.
  2. Stretching while damp: After soaking the garment, remove it from the water and gently squeeze out the excess moisture. Lay the damp ringspun cotton item on a clean, flat surface, such as a towel. Gently stretch the fabric in all directions, focusing on the areas where it has shrunk the most. Be careful not to pull too hard to avoid damaging the fabric.
  3. Steam treatment: Hang the shrunken ringspun cotton garment in a bathroom while you take a hot shower. The steam created in the room might help relax the fibers. Alternatively, you can use a handheld garment steamer to steam the fabric directly. Be cautious not to place the steamer too close or directly on the fabric to prevent heat damage.
  4. Professional alterations: If the above methods don’t yield satisfactory results, consider consulting a professional tailor or alterations specialist. They have experience working with fabrics and might be able to offer additional solutions or adjustments to restore the size of your ringspun cotton garment.

Remember, these methods may or may not work depending on the severity of the shrinkage and the specific characteristics of the ringspun cotton fabric. It’s always a good idea to test any method on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment before attempting it on the entire item.

How To Prevent Ringspun Cotton From Shrinking?

To prevent ringspun cotton from shrinking, you can follow these steps:

Read the Care Label:

Always check the care label attached to the garment for specific washing instructions. The manufacturer’s recommendations are usually the best guide to follow.

Gentle Washing:

Wash ringspun cotton garments in cold water on a gentle or delicate cycle. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause more significant shrinkage. Use a mild detergent that is suitable for delicate fabrics.


If you have a particularly delicate or valuable ringspun cotton item, consider handwashing it instead of using a washing machine. Fill a basin or sink with cool water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the garment in the water and then rinse thoroughly.

Avoid Aggressive Washing:

Avoid using harsh chemicals, bleach, or strong detergents as they can damage the fabric and cause shrinkage. Also, avoid vigorous scrubbing or wringing, as it can distort the fibers and lead to shrinkage.

Dry Flat or Hang Dry:

After washing, reshape the garment to its original size and lay it flat on a clean towel or drying rack to dry. Avoid using a clothes dryer, as the heat and agitation can cause shrinkage. If you must use a dryer, choose the lowest heat setting and remove the garment while it is still slightly damp.


While the garment is damp, you can gently stretch it back to its original size. Hold opposite ends and gently pull in opposite directions to stretch the fabric. This can help counteract any minor shrinkage that may have occurred during washing.


If necessary, you can iron ringspun cotton garments in a low-heat setting. Make sure to use a pressing cloth or iron the garment inside out to protect the fabric. Avoid excessive heat, as it can cause further shrinkage or damage.

Note: Remember, while these steps can help minimize shrinkage, some degree of shrinkage may still occur with ringspun cotton due to its natural properties. Always refer to the garment’s care label and use your best judgment when determining the appropriate care methods for your specific item.

Final Words:

Ringspun cotton has the potential to shrink, although the extent of shrinkage can vary depending on various factors such as fabric composition, construction, and care methods.

Ringspun cotton is typically more resistant to shrinkage compared to regular or open-end cotton due to its tighter and more stable weave.

However, shrinkage can still occur if the fabric is exposed to high heat during washing or drying or if it undergoes aggressive mechanical actions.

To minimize the risk of shrinkage, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, use gentle washing cycles, avoid high heat settings, and air-dry or use low heat when drying.

Hi, I'm Robert Jameson. I'm a textile engineer. As a textile engineer, I design & create fabric. When I'm not busy with my family members, I research, write, and edit content for Fabric Fits.

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