Cotton Guides

Does 60 40 Cotton Polyester Shrink?

"No more shrinking surprises"

When it comes to fabric blends, one popular combination is 60% cotton and 40% polyester. This blend offers the best of both worlds, combining the natural comfort of the cotton with the durability and wrinkle resistance of the Polyester. However, a common concern among consumers is whether this blend is prone to the shrinkage.

In this article, we will delve into the properties of 60% cotton and 40% polyester fabrics and exploring their behavior when exposed to the heat and water. By understanding the factors that influence shrinkage, we can make informed decisions about caring for and maintaining garments made from this blend.

Does the 60 40 Cotton Polyester Shrink?

Cotton and polyester fibers have different characteristics when it comes to shrinkage. When cotton goes through exposure to heat and water, it tends to shrink, but polyester is more resistant to shrinking. As a result, the shrinkage potential of a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend depends on various factors, including the ratio of the fibers, the construction of the fabric, and the care practices.

What Leads to the Shrinkage of 60% Cotton And 40% Polyester?

Shrinkage of 60% Cotton And 40% Polyester
Shrinkage of 60% Cotton And 40% Polyester

The care you provide for your 60% cotton and 40% polyester garments plays a significant role in their potential for the shrinkage. Proper washing and drying techniques are crucial in maintaining the integrity of these blends. While it is not guaranteed that they will shrink, many fabrics, including this blend, are prone to shrinkage. By following appropriate care practices, you can minimize the risk of shrinkage and ensure the longevity of your garments.

Each fabric type has its own unique washing requirements. When dealing with Egyptian cotton sheets, which pose a considerable challenge when it comes to cleaning, it is essential to rely on tried-and-true washing techniques.

1. Cleaning Clothes at High Temperatures and in Machines

One of the main causes of shrinkage in 60% cotton and 40% polyester blends is the high temperature used during the washing cycle. Both cotton and the polyester fabrics are delicate and cannot withstand with the high temperatures.

Hot water can damage the fibers and lead to shrinkage. Additionally, the friction inside the washing machine can contribute to the shrinkage. To avoid this, it is recommended to wash your garments in cold or lukewarm water using a gentle cycle.

2. Putting Garments in a Dryer:

Putting your 60% cotton and 40% polyester garments in a dryer can also result in the shrinkage. The high temperature and friction generated in the dryer can cause the fibers to contract, leading to shrinkage. It is best to avoid using a dryer for these garments. Instead, consider air drying them by laying them flat on a clean and the dry surface.

3. Proper Care Techniques to Minimize Shrinkage:

To minimize shrinkage in 60% cotton and 40% polyester blends, there are several care techniques you can follow. Firstly, always read and follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Washing the garments in cold or lukewarm water, using a gentle cycle, and avoiding high heat settings during drying is essential. Additionally, removing the garments from the dryer promptly or air-drying them can help preserve their size and shape.

How much Cotton (60%) and Polyester (40%) may Shrink?

The amount of shrinkage in a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend can vary depending on multiple factors. While providing an exact percentage is challenging, cotton fibers generally have a higher shrinkage potential than Polyester. As a result, garments made from this blend may experience moderate shrinkage, particularly in length rather than width. It’s important to follow care instructions and consider the specific qualities of the fabric to gauge the expected shrinkage.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Shrinkage in 60% Cotton and 40% Polyester?

While some degree of the shrinkage may be inevitable in the cotton blends, there are ways to minimize it. Reduced shrinking is mostly due to proper maintenance and care. Some recommended practices include washing the fabric in the cold water, using gentle or the delicate cycles, avoiding the high heat settings during drying, and removing the garment promptly from the dryer. Pre-shrinking techniques, such as washing the fabric before sewing, can also help reduce further shrinkage.



When washing clothing made of a combination of 60% cotton and 40% polyester, it is the vital to follow the manufacturer’s care guidelines. In order to reduce shrinking and maintain the integrity of both the cotton and polyester fibers, it is generally advised to wash the fabric in cold water.

The cold water helps prevent excessive heat exposure that can lead to shrinkage in cotton fibers. Additionally, it is advised to run your washing machine on a moderate or delicate cycle while using this fabric combination.

This cycle helps to reduce the mechanical stress on the fabric, protecting it from potential damage or distortion. The bleach and abrasive detergents should be avoided since they can damage the fabric’s color and integrity. Choose the gentle detergents that are safe for fragile materials instead.

1. Hand Washing:

Hand washing can be an alternative method for cleaning garments made from a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend, especially if they are delicate or have specific care requirements. To hand wash, fill the basin or a sink with the cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent.

Gently agitate the garment in soapy water, being careful not to twist or wring it. After a gentle wash:

1. Rinse the garment thoroughly in cold water until the water runs clear of soap.

2. Avoid excessive rubbing or wringing during rinsing, as it can cause damage or distortion.

3. Gently squeeze out excess water without wringing and proceed to dry.

2. Air Drying:

Air Drying Clothes
Air Drying Clothes

Air drying is a recommended method for drying the garments made from this fabric blend, as it minimizes the risk of the shrinkage and heat damage. Lay the clothing flat on a clean, dry towel after washing, reshaping it as necessary. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases and allow the garment to air dry naturally.

Avoid hanging the garment, as it can lead to stretching or distortion, especially if it is heavier or prone to sagging when wet. Direct exposure to sunlight for prolonged periods may also cause color fading, so it’s best to choose a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight for air drying.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend shrink?

Yes, there is a possibility of shrinkage in a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend. Cotton fibers, which have a higher tendency to shrink, make up the majority of the blend, while polyester fibers provide some resistance to shrinkage.

What is the main cause of shrinkage in 60% cotton and 40% polyester fabrics?

The primary cause of shrinkage in this blend is the cotton component. Cotton fibers tend to contract when exposed to heat and moisture, causing the fabric to shrink. Polyester fibers, though more resistant, may still experience minimal shrinkage.

Can I wash my 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend in hot water without shrinkage?

It is not recommended to wash this blend in hot water, as it increases the risk of shrinkage. Hot water can cause the cotton fibers to contract and the fabric to shrink. Stick to washing in cold or lukewarm water to minimize shrinkage.

Can I iron my 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend without the risk of the shrinkage?

Ironing this blend should generally be safe, as the polyester fibers are more heat-resistant. However, you can use low to medium heat settings and avoid excessive heat exposure to minimize any potential shrinkage of the cotton fibers.

Should I buy a larger size to account for the potential shrinkage in a 60% cotton and 40% polyester garment?

If you are concerned about the shrinkage, you may consider buying a slightly larger size. However, keep in the mind that shrinkage can vary, and proper care practices can help minimize it. Consulting the size chart provided by the manufacturer is recommended.

Final Words:

In conclusion, a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend can exhibit some shrinkage, primarily driven by the cotton component. However, the polyester content provides added stability and resistance to shrinkage. Shrinkage can be minimized by following proper care instructions, such as washing in cold water and avoiding high heat settings. Understanding the properties and factors influencing shrinkage allows us to make informed decisions about purchasing, caring for, and maintaining garments made from this fabric blend.

James Parker is a 30-year-old creative writer who enjoys cookery, swimming and shopping. He is obsessed with bottled water and wool clothing.

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