How to stretch a shirt

Isn’t it so annoying to pull one of your favorite shirts out of the chest only to find out that it already shrank in there? Fortunately, there are several ways you can try to stretch out the garment and return your shirt to its “fit” glory.

Whether you commit a mistake with the clothes dryer or the shirt was never big enough in the first place, there are some easy methods to stretch a shirt to the size that fits in your body.  So, before you throw it out in disappointment, try out a few quickest and smartest of the ideas discussed below.

How to stretch out a tight shirt in different ways?

You look and feel your best when wearing a shirt that fits your body perfectly and hugs just the way you want it to. But when that shirt shrinks, it no longer fits properly and very embarrassing and discomforting to wear it. You don’t have to throw out your favorite shirt or cut off shirts just because the shirt is too small to fit in your body. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you on how you can stretch it.

Stretch with Conditioner / Baby Shampoo

Step 1

Have the shirt wet thoroughly in a bowl of water. You may do this by sopping it in the sink or in a big bowl. Make sure to use cool water and soak every area of the shirt that needs to stretch. The shirt should submerge into the water completely. Be sure to use normal-temperature water as the fibers of the garment will not tend to stretch if you sink it in hot or cold water. They prone to slacken up more with hot or warm water.

Step 2

Pour one-fourth cup of hair conditioner in the water. An inexpensive conditioner will do; don’t waste your costly hair products on your shirt. If you don’t have hair conditioner around, you can use baby shampoo too.Then mix it up with your fingers to make sure the conditioner doesn’t stay intact and completely liquifies into the water. The hair conditioner will make the fibers soften and easier to stretch.

Step 3

Spread the shirt in the water, then push it down by your both hands so that it’s completely sunk. Leave it in this condition for about 20 mins.

Step 4

Step 4

Sewer the water from the sink, then fill it with cool water again. Immerse the shirt, then squeeze it moderately to rinse the conditioned water from the fabric. Let it soak in the water for a few more minutes.

Step 5

Remove the shirt from the water. Squeeze it slightly to take out as much of the water as possible.

Step 6

Rinse the shirt again.  In order to do so, refill the tub or bowl with fresh and cool water again, just like you would rinse your hair after using conditioner, otherwise the shirt will be covered in a gluey remainder of the conditioner.

Step 7

Then squeeze the water out of the shirt to keep it from dripping all over your place and to make the drying process faster. After that, get a plain surface to spread the shirt, lay down a towel or an extra piece of cloth first to save the shirt and the surface from being wet.

Step 8

Embrace the shirt at the neckline with both hands, and then make your way down the shirt, mildly stretching down along the side layer while you go down. Do this process again on the other side of the shirt. Keep doing this process until the shirt is the length you want.

Step 9

Lay the shirt flat to air-dry.

Stretch with a Shower

Shower Stretch

Tug on the shirt repeatedly. Cotton shirts are pretty flexible. If you keep tugging on it, the shirt will eventually be stretched. If you always wear it, continually pulling on it will stretch it out gradually. But do not overdo the stretching, because it will ultimately look weirdly unfit.

Stretch with the Hands

Wash your shirt in the washing machine or by hand first. Stretching out your shirt by hand will be much more effective if the fabric is wet and soft. If you’d like, give it a few tugs now to get the stretching process started. You’d be surprised just how much you can do with just your bare hands.If you’re hand washing, be sure to squeeze out extra water before stretching the shirt. Don’t, however, wring the fabric. Just press on the shirt instead.

Place a clean towel on a flat surface. There should be enough room to lay the shirt out flat on the towel. Try to spread the shirt out equally and fully and ensure there are no folds or wrinkles left in the shirt.

Pull on each corner of the shirt. For each edge, target to stretch the fabric by an inch or two. Start with each sleeve, slightly pulling an equal amount on the ends of the left and right sleeves. Next, pull the fabric away from along the top line and collar of the shirt, as well as the edge. End it by pulling on both sides. Let the shirt to air dry on the towel. Leave it to air dry before checking if it worked. It may take several hours for the shirt to completely dry, so please don’t be impatient.

Stretch with Heat

Wet the entire shirt in cool water. In a similar manner as the method above, get your entire shirt wet, making sure every fiber is soaked. Hold it flat towards the bottom of a bowl or a sink to ensure its equally wet. No need to soak the shirt; just wet it in cool water. Once you’re convinced it couldn’t be any wetter, you’re ready to move onto the next step.

Spread it on a flat surface for ironing. Squeeze it out a bit to get rid of excess water to avoid dripping and soaking the ironing board or the surface. Make sure whatever you’re ironing on can handle the heat.

Keep your iron’s temperature on medium-low, and start going over the shirt using slight manual pressure. With the iron in one hand and the shirt in another, start pulling and pressing the shirt out with the iron. Don’t just go over the shirt, use the iron as a medium of putting pressure, the shirt stretching as the iron passes over it, pulling it outward.

Make sure to go in every possible direction – pulling up, down, right and left, and to the sides too. turn the shirt over when you’re done and begin the same thing on the back, as well. Leave it to dry. Make sure it’s flat and give it a final tug last time once and for all. Spread it out, and place workout weights around the edges if you’d like. This just makes sure it stays at the size it is now.

Stretch with A Dryer

To make sure it stays at this size, avoid drying it in the machine. From now on, this shirt should be air-dried. You may occasionally have to stretch it out again but avoiding drying will keep it larger for longer.

This method isn’t great for significant stretching, but it could be best if you just need the shirt to fit a little better.

Stretch with Some Weight

Apply some free weights to manipulate the shirt’s size. If you’ve used one of the above methods, you may want to use weights on the shirt to keep it stretched out for a while. On the edges of the shirt, place mugs, books, or bags of rice, keeping the shirt in its stretched-out place. You can also place items inside the shirt. Would like it to be stretched out for your chest? Place a couple of baseballs inside will stretching out that area eventually. Want wider sleeves of your shirt? Then insert a cylinder or small bowl in the arms.

(We have discussed “Weight Stretch” below this article on HOW TO STRETCH YOUR POLYESTER SHIRT section a bit more details).

Give Your Bigger Buddy to Stretch

Get a friend who is bigger than you wear a shirt. A friend who is too close to your size will not stretch the shirt sufficiently; a friend who’s too big won’t be able to wear it either, let alone stretching. But if you have a friend who’s in just right size, ask he/she for the humblest favor they could ever give you. All they have to do is wear your shirt for a couple of hours, or just sleep in it during the night.

Stretch with A Chair

Wet the shirt thoroughly. Use a washing machine or dunk it into a tub of water manually. Squeeze and put the shirt over the back of a dining chair. Or, pick any chair that is appropriate in size you think, and won’t be damaged by the water. Allow the shirt to air-dry. As it dries, the shape of the chair should stretch the shirt well for you.

How to stretch your polyester shirt?

Polyester fabric is naturally stretchy, but it will go back to its previous form after stretching. This can make it harder than you think if you are trying to stretch it out. It will be easier to stretch if cotton or another fabric blend with the polyester. Practice different procedures, according to your necessity of how much you should stretch the fabric.

Wear and Dry

This process is best if you wish to stretch your polyester garment a little bit. Wash your polyester shirt in a washing machine, on a high temperature for a minimum one full cycle (half an hour). Get the shirt out of the machine and put the wet shirt on your body. Wear it around your house for a couple of hours. Letting it dry on your body would help it form according to your current body size and make the shirt perfectly fir for you to wear.

Apply Some Weight

Well, if you want to be stretch out your shirt significantly like arms are so short and you need to get those a lot bigger than usual, then this technique is for you. We have already discussed this method above in this article very briefly, now we will get onto this a little more elaborately. Wash your polyester shirt in a washing machine first, on a higher temperature for a minimum one full cycle (half an hour). Get the shirt out of the machine and put it on a plain surface.

Cover one side of the fabric with something weighty, it could be a free weight or a few heavy books. Stretch the cloth as much as you can without tearing it before putting on the weight. Cover the other side of your fabric with another heavy thing.Allow it to sit there for an hour or two, let the fabric to air-dry. Then take the weight away from the fabric and check if it is good to fit for you to wear. If you still don’t like it, then you may start the process over.

Use A Cloth Hanger

Use a cloth hanger

Another easiest way to stretch your shirt is to hang it on a cloth hanger after soaking it in the conditioned water, hang it on a hanger to air dry. This will take a few hours. When you will perform this technique, you should remember that you won’t be able to guess how much the shirt will stretch out. Usually, the amount of stretched out fabric in this method is very low.

If you think, the short is still not fine enough to fit for your body, then rewash the shirt to wet it again and then tug on the shirt manually to stretch it out a little. If you’re hoping to stretch the fabric a little more, then you can also soak the shirt in hair conditioner and then keep stretching it out.



Make sure to limit the use of your dryer and if you use cold or hot water, the shirt will shrink again shortly. So, use only normal or tepid water.If there is a printed image on your shirt that you don’t wish to stretch, dry it by ironing before starting the stretching process as stretching may distort the image.

In case you overstretched your shirt accidentally, wash and dry it in high heat. This process should shrink back up the shirt again. Don’t forget that too much shrinking and stretching may cause permanent damage to your clothing.

If you think your clothing is still not fit enough for you, even after trying all of these methods, and if you, have no one around you who can offer their dress, you may need to meet your local needlewoman to tailor your shirt professionally. If she even can’t fix it, then you better buy a new shirt, I think.


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