How To Shrink Jeans Permanently – Ultimate Guide

If your jeans have been feeling a bit droopy around specific parts or overall, you need to look for ways to shrink them. Here, we have listed all the ways for you to do that.

A pair of jeans that perfectly fits every part of your body from waist down – isn’t that the dream? However, whether from constant usage or you having lost a bit of weight, your favorite pair might start feeling a bit loose in parts or overall. 

So, now that the perfect fit is lost, what would you do? Well, you can try the methods mentioned here to shrink your jeans effectively.

How To Shrink Jeans Permanently?

There are several ways to shrink your jeans permanently. Those methods can be broadly classified into home-based techniques and tailored alteration.

In case of the latter, you get an assured fit that can pertain to particular areas of your jeans.

At-home methods give you an overall shrinkage instead of focusing on one any one area. These methods are the most effective in shrinking the length of your jeans.

1. Washing And Drying At The Highest Temperature

Drying jeans

Clothes are usually not laundered in the hot cycle because they tend to shrink. But this is exactly what you need when the aim is to shrink your denim.

Throwing your jeans in your washer and dryer on its highest heat settings is one of the most effective ways to get them shrunk by a pant size. In fact, you will shrink it about half to one inch all over in this way. 

However, keep in mind that the length also changes in this way. Thus, if your pants are already pretty short, it’s best not to wash and dry them on a hot cycle.

2. Start Boiling Your Jeans

Drying and washing

Boiling is something that is able to do the same work a lot quicker and with more effectiveness as the water you use is hotter. This heat makes the cotton in your jeans shrink. Also, remember that shrinking your jeans is not an accurate method. 

Thus, it seems in theory that more time will lead to more shrinkage, but it isn’t similar to cooking eggs. It is difficult to predict the extent to which your pants will shrink at a given point in time.

To boil your jeans, put them in a pot of extremely hot water for at least twenty to thirty minutes. The timing depends on how much the jeans are to be shrunk as per your choice. After this, put your jeans in the dryer at its highest setting for getting a permanent shrinkage.

3. Go For The Replacement Buttons

Replacement Buttons

When the aim is to shrink the waist gap in any of your pants, the replacement buttons can come to your aid. Also, based on the kind of buttons you utilize, it is a semi-permanent way to effectively shrink jeans. 

So, put the button in the band in a place that will make your waist seem as snug as you want, while the fit remains the same elsewhere.

4. Taking A Hot Bath In Your Jeans And Drying Them Out

jeans washing

If you are a true denim enthusiast, you probably like raw denim and swear by the widely-known no-wash technique. Besides, it is true that the natural heat and oil of the body help in creating a more customized fit. Thus, if the aim is to shrink your raw denim, but not wash them using conventional methods, it is best to wear them in a hot water bath. 

Of course, keep the water only as hot as you can endure, and don’t get burns from it. After the nice bath, it is time to dry the denim in the sun.

If you aim to get the most customized fit, wear the pants and bask in the sunlight until they dry out. You can also take them off to lay them out in the sun to dry out. However, you will not get as much of a molded fit this way.

5. Hemming Your Jeans

If you want to shrink jeans by length, hemming is the best way you can try out. All you will need are a sewing needle, some threads, scissors, and pins. A sewing machine is optional because hemming can easily be done manually.

However, if you plan to put your jeans in your dryer, make sure to do that before you sit hemming it. Washing and drying jeans after hemming will make them too short for comfort.

6. Get Your Pants Tailored

Pants Tailored

It is time to take your jeans to the tailor if you are constantly having to use any of the aforementioned methods to shrink them after wearing them for a week or month.

Though all the five methods are fairly simple and effective, they are never as effective as your tailor’s skills. Also, if you are trying to shrink your pants by more than a size, a tailor is your best friend.

Besides, the most affordable and easiest way to make anything (even the cheapest clothes!) look pricey is to get them tailored and fitted to you.

When To Shrink Jeans At Home?

The extent to which you can shrink the jeans and the duration for which they remain that way is based on their actual fabric and size. You will be the most successful in shrinking those pants if they are already pretty close to the required size. 

Also, remember that no method at home will help you shrink jeans by more than a size. The methods you try at home are the most effective in shrinking the jeans in length.

As such, all other areas of the pants will face friction, tension, and warmth to make the home-based methods semi-permanent solutions.

When To Take Your Jeans To A Tailor?

Tailoring is a much more permanent and foolproof solution, as mentioned before.

If the pants have a particular problem area like a dropping pocket or a wide waistband, you need to go to an online or local denim tailor rather than attempting to shrink the jeans at home.

Shrinking only a part of a cloth using DIY methods is pretty challenging, and totally not recommended. 

Furthermore, the result of your efforts also depends on the kind of fabric on the denim.

If your jeans have more than one percent elastane, they will definitely stretch out once more. You need cotton to be the agent in the process of shrinking your jeans.

Thus, jeans with one hundred percent cotton will not only shrink easily, but also stay that way for a long time.

How To Prevent Stretching Out Of Jeans?

It’s important to keep in mind that shrinking your jeans permanently go hand-in-hand in ensuring that they don’t stretch out again. 

Reduce The Frequency Of Washing Your Jeans

You need to try and maintain that new and smaller size of your jeans. In order to do that, start by reducing the frequency of washing them. Additionally, always hang out your jeans to air dry, but never tumble dry them.

Purchase Good Quality Protective Products

Denim, as a material, is pretty unique. So, you need to think about utilizing a special detergent for protecting it for a longer duration.

There are several specialized products in the market that help preserve the fit and color of the denim so that it maintains the comfort and style factors.

So, that’s it! You will not have to think of discarding your jeans solely because they tend to hang a bit loose. Now, you know multiple ways to shrink your jeans, and wear them with ease once again.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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