Does 60% Cotton 40% Polyester Shrink? (Care Tips!)

A 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend can shrink, especially if it is washed in hot water and tumble-dried at the high heat setting.

A cotton-polyester blend provides the consumer with the best of both worlds. You get the breathability and coolness of cotton with the durability and longevity of polyester.

Among the different permutations and combinations of the two materials these blends can have, the 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend is perhaps the most popular.

In this article, I will be going over the various properties of this blend, and the shrinkage that you might expect from such a garment.

Let’s begin!

Does a 60% Cotton 40% Polyester Garment Shrink?

cotton polyester blend

Yes, a 60% cotton and 40% polyester garment can shrink if exposed to higher temperatures during the cleaning process. This is true for all sorts of blended garments, such as hoodies, shirts, tops, and more.

The fault of shrinking lies in the cotton component of the polyester-cotton blend. There is a reason that fabrics like cotton shrink a lot whereas fabrics like spandex don’t.

Most natural fabrics tend to shrink a bit due to the rough structure of their fabrics, and cotton is no exception to this. However, the shrinking is going to be much lesser than a 100% cotton garment.

There are ways to prevent the shrinking too.

And they deal with using proper techniques when washing and cleaning your 60% cotton and 40% polyester blends.

60% Cotton 40% Polyester Washing Instructions

  • Instead of washing your garments in the washing machine, you can opt to wash them by hand instead.
  • If you don’t want to wash the clothes by hand, make sure that you are using the cold water setting on your washing machine.
  • After the wash, hang dry your garments instead of throwing them in the dryer.
  • As an alternative, you can lay out your poly-cotton garments on a flat surface. By avoiding the heat of the dryer, you are actively making sure that your clothes don’t shrink.

How much 60% Cotton 40% Polyester Shrink?

Cotton polyester blends mainly shrink in the dryer. You can expect your 60% cotton 40% polyester shirt to shrink by around 5% after every wash.

However, there are a few ways to mitigate this risk, as I mentioned in the previous section. You can employ them to effectively bring down the shrinkage rate to under 1%.

This happens due to the natural properties of cotton as a fiber, so you need to make sure that you reduce the heat exposure of your clothes as much as possible.

How to Shrink 60% Cotton 40% Polyester Shirt?

To shrink a cotton-polyester shirt, all you need to do is just expose it to high heat. This can be done by machine washing your clothes in hot water and then tumble-drying them on high heat.

The shrinking process is basically the reversal of what I’ve been saying so far.

In fact, to accelerate the shrinking, if your washing machine has an “agitation” setting, I’ll recommend that you turn it on too.

This will make the cotton fibers much more prone to heat damage, which will enhance their probability to shrink.

Tumble drying the clothes at the highest heat settings for 10 minutes would be like the cherry on the cake.

Does 60% Cotton 40% Polyester Pill?

No, a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend does not pill. This is because of the strength of the polyester fibers.

In fact, you can even wash the garments in hot water, but a polyester-cotton blend shirt is just not going to pill, unlike something like merino wool.

When it comes to wrinkling, you are going to need to take the help of a quality steamer. Just like normal polyester, a 60 cotton and 40 polyester blend can also be steamed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about polyester-cotton blends.

Does 50% Cotton 50% Polyester Shrink?

Yes, 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend clothing does shrink. The reason lies in the cotton component, whose fibers naturally shrink when exposed to higher temperatures for a long time.

Does 58% Cotton 42% Polyester Shrink?

A 58% cotton and 42% polyester does shrink, but less than complete 100% cotton clothing. This is due to the lack of cotton in the blend, which is the fabric primarily responsible for shrinkage in clothes.

Final Remarks

In this article, I tried to cover the shrinkage issues associated with cotton and polyester blends in general, with a special focus on the 60-40 split between the two fabrics.

Here’s a quick recap.

60% cotton and 40% polyester blends do shrink, but less than garments that are completely made out of cotton. However, this shrinkage can be prevented by using proper washing techniques.