Do Gildan Shirts Shrink After Washing?-Let’s Find Out

by jacky chou
Updated on

If you love comfortable clothing, you have come across Gildan t-shirts. Gildan is a clothing brand that makes the best cotton t-shirts for men of all ages. They decorate their shirts using screen printing of different logos. They are often comfortable and not too thick or thin, but do Gildan shirts shrink after washing?

It is common for cotton material to shrink when washed in hot water, so it is essential to follow the instructions before washing. This article will explore whether Gildan shirts shrink and what to do to prevent or minimize shrinkage. Let’s get started!

Do Gildan Shirts Shrink?

Shrunk t-shirts

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Many companies producing t-shirts can attest that they shrink after the 1st wash, but it depends on the brand. In most cases, brands make pre-shrunk t-shirts that do not change in size even after the 1st wash.

On the other hand, some brands make t-shirts that shrink a bit on the 1st wash. Luckily, these brands indicate that in their instructions on the tag attached to the t-shirt, so you won’t purchase what you don’t want.

Gildan ultra cotton t-shirts shrink after washing, reducing their size by 5-10% of the original size. These Gildan t-shirts are usually pre-shrunk before purchase and are indicated on their instructions that they can shrink from 5-10% when washed in hot water and dried in the drier.

But of course, Gildan claims that their t-shirts have minimal to no shrinkage; there is still a chance for them to shrink since all cotton materials shrink depending on how you care for them.

Gildan prevents shrinkage of their shirts by pre-shrinking them so that the fibers are already contracted and are not likely to contract further upon washing.

How Much Do Gildan Shirts Shrink Upon Washing?

As discussed earlier, cotton shirts shrink to 5-10% when washed in hot water or exposed to hot conditions. It may happen on the first wash, but it is essential to keep that in mind to avoid destroying your clothes.

How much do Gildan Shirts Shrink

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Gildan ultra cotton t-shirts are not an exception as they also shrink, although their shrinkage is unnoticeable since they are pre-shrunk before purchase. It is essential to understand that the shrinkage also depends on the brand of the shirt and how it was made.

Some brands may shrink up to 20% upon washing, while some, like Gildan, only shrink from 5-10%. To avoid shrinkage, wash your Gildan t-shirt using cold water; you can try other non-shrinkable materials such as spandex, nylon, or polyester.

What Causes Gildan Cotton Shirts To Shrink?

Generally, most cotton shirts shrink upon washing due to the cotton fibers relaxing since they are heated or agitated. Gildan shirts are not an exception; washing them in hot water removes the cotton fibers’ tension during their spinning and weaving steps, making them more pliable to shrinking. You can further increase their risk of shrinkage by doing the following:

  • Washing the shirts in hot water
  • Washing the shirts in warm water
  • Placing the shirts in a dryer after washing.

What causes Gildan cotton shirts to shrink


You will be shocked at how your shirt will shrink when you practice the above steps. Even if Gildan has attempted to minimize the chances of shrinkage risks, there is a chance that your shirt will shrink if you don’t follow the washing instructions. In rare cases, they shrink as much as 8%.

Any branded cotton t-shirt has a shrinking risk upon washing or drying; that does not exclude Gildan t-shirts. If you are aware of this, you will not buy a shirt with a snug fit. There is no limit to how many shirts a man can own but when buying Gildan shirts, ensure you look for the pre-shrunk description in their tags. If you go for non-pre-shrunk shirts, they may shrink up to 20%.

How Can You Stop Gildan Shirts From Shrinking?

Since we have already stabilized that Gildan shirts shrink after washing, it is time we know how to prevent or stop them from shrinking. Although the shrinkage is minor and unnoticeable, the difference can be notable when a different body size is present.

So, what is the best way to stop Gildan shirts from shrinking? You need to know how to wash your clothes safely to avoid shrinkage. The only way to stop your Gildan shirts from shrinking is to wash them using lukewarm or cold water. Avoid putting them in a hot wash, and choose a gentle cycle to avoid agitating the cotton fibers.

Man wearing shrunken shirt


Also, please do not put the cotton shirts in the dryer since the heat from the dryer may cause them to shrink. Instead, hang dry your Gildan t-shirts indoors or outdoors. When you hang dry your t-shirts, it minimizes the agitation of cotton fibers and helps them retain their tension. The fibers relax when you leave them for a while but do not shrink.

Of course, at some point, all kinds of cotton materials shrink depending on the brand, but if you practice these measures, there will be no noticeable shrinkage. Also, if you want to avoid noticeable shrinkage, do not buy a snug fit since it will shrink much and get noticed.

In an experiment on Gildan shirt shrinkage, we found that most people didn’t notice any difference in size after washing the shirts. The shrinkage was minor and unnoticed. Although some people claimed that the difference in size could be felt if looked closely. However, the fit relied on the body sizes and fit. For instance, most petite women were comfortable with the snug fit after the shrinkage.

Alternatively, some complained that the shrinkage was noticeable lengthwise and not widthwise. For people who love to wear a standard shirt, we recommend getting a size up since the shirt can have a noticeable shrinkage after washing. Again, it is hard to define a specific size since people have different body shapes and sizes.

How To Restore A Shrunk Gildan Shirt

Crop person demonstating how to restore a shrunk Gildan shirt


We had previously discussed the preventive measure you can take to avoid shrinking your Gildan t-shirts, but what if you had already washed them in hot water and they shrink? If you have accidentally shrunk your Gildan shirts, you can learn how to unshrink your shirts by following the steps below.

  1. Fill a bowl or large tub with cold water.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup of hair conditioner.
  3. Stir the mixture until it is uniform.
  4. Throw in your Gildan shirts and let them soak in for 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse them in cold water and hang them dry outside.

This may be a partisan hack, but it will at least help you restore your shirts to a size close to their original size.

Frequently Asked Questions On-Do Gildan Shirts Shrink?

1. How do Gildan ultra cotton shirts fit after washing?

The Gildan ultra cotton t-shirts are among the trendy styles in the market. They are affordable and heavyweight, having been made from 100% cotton. You can find them in 50 colors, so you will get what you like. They are also available in different sizes ranging from XS to 6XL, allowing you to feel the difference between muscle-fit vs slim-fit shirts.

A young man fitting the Gildan Ultra Cotton t-shirt


Since Gildan shirts are already pre-shrank, there is a minimal chance that they will shrink in the washer, provided you follow the washing instructions. The Gildan ultra cotton youth sizing ranges from XS-6XL. These shirts are of high quality, durable and affordable.

2. What does Gildan mean by indicating pre-shrunk cotton?

Gildan t-shirts are made of pre-shrinking cotton, preventing the shirt from shrinking upon washing. The makers of the Gildan shirts subject the cotton to hot water before sewing it together to form a shirt. You can expect moderate shrinkage in the first wash, but the shrinkage often needs to be more noticeable.

Gildan vintage tee with a tag indicating it's pre-shrunk


As discussed earlier, you can prevent this shrinkage by using cold water in your wash or hanging your shirts to air dry instead of using a dryer. Gildan shirt makers also use ring-spun cotton that softens the fiber, making the fabric softer, more durable, and less prone to shrinkage.

3. Which shirt materials do not shrink?

If you want to avoid shirts that shrink, the best solution is to go for materials that do not shrink. Polyester does not shrink when washed at any temperature; its fibers don’t relax, so no size will be lost during washing.

Polycotton shirts do shrink, but their shrinkage is unnoticeable. They shrink by around 1 or 2 % when you wash them in hot or warm water. It is best to know how to take care of shirt material before purchasing so you don’t destroy your best outfit.


Gildan shirts shrink by a small percentage when washed in hot water or dried in a dryer. Of course, the percentage is insignificant to other cotton-branded shirts because Gildan uses a technique that pre-shrinks shirts before purchase.

However, it is essential to be aware that there will be some shrinkage before you purchase them. Also, washing your cotton shirts in cold water minimizes the chance of shrinking.

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jacky chou


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