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Does Spandex Shrink or Stretch? (Quick Answers)

Spandex is becoming more accessible day by day. It can be found anywhere starting from sportswear to pregnancy clothing. They are known for their elastic properties, longevity, and easy wear. They are mixed with various other fabrics to create better clothing.

But can spandex shrink or stretch? Let’s find out! 

Does spandex shrink or stretch?

Spandex can both shrink and stretch if not taken care of properly. They will eventually shrink or stretch after a long period. They are produced in a way to keep their elastic abilities as much as possible. In some cases that involve high temperatures, they can shrink easily.

Over time, spandex garments can lose their elasticity and stretch out. This occurs faster if you often wash your spandex in hot water settings or do not use it regularly. Always follow the instructions written in the tag to wash if you don’t want it to stretch out quickly.

The detergent can also cause it to stretch. 

Spandex can also shrink but do not worry about it shrinking during regular use. Washing and drying in very high temperatures can cause your spandex garment to shrink. 

Does spandex shrink?

Yes, spandex can shrink! You can’t shrink spandex normally. If you can heat it over 83 degrees Celsius, you have a chance of shrinking it. Stretched-out spandex is useless unless you can shrink it. There are many ways to shrink spandex. 

Does spandex shrink when you wash it?

No, spandex doesn’t always shrink when you wash it. It is instructed by manufacturers to wash spandex material in cold water or room temperature to avoid shrinking.

If you are trying to shrink your spandex, you can shrink it by washing it at your machine’s highest temperature. This heat is abnormal which is why the spandex fabric shrinks. 

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Does spandex shrink in hot water?

Spandex can shrink in hot water if put in the washer. Hot water is great for cleaning and

disinfecting but it is not the best choice for your clothing. Over time, excessive heat will shrink the fabric of your spandex.

This is why manufacturers recommend using cold water or lukewarm water to wash spandex clothing. Using lukewarm water will shrink them gradually instead of quickly. 

Does spandex shrink when dried?

Not all spandex shrink when dried. If you dry them up without using a dryer, they will not shrink. Most spandex manufacturers advise drying on low settings to stop the fibers from losing their elasticity.

But if you are trying to shrink spandex clothing, you can achieve this by using both a washing machine and a dryer. 

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Can spandex shrink in the dryer?

Some spandex clothing might shrink in the dryer. Although they were manufactured in a way

to resist shrinking, they could still shrink under certain circumstances. If you want to shrink your spandex using a dryer, use the heavy heat settings of your dryer.

The high heat from the dryer could make it shrink by damaging its elasticity. Check the tag of your spandex, some are machine dryable whereas others are not. You might end up wrinkling your spandex instead. 

How to shrink spandex?

You can apply the following methods to shrink your spandex –

Wash it at high heat settings:

Once again, this is the ideal way to shrink spandex clothing. Wash one piece of spandex garment at a time at the lowest water level setting. The water temperature should be set to its highest setting.

Do not let it rinse with cold water. It is important to do the next step as well to maintain the shrinkage formed using the washing machine.

Dry it at high heat settings:

You will need a pillowcase to do this step. Grab a pillowcase and put your spandex garment inside it. Make sure it is closed to prevent the fiber from being damaged

inside the dryer. 

This is usually advised against by manufacturers to prevent wear and tear. Remember to set the heat settings to the highest level before putting them inside the dryer. 

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Soak in boiling water:

Be careful with this step as high temperatures can result in injuries. Get a large pot and pour water on it. Boil the water and let your spandex clothing soak in the hot water. Try not to soak multiple pairs, soak one at a time for best results. 

Does spandex stretch?

Spandex clothing is built to stretch. They can stretch over 400% of their length. It is because of

their elastic properties. Many clothing items have a small amount of spandex material in them so that the clothing can fit the consumer correctly.

Do spandex jeans stretch out?

Spandex jeans do stretch out but not as quickly as you think. The spandex material is unique

which allows it to loosen up much less quickly when compared to rigid or regular denim. Regular denim will stretch out more in the long run than spandex jeans.

This is because spandex jeans have around 2% elastane or lycra which gives them the ability to stretch on a moderate level. 

Does spandex stretch out over time?

Yes, spandex does stretch out over time. Its elasticity will loosen over time. It won’t happen right away and you can expect to use it for a long time before that happens. To prevent it from losing its elasticity, stretch them regularly. 

To maintain its elasticity, you will need to clean and dry your spandex clothing properly. This way, you can use it longer. 

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How much does spandex stretch?

The name itself gives away its ability because spandex is an anagram of expands. It was produced to expand. They can stretch around 5 to 8 times more than their regular size

However, many get confused about the correlation between the spandex percentage and stretch percentage. Your spandex percentage will not always determine how much it stretches. If you’re particularly looking for a percentage, it is best to contact the retailer. 

How to stretch spandex?

You can apply the following methods to stretch your spandex –

Use hot water:

Similar to shrinking spandex, spandex can also be stretched if placed on hot water of 50 to 60 degrees Celsius for half an hour. After it soaks up, wear the wet spandex and move around for at least a few hours. This sounds odd but has been said to work! 

Use weights to stretch:

This method is slightly difficult. First, you have to soak it in a

hot tub of water like method 1. The temperature should be optimum around 50 to 60 degrees Celsius.

Once the soaking process is done, lay the spandex on a flat surface and place weights on one side of the spandex garment. Stretch the opposite side of the garment from the weight. 

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Use baby shampoo and weights:

First, fill a tub of hot water. The water temperature should be above room temperature. Make sure it is not too hot. Add a lump of baby shampoo to the tub of hot water and stir properly.

Once the water is soapy, leave the spandex clothing in it for half an hour. Do not rinse the garment but take out the excess water. 

Finally, you add the weights the same way as the last method. This creates maximum expansion. 

Does polyester and spandex shrink or stretch?

In normal circumstances, polyester and spandex do not shrink but they do stretch over time. If you use excessively hot water to wash, they can shrink. Bad detergent can do the same. They can also shrink if you keep them in a dryer for too long. 

Does rayon and spandex shrink or stretch?

Rayon material is not the same as polyester or spandex so it can shrink more easily than spandex. When mixed with spandex, it won’t shrink as easily but it can still shrink if the percentage of rayon is greater than the percentage of spandex.

But they will not stretch as quickly as rayon does not have elasticity.

Does nylon and spandex shrink or stretch?

Although nylon does not shrink or stretch, it can do both when blended with spandex. If you try to shrink it, you might end up stretching it even more. However, nylon is more stretchy than polyester. 

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Does cotton and spandex shrink or stretch?

It can shrink around 5% under regular use. If drastic measures are taken, they can be shrunk and stretched faster. They can shrink in the washer by around 6%. They can be stretched in the same way spandex is stretched. 

Will 95% polyester and 5% spandex shrink?

Yes, 95% polyester and 5% spandex can shrink under heat. They are easier to shrink than 100% polyester or spandex. 100% polyester tends to stretch out more.

Does 92% polyester 8% spandex shrink?

92% polyester and 8% spandex can shrink but not easily.  Similar to the aforesaid methods, you can shrink them in the dryer or washing machine.

Final Thoughts:

Spandex can stretch more than any other fabric. It is often known as stretch fabric. It can stretch out indefinitely if not maintained correctly. Shrinking the spandex can bring back the stretch. There are ways to both shrink and stretch spandex fabric.