Does Satin Shrink? (How To Shrink And Unshrink Satin)

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We have all been there – you just bought a beautiful new satin dress, wore it once and now it’s too small. Did the fabric shrink in the wash?

This can be a puzzle for some fabrics like wool and silk. But what about satin? Does satin shrink?

The short answer is yes, but not really like other fabrics. Satin is a blended type of fabric, so it doesn’t technically “shrink” much like cotton. However, like most fabrics, satin is susceptible to shrinkage when exposed to heat or moisture. This can occur when the fabric is washed or dried using high heat, or when it is exposed to steam or hot water. To avoid shrinkage, it is generally recommended to hand wash satin fabrics using cool water and to avoid exposing them to heat sources like steam irons or hot water. It’s also a good idea to avoid drying satin fabrics using a clothes dryer, as the heat from the dryer can cause the fabric to shrink. Instead, it’s best to hang satin fabrics to dry or to lay them flat on a drying rack.

While most clothing will shrink at least a little bit with multiple washes, this process is slowed significantly for fabrics that are elastic (like spandex) or woven on a looser weave like linen. And because satin is made from silk, which is both elastic and woven on a loose weave, it would take an awful lot of washing to make your dress noticeably smaller.

In the world of clothes, satin is a material that is usually considered fragile and delicate – and as such, has seen its share of problems. Satin is often blended with other materials like polyester or cotton, so it also highly depends on the blended fabric type as cotton satin has a high shrinkage ratio as compared to polyester or other synthetic blended materials. Luckily, there are ways if you take care of your garment properly then you can avoid or minimize the damage done to your wardrobe by using some simple techniques.

What Is Satin Fabric?

Satin is a type of fabric that is known for its smooth, glossy surface and lustrous appearance. It is made using a specific type of weaving technique, which creates a smooth surface on one side of the fabric and a duller surface on the other side. Satin can be made from a variety of natural and synthetic fibers, including silk, cotton, polyester, and nylon.

Satin is often used for clothing and accessories, such as dresses, blouses, and lingerie. It is also commonly used for bedding and other home furnishings, such as sheets, pillowcases, and curtains. Because of its smooth and lustrous appearance, satin is often used in formal and elegant settings, such as weddings and other special occasions.

Satin is a popular fabric choice for many different applications due to its smooth, glossy surface and luxurious appearance. It is made using a specific type of weaving technique, which creates a smooth surface on one side of the fabric and a duller surface on the other side. This technique, known as a satin weave, creates a fabric that is strong and durable, yet also soft and silky to the touch.

Satin can be made from a variety of natural and synthetic fibers, including silk, cotton, polyester, and nylon. The specific type of fiber used to make satin can affect its characteristics, such as its color, texture, and durability. For example, satin made from silk is often more expensive and luxurious than satin made from synthetic fibers, but it is also more delicate and prone to damage.

Woven fabrics are often divided into two broad categories: synthetic and natural. While synthetic fibers are made from plastic or man-made materials, natural fabrics come from plants, animals, and minerals. Satin is a great example of both types. Based on these factors we can divide satin into two main categories.

  • Satin Fabric Made With Natural Fibers: Natural silk is the most expensive type of satin. It is also very fragile, so it makes satin susceptible to wrinkle, stain, tear, and shrinkage. The color palette consists of traditional white and beige shades.
  • Satin Fabric Made With Artificial Fibers: Satin made from artificial fibers is called artificial silk or nylon satin. This fabric is cheaper than raw silk satin. It improves its texture by adding rayon or cotton to its composition.

Popular Type Of Satin Fabric

Satin is a fabric that can be produced from natural materials like silk or other synthetic materials, such as polyester. Its shiny exterior and silky smoothness have earned it a reputation. Different varieties of satin can be woven using specific methodologies. The following are examples of common satin fabrics:

  • Charmeuse: Charmeuse is a type of lightweight satin fabric that is dull on the other side, but has a smooth surface and a glossy sheen on one side. It is typically used for lingerie, blouses, and dresses due to its excellent drape. 
  • Crepe-Backed Satin: As its name suggests, crepe-backed satin is woven with a crepe texture on one side and a satin texture on the other. As a result of being thicker and less shiny than standard satin, it is typically reserved for formal occasions like bridal gowns and evening wears, etc.
  • Duchess Satin: Duchess satin is a type of thick, stiff satin frequently used for formal wear and wedding dresses. It is crisp and smooth to the touch, and its surface is shiny. It is most widely used in formal evening dresses, floor-length gowns, bridal wear, etc.
  • Pongee: A lightweight satin fabric composed of silk or a silk-like substance, pongee is a lightweight kind of silk. It is commonly used for lining clothing or creating scarves and dresses and has a somewhat pebbled feel.
  • Habutai: A lightweight satin fabric perfect for lining clothing or producing shirts, skirts, and scarves, Habutai is a popular choice.
  • Peau De Soie: It is a satin fabric of medium weight with a faintly granular surface and pebbled in texture. It’s a popular choice for formal attire, upholstered furniture, and wedding dresses.
  • Dupioni satin: It is a type of silk or synthetic fabric that has the look and feel of satin on the reverse side. On one side it’s somewhat nubby, while the other is smooth and satiny. It’s a common fabric for wedding dresses.
  • Shantung: It is a type of thick, rough satin fabric woven from silk or a silk substitute. It’s commonly seen in wedding dresses, suits, and upholstery because of its somewhat nubby texture.

Does Satin Shrink?

Yes, Satin does shrink but the amount of shrinkage that satin undergoes will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of satin, the quality of the fabric, the blend it uses, and how it is washed and dried. In general, it is always a good idea to follow the care instructions on the garment label to help minimize shrinkage. For example, silk satin is more prone to shrinkage than polyester satin because silk is a natural fiber that is sensitive to changes in temperature and moisture.

Also, the process of shrinking satin could be a result of fabrics losing moisture during washing. When they do, their fibers shrink and become less flexible. The fabric will lose its shape and size completely.

Because satin is so soft and smooth, it doesn’t respond well to rough handling, so you shouldn’t wring it out or use harsh scouring agents to remove stains. The fabric can easily be damaged by rough treatment, which prevents it from unshrinking properly.

If you want to know the best way to wash satin, we recommend that you have it dry-cleaned. Dry cleaning is a safe and effective way to wash fabrics and preserve their quality, so it’s best used for wearing apparel with delicate designs. 

How to Wash Satin Without Shrinking?

Although Satin is not prone to shrinkage as much as cotton or other natural fabrics, it is still a delicate fabric that can be damaged easily, if not handled properly. Usually, satin is used in making high-quality fabrics that certainly come with an equally matching high price tag, so that’s why important to handle it with care. You would be amazed at how much you can extend the life you your favorite satin blouse by handling it properly. You can also follow these steps, to wash satin without shrinking it:

  • First, check the care label on your satin garment to see if it can be machine-washed. If it can’t, take it to a dry cleaner.
  • If your satin garment can be machine washed, choose a gentle cycle and use a mild detergent. Avoid using hot water, as this can cause the satin to shrink.
  • Don’t use fabric softener on satin, as it can damage the fabric.
  • If you’re machine washing your satin garment, put it in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from snagging on other clothes or the inside of the washing machine.
  • After washing, remove the satin garment from the washing machine and gently press out any excess water with a towel. Don’t wring or twist the fabric, as this can cause it to shrink or become misshapen.
  • To dry satin, lay it flat on a clean towel and allow it to air dry. Avoid hanging satin to dry, as this can cause the fabric to stretch or become misshapen.
  • Once the satin is dry, iron it on a low heat setting, using a pressing cloth to protect the fabric. Avoid using a steam setting, as this can cause the satin to shrink.

In short, it’s best to handle satin gently and avoid exposing it to heat, as this can cause the fabric to shrink. If you’re unsure about how to wash satin, it’s always a good idea to consult the care label on the garment or take it to a professional dry cleaner for cleaning.

What Causes Satin to Shrink?

Satin is a kind of fabric that can be manufactured from natural materials like silk or man-made materials like polyester. Although Satin does not shrink under normal circumstances, however, like many other fabrics it can experience shrinkage when subjected to high temperatures or humidity. This is due to the fact that the satin fabric’s fibers are particularly vulnerable to shifts in humidity and temperature. The fabric may shrink as a result of the fibers becoming distorted due to exposure to heat or moisture. 

Intense heat or moisture can warp or displace the fibers of satin cloth. Because of this, the satin may decrease in size or shrink. Fabrics manufactured from delicate fibers like silk or synthetic materials, like satin, are especially prone to shrinkage. Satin can shrink because its fibers bend when exposed to heat or moisture.

Besides this, there are various other ways that cause the satin to shrink. Satin, for instance, might experience fiber shrinkage if washed in water that is too hot. Similarly, if satin is dried on a high heat setting, it can shrink. Furthermore, if satin is not properly dried, such as by leaving it to air dry in bright sunlight or near a heat source, it can shrink. Finally, the fibers in satin can be shrunk or deformed, resulting in shrinking, if the fabric is stretched or tugged too firmly. In order to keep satin from shrinking, it is best to treat it gently and according to the care instructions provided with the garment or accessory.

Although it is possible for satin to shrink when washed in cold water, this is much less likely to occur than when the fabric is soaked in hot water. It’s better for a fabric’s fibers to be washed in cold water than hot water because the former doesn’t cause as much heat or agitation to the strands. This decreases the likelihood of distortion and shrinkage in the fibers. The only way for satin to shrink in cold water is if it is stretched or handled aggressively throughout the washing process. Satin can also shrink if the fibers become deformed when drying in the air, as happens when it is hung on a clothesline in the sun.

In addition, improper washing and maintenance can cause the satin to shrink or become damaged.  In order to keep your satin garment or accessory from shrinking, it is recommended that you follow the care instructions provided with the garment or accessory.

Does Satin Shrink In Washer?

Honestly, it more depends on how you wash Satin than what method you use to wash the satin. Because of the heat and agitation that occur throughout the wash cycle, satin may experience shrinkage after being washed in a washing machine. A couple of different things could bring this result. To begin, the high temperature of the water can harm the fibers of the satin, which in turn can cause the fibers to break and cause the fabric to shrink. Secondly, the agitation that occurs during the washing cycle has the potential to cause the fibers of the fabric to become tangled and knotted, which can also result in the cloth shrinking.

In addition, the detergent and other chemicals that are utilized during the washing cycle might potentially cause harm to the fabric’s fibers, which in turn can result in the Satin cloth being shrunken. However, to prevent satin from shrinking when being washed in a washing machine, follow these steps:

  • To select the most appropriate cleaning method for your satin fabric, you should initially examine the care label. Typically, the care label will contain advice on the ideal water temperature, kind of detergent, and wash cycle to use while cleaning the item.
  • The next step is to add a gentle detergent to the washing machine once it has been loaded with lukewarm water (rather than hot water). Avoid using an excessive amount of detergent because it may result in an excessive amount of suds, which may cause the fibers of the satin fabric to become damaged.
  • Put the satin fabric in the washing machine, and make sure to use the delicate cycle when cleaning it. Avoid using a wash cycle that has a high level of agitation since it has the potential to cause the fibers of the satin fabric to become tangled and knotted, which can lead to the fabric shrinking.
  • When the cycle in the washing machine is finished, remove the satin fabric from the machine and give it a few gentle wrings to remove any extra water. If you want to prevent further damage to the fibers in the cloth, you should avoid wringing the fabric or twisting it.
  • To get the satin fabric completely dry, simply lay it down flat on a dry and clean surface. It is best to avoid hanging the fabric because doing so may cause it to stretch and lose its original shape. Instead, the shrinking should be avoided by allowing the fabric to air-dry naturally.

If these instructions are followed, you will be able to wash satin in a washing machine without causing it to shrink. Remember to always read the care label on your satin fabric before washing it, and to use a moderate wash cycle and mild detergent to maintain the fibers of the fabric. Checking the care label will ensure that the fabric is treated properly. In addition, to prevent the fabric from shrinking, you should never dry satin in the dryer; rather, you should hang it up and allow it to dry naturally.

Does Satin Shrink In the Dryer?

Yes, satin can shrink in the dryer if it is not adequately cared for. Satin can shrink in the dryer for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is that heat can cause the fibers in the fabric to contract, which can lead to shrinkage. Additionally, satin fabrics are often made of delicate materials like silk, which can be easily damaged by heat and agitation during the drying process. Over-drying satin fabrics can also cause shrinkage, as the heat from the dryer can cause the fibers in the fabric to break down and become weakened, leading to shrinkage.

To prevent shrinkage, it is recommended, you should always use the lowest heat setting and remove the satin items from the dryer as soon as they are dry. Additionally, you can try using a clothing protector product to help reduce shrinkage. It’s also a good idea to avoid drying satin fabric for too long, as this can cause the fabric to become wrinkled and misshapen. That’s why, it is also important to avoid over-drying satin fabrics, as this can cause shrinkage.

It’s also important to avoid placing your satin in the dryer too frequently and over-drying it. Satin doesn’t react well to heat, which scorches its fibers and melts them together. This makes the fabric more susceptible to shrinkage.

To avoid shrinkage, you need to take extra care when drying your clothes. To remove wrinkles from your satin Dresses and attire, use the lowest heat setting to avoid causing excessive shrinkage.

How To Prevent Satin To Shrink?

If you don’t want your satin to shrink, you need to take extra care when washing it. To avoid shrinking and maintain its original size and shape, follow these guidelines:

Luke Warm Water for Satin Drying

If the laundry is left in the machine for a long time or is overwatered by accident, satin can suffer from shrinkage. While the fabric doesn’t need to be washed in extremely hot water, you should use lukewarm water for a proper rinse cycle. This way you avoid shrinking in general and excessive shrinkage during drying.

Dry Cleaning

To dry clean satin, use a mild detergent that won’t affect the fabric. Gently rub the stain with a clean cloth. For quality results and to avoid spoilage, you need to dry-clean your satin in a well-ventilated area.


Satin is not very sensitive to soaps and detergents. You can wash it with any type of detergent, even hot ones, as long as you don’t leave the fabric in the machine for too long or over-water it with water. When the satin dries and shrinks, before you put it away, wash or dry clean it again. 

How To Hand Wash Satin?

When you don’t wash your satin in hot water, you can still remove stains and dirt from it. There are several ways to do that:

Use Soft Brush

To remove stains and dirt from your satin, brush the fabric gently with a soft-bristled brush. You can also use a sponge with a little detergent to clean up any dirt or stain in the fabric. Rinse well if you use liquid detergent for washing. After carrying out the cleaning process, ventilate the fabric well by hanging it on a clothesline outside or placing it near an air vent so that it dries quickly.

Avoid Dryer

The fabric dries very quickly. As it does, it shrinks and tightens. The best way to maintain the quality of your satin is to avoid drying it in the dryer. If you do, let it air-dry for a few minutes before putting it inside the dryer.

Dry in Shade

To avoid color fading or any other damage that can occur during drying, make sure you leave your satin garment out in the shade to dry instead of drying it indoors under a machine or clothesline.

How to Iron Satin?

Ironing your satin garments is not necessary to keep them looking good or clean up any wrinkles.

However, if you want to iron your satin, make sure that you iron it with mild steam. Avoid using too much water or too much pressure when ironing.

If you avoid these two things, your satin garment will not become discolored from the heat of the iron or from any other chemical reaction in the process. But if you use too much steam or apply too much pressure, you may cause the fabric to shrink. As a result, the quality of your satin garment will be compromised and it will begin to lose its shape over time.

Check Also: Does Denim Shrink?

How To Get Stains Out Of Satin?

Stains are more likely to be removed from satin fabric when you wash and dry it at a low temperature.

If you want to remove stains from satin garments, you need to use a brand-name stain remover that contains mild detergents. This can include Woolite, Stain-Blaster, or a similar stain-removal product.

You may also want to use an automatic sponger while you’re washing your satin garments in the machine. These sponges help you remove stains and dirt on your satin garment right after you finish brushing it with a soft brush or sponge.

There are several different types of stains on satin. Some of them include ink, oil, and wine.

To remove stains from satin fabric, you need to apply a stain solver or a stain remover for satin garments.

To soak your garment with the stain remover or stain solver, pour it into a pail and stir the contents until they become foam. Then scrub your satin carefully with the sponge until it’s completely clean.

How to Dry Clean Satin?

Before you dry clean satin, make sure to remove any wrinkles or creases first. Roll it up in a clean cloth and gently press the creases. Then place the satin on a table and let it air-dry completely. As the fabric dries, carding will cause side folds and dips in the surface of the satin, which can be removed with care by ironing.

Satin should always be dry-cleaned. But don’t leave satin in the machine for too long, as this may cause shrinkage and damage to its fibers, making it difficult for you to unshrink it later on.

How to Unshrink Satin Fabric?

To unshrink satin, you need to treat it gently and thoroughly. You should never use hot water when wash satin, as this is the cause of shrinkage in the first place. You can safely dry clean it instead. The fabric will not shrink again when it dries, and if you followed our recommendations for washing, there should be no problem at all.

Don’t wring out satin during washing either, as this will cause lower quality of the product.

To unshrink satin, follow these tips:

  1. Put ice inside a zippered plastic bag and put your satin garment into it. The bag will create an insulating layer around the garment that will help it relax its fibers again, reclaiming its original shape and size. 
  2. Remove the satin from its bag and hang it up on a sunny day to warm it up. The two processes of heating and cooling will help restore satin’s original size and shape.
  3. For best results, run the garment through the washing machine with cold water and tumble dry at low temperatures. 
  4. If you want to unshrink your satin bikinis or camisoles by hand, use cold water and mild detergent. The fabric should be washed with medium-cold water, not hot, which will cause it to shrink more. 
  5. After washing, let the garment dry flat, and remember to use a protective garment when working with satin. 
  6. Avoid rubbing the satin against rough surfaces when handling it, since this will damage it and lead to more shrinkage.
  7. Avoid washing satin with synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, and spandex, as they can cause shrinkage by becoming brittle during these processes
  8. Put your satin garment in a zippered plastic bag and then into the washing machine without turning it on.

How To Take Care And Maintain Satin?

Maintaining your satin is very important if you want it to last for as long as possible and maintain its quality.

  • Always make sure to wash your satin garment well and dry it at low temperatures.
  • Never put dark colors in with dark colors or vice versa. Colors with a high amount of black in them will cause fading, fading, and may even stain the satin.
  • It’s also important to take care of your satin when you first get it. Don’t make any sharp bends or twists in it, as this can cause damage to its fibers.
  • Also, don’t store your satin garment in direct sunlight for a long time as this is one way of damaging the fabric quickly. And don’t store it in an environment that has a lot of moisture either, such as a bathroom.

If you follow these tips, your satin garment will last a long time and maintain its quality for as long as possible.

How Do You Shrink Satin Dresses?

Satin is a delicate fabric that naturally shrinks when washed. Your satin dresses won’t shrink as much as your other clothing, but you’ll still need to follow the same care guidelines to keep it from shrinking too much.

Put your satin dresses in a pail and wash them with cold water. Then hang them up to dry instead of drying them on a clothesline or machine. If you prefer to machine dry them and save time, use the low-temperature setting instead of the high-temperature setting if possible.

Don’t use hot water when washing satin dresses, as this is the cause of shrinkage in the first place.

You can also use a laundry presoak spray to keep your satin dresses from shrinking too much during the washing process. Remember, though, that you should use this product only on cotton products because other fabrics may cause shrinkage or discoloration.

Clean satin dresses in the washing machine with cold water and tumble dry them at low temperatures. This will help prevent more damage to the fabric and make it more resilient when you try to shrink it later.

FAQ about Satin Shrinkage

How Long is Satin Good For?

After learning how to wash and iron satin, perhaps you’re wondering how long it will last. Satin is a fabric that has been around for hundreds of years. Its longevity and reputation are due in part to the durability of its fibers and the way they are stitched together. With proper care, satin garments can last you a very long time before they start to fray or lose their shape. And if you use cold water instead of hot water when washing satin, it can preserve its quality for even longer.

Does Satin Get Ruined Easily?

Depending on how you care for your satin, the fabric can last multiple lifetimes. Just remember that, especially after the first few washes, you should store it in a cool, dry place. Satin will not only last longer if it is stored properly, but it’s also less likely to be damaged by exposure to sunlight and heat. When fabric does begin to fray or lose its shape, it’s important for us to know this information so that we may take steps toward repairing or replacing the garment with something new. If you have an old garment and want to repair it instead of ordering a replacement, there are several options available.

How Quickly Does Satin Dry?

How quickly satin dries depends on the type of fabric. On average, satin items will dry in 10 to 30 minutes in average climates but it can vary depending upon your climate, while other fabrics like silk and wool will take a little longer.

How to Wash Satin Sheets and Duvet Covers?

The best way to wash satin sheets is to use the gentle cycle on the washing machine. Do not dry clean them or put them in the dryer after they are washed through. For this reason, it’s best to hang them up and let them air-dry completely, just like you would with any other type of material.

How to Wash Satin Pillows?

To wash satin pillows, do not put them in the washing machine. Instead, use cold water and a mild detergent and wash them carefully by hand with a lint-free cloth. Remember that satin is delicate and sensitive, so you should be careful with it. If you want to store them on their own, be sure not to store these in direct sunlight as this may damage the fabric of your pillow cover.

How to Clean Satin Pillows?

To clean your satin pillows, use a lint-free cloth and mild detergent. You can even use a bit of white vinegar to remove stains and dirt from the fabric of your pillow. Just mix the vinegar with water and then use this solution on your pillow by dabbing it on a stain that you want to remove. After that, wipe it with another clean cloth. Some people recommend washing them in warm water and hanging them up to dry after they are cleaned, but this is only recommended if they are not washed by machine first.

Can You Steam A Satin Dress?

You can steam satin or silk to freshen it up and help it retain its shape. It is important to use steam with caution, as too much heat will make the fabric shrink and become fragile. In order to do this, you can fill a basin with hot water and add a few drops of fabric softener, but if you do not have a basin handy, you can use a large bowl instead. Put your garment in the water for about 10 minutes and then take it out when the hot water has cooled down a bit. Do not put your satin dress in the dryer after steaming it as this may cause damage to its fibers.

What type of detergent should you use when washing satin?

Always use a mild detergent. Also remember that you should never put a dark color in with dark colors, or vice versa. Your satin garment may end up looking faded and possibly even stained due to this mix-up.

Can I Put Satin In The Washing Machine?

People often wonder if they can put satin in the washing machine, or if they will be harmed by putting cotton satin in their machine. While it’s not necessary to use a special detergent when washing satin, it’s still important that you follow the steps outlined above to keep your garments from shrinking.
If you’re worried about shrinkage, hand wash your satin and keep it away from long-term exposure to sunlight.

Final Thoughts

Satin is a luxurious fabric that has a beautiful shine and luster. However, the fabric is delicate and you need to take extra care when cleaning your satin garment.

While it’s great for formal wear, satin is also ideal for weekend outfits and party wear. If you are looking to incorporate satin into your wardrobe, consider these tips above to keep your garments looking fabulous for years to come.


  1. Threadsmagazine – Pre-shrinking satin-backed crepe
  2. FAQ-blog – How to wash charmeuse satin?



I have been working as a seamstress since I was 12 years old, and I would be happy to teach you what I know. I, along with the rest of my team, investigate numerous sewing, quilting, embroidery, and fabric related how-to guides, and present our findings to you.

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