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


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 “not really”. 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. Unlike other materials used in clothing manufacturing like polyester or cotton that have been found to not shrink over time, satin garments have a natural tendency to shrink slightly over time. Luckily, there are ways you can avoid or minimize the damage done to your wardrobe by using some simple techniques.

What Is Satin Fabric?

Satin is a versatile and attractive fabric for both casual and formal wear. Although most of our garments are made from 100% polyester, we do offer all sorts of transitional layered and slinky organza as well as some trendy printed styles as well to complement our classic styles.

Satin is a kind of woven fabric, which means that it’s made from fibers that are woven together. The structure of the fabric depends on the type of fiber that’s used.

Satin fabrics are categorized by the way they’re woven. These are:

Raw silk (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 whites and beige shades.

Raw silk (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.

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.

Does Satin Shrink?

The process of shrinking satin is 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. 

What Causes Satin to Shrink?

To unravel the mystery of why satin shrinks, we need to address why most fabrics shrink in the first place.

In short, fabrics shrink because they lose moisture during washing or drying. The process of fabric shrinking is very similar in both cases. We’ll consider washing as an example that can be applied to any type of fabric and fiber.

Satin is made from either synthetic or natural materials. When you wash it, all fibers absorb water and expand, which makes the material bigger and fluffier. In this state, the satin will feel loose and comfortable on you or your clothes hangers. When satin dries, the loss of water makes it shrink.

Does Satin Shrink In Washer?

Satin made from cotton or silk shows off a beautiful luster and a soft hand. Satin that’s made from polyester, nylon and rayon is not as delicate but still retains the smooth texture of real silk.

It’s the same fabric in all its variety, and it always retains the shape and size of the satin it started as.

Even though satin is made from natural fibers like cotton or silk, it doesn’t shrink much during washing even when you use hot water. As with other materials, satin shrinks when dry-cleaned or when washed with intense detergents with high amounts of sudsing power.

It is best to avoid the two extremes. If you want your satin shirt or dress to last for a long time, wash it in warm water and dry it on the lowest setting.

Does Satin Shrink In Dryer?

In dryers, satin dries and shrinks in the same way as other fabrics. The satin fabric shrinks when exposed to high temperatures. As a result, it loses its shape and size as well as its quality.

You need to be very careful when selecting dryers for satin. 

It’s best to eliminate the dryers that are not fitted with a temperature control system that can reduce heat absorption by the satin fabric. When you do, it will prevent it from shrinking.

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:

Warm Water for Satin Drying

If laundry is left in the machine for a long time or is over-watered by accident, satin can suffer from shrinkage. While the fabric doesn’t need to be washed in extremely hot water, you should use warm 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 satin with a clean cloth. For quality results and to avoid spoilage, you need to dry-clean your satin in 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-wate 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 a 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.

Can You Put Satin In The Dryer?

Sometimes people wonder if they should put satin in the dryer. This is not recommended because satin tends to shrink when washed, so it’s better to use the dryer to freshen it and keep it clean.

You can wash satin with like colors but don’t mix different types. The chances are that the fibers will change their weave and become tangled, which will cause excessive shrinkage. If you want to be more careful, avoid mixing different fabrics anyway and buy a similar color of satin.

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 a 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 Do You Shrink Satin Heels?

To shrink satin shoes and heels, you need to use a mild detergent. Wash it and leave it out in the sun to dry. As the satin dries, a shrinking agent can be used as well.

When trying to shrink your satin shoes or heels, make sure that you use a mild detergent that doesn’t contain bleach or ammonia because this can cause more damage to the fabric during drying.

Shrinkage is caused by the fact that satin is a delicate fabric. Garments made from satin do not have the same ability to hold their shape as those made from other materials, so these types of clothing are more prone to shrinkage than others.

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 to 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 at low temperatures. This will help prevent more damage to the fabric and make it more resilient when you try to shrink it later.

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.

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 5 to 10 minutes, while other fabrics like silk and wool will take a little longer. 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.

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 though. 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.

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.


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