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How To Shrink Corduroy

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Corduroy is a type of fabric that has become very popular over the last couple of years. The material is soft and durable, making it ideal for outdoor clothing such as jackets, coats, and pants.

Corduroy is a durable, thick material with a soft feel and comes in various weights as well as widths. It has been used in many applications including clothing, furniture, home decor, and even car seats.

It is usually made from wool and cotton blended together. Wool gives it a nice soft feel while cotton provides durability.

Outdoor street fashion portrait of young lady wearing stylish autumn outfit

The type of cloth used to create corduroy also plays a role in its final look. The more tightly woven the fabric, the smoother the finished product looks.

The most popular types of corduroy include twill, broadcloth, satin, and duck.

Corduroy can also be made from 100% cotton or blends of cotton and polyester. It comes in various weights and textures, depending on the manufacturer.

Shrinking Corduroy: What to Know Before You Start


Before you start shrinking your corduroy, there are some things you should know about the process.

First off, the weight of your corduroy matters. Lighter weight corduroys tend to shrink faster than heavier ones.

Secondly, the texture of your corduroy does matter. A smooth corduroy tends to shrink quicker than one with lots of small holes.

Thirdly, the length of your corduroy affects how fast it shrinks. Short pieces shrink faster than long ones.

Finally, the brand of your corduroy makes a difference. Some brands of corduroy shrink faster than others.

Now that you know all these factors, let’s get started!

What is Corduroy?

Corduroy is a durable material that looks great and feels good against the skin. It’s perfect for jackets, pants, shirts, and other items that need extra warmth.

While corduroy isn’t as popular as cotton, it has been around since the 1800s. In fact, it was used by the American Civil War soldiers to protect their uniforms from the elements.

Today, corduroy is most commonly made from 100% wool. However, it can also be made from blends of wool and nylon.

The word “cord” refers to the yarn being woven together. The term “duro” means thick or strong.

The name “corduroy” comes from combining these words. This type of fabric is often referred to as duck cloth or duck canvas.

Why Should I Shrink My Corduroy?

Neatly folded corduroy trousers

If you have an item that needs to fit snugly, like a jacket, then you’ll want to shrink your corduroy before sewing it onto your clothing.

If you sew your corduroy directly onto your clothing, it will stretch out over time. This could cause problems if your clothes are tight fitting.

A better option would be to cut your corduroy into strips, then use those strips to make patches. These patches can then be sewn onto your clothing.

Another benefit of shrinking your corduroy is that it keeps your clothing looking new longer.

When you wear clothes that are too large, they tend to look worn out sooner. By shrinking your corduroy, you can extend the life of your clothing.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at corduroy and how to shrink it.

How to Shrink Corduroy Using Heat

The most common way to shrink corduroy is with heat. This can be done by using an iron, but also by placing the garment inside a dryer.

If you are not sure how much time to put your clothes in the dryer, we suggest starting out with 10 minutes. You can always add more time if necessary.

If you are using an iron, make sure to follow the instructions on the iron. Some irons have special settings for shrinking fabrics like corduroy.

If you are drying your corduroy in the dryer, place the item inside the dryer and set the temperature to low.

Make sure to check the label on the back of the dryer to see what setting will work best for your particular machine.

Once you’ve shrunk your corduroy, hang it up to air-dry. Do not use a fan or blow dryer because this could damage the fabric.

High angle take of an iron on a corduroy shirt

How to Shrink Corduroy Using Water

Another option for shrinking corduroy is to soak it in water. We recommend soaking the items for 30 minutes before removing them from the water.

You can also do this method when washing your garments. If you plan to wash your cords separately, you may want to consider doing this step first.

This process works better than the other methods listed above. However, it does require some extra steps.

  • First, you need to remove any labels from your corduroy. Then cut off the excess fabric around the edges so that the entire piece fits into the tub.
  • Next, fill the tub halfway with warm water. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the water and stir until dissolved.
  • Finally, submerge the corduroy in the solution. Make sure to leave enough room in the tub for all the pieces.
  • After the corduroy is submerged, wait for 20 minutes. After this period of time, rinse the corduroy under running water.
  • Remove the corduroy from the bathtub and lay flat to dry.

How to Shrink Corduroy in the Sun

Exposure to heat helps to shrink corduroy. You can speed up this process using the water or heat methods above but, if neither are available to you, you can also use the suns heat to shrink your garments.

Black blank label on collar of brown corduroy jacket close up

Step 1 – Disassemble Your Garment

If you feel it is within your skills to do so, disassemble your garment into smaller pieces.

Cutting your corduroy into smaller pieces helps speed up the shrinking process. You should, however, only do this if you are confident you can re-assemble your item once the shrinking process is done.

If you aren’t sure about this process, skip it and proceed to step 2.

Step 2 – Fold Each Piece in Half

Next, fold your corduroy pieces in half.

Step 3 – Put Your Garment Inside the Bag

Place your folded corduroy into a plastic bag. Place your garment inside the bag, making sure to leave enough room around the edges of the bag. Use tape to secure the bag shut.

Step 4 – Tie Up the Bag

Tie the top of the bag closed with string. Leave a little slack so you can still open the bag easily later.

Step 5 – Hang Your Garments Outdoors

Hang your bag outside where it gets direct sunlight. Make sure to tie the bag securely to avoid any chance of losing it.

Step 6 – Check On Your Garments After 7 Days

Check on your garments after seven days. If they’re still too big, repeat steps 1 through 5 until they’re the right size.

Final Thoughts

Shrinking your corduroy doesn’t take much effort. You just need to follow the instructions above.

Once you’ve shrunk your corduroy, hang it outside to dry. Once it dries completely, iron it flat.

You may find that some of your corduroy shrinks more than others. That’s okay. Just trim off the excess.

You can now reuse your shrunken corduroy to create new clothing!