Does 60 Cotton 40 Polyester Shrink?

Does 60 Cotton 40 Polyester Shrink?

Are you curious if your clothes made from 60% cotton 40% polyester will shrink after being washed? Many people have the same question. Keep reading to discover if this popular fabric can withstand the washing machine.


If you own clothes that are made of a combination of 60% cotton and 40% polyester, you may be concerned about whether they will shrink.

When fabric made from a combination of cotton and polyester is exposed to heat and water, its behavior may change. Although such blends are less likely to shrink than 100% cotton fabric, they may still shrink to some extent. The degree of shrinkage can vary depending on factors like temperature, washing methods, and drying techniques.

Understanding Cotton and Polyester

Cotton and polyester are two of the most commonly used materials in clothing. If you’re wondering whether a 60% cotton and 40% polyester blend fabric will shrink, the answer is that it may shrink slightly, but not as much as a 100% cotton fabric.

Here’s why: Cotton fibers are highly susceptible to shrinking when exposed to heat, while polyester fibers are more resistant. So, when cotton and polyester fibers are blended, the polyester fibers act as a sort of barrier that can help protect the cotton fibers from shrinking.

However, it’s important to note that the amount of shrinkage can also depend on other factors like the fabric’s weave, the washing temperature, and the drying method. If you want to minimize shrinkage, it’s best to wash your cotton-polyester blend garments in cold water and air dry them instead of putting them in the dryer.

Pro Tip: Read the care instructions on the garment label before washing and drying to avoid damaging your clothing.

Factors that Affect Shrinkage

Factors that Affect Shrinkage

Cotton and polyester are the most common fabrics used for clothing and textiles, and they have different shrinkage rates. The factors that affect shrinkage include the type of fabric, the washing and drying method, and the temperatures used.

Yes, a blend of 60% cotton and 40% polyester will shrink if washed or dried at high temperatures. While polyester fibers do not shrink, cotton fibers do, and they make up a significant proportion of the blend. Washing with hot water and drying on high heat can cause the fabric to shrink, and the higher the temperature, the more shrinkage you can expect. To prevent shrinkage, wash blended clothing in cold water and dry on low heat or air dry. You can also opt for pre-shrunk fabric or a blend with a higher percentage of polyester if you are concerned about shrinkage.

Pro Tip: Read the care label of your clothes carefully and follow the washing and drying instructions to avoid shrinkage.

Pros and Cons of 60% Cotton 40% Polyester

A blend of 60% cotton and 40% polyester is a popular choice for clothing and textile manufacturers, but it comes with both pros and cons to consider.


  • Cotton is a breathable and lightweight fabric that makes clothing comfortable to wear.
  • Polyester is a durable fabric that is less prone to wrinkling and shrinking.
  • The blend of the two fabrics combines the benefits of cotton and polyester while minimizing their weaknesses.


  • Polyester is less breathable than cotton and may cause sweating or discomfort during hot weather.
  • Cotton is more prone to shrinkage than polyester when exposed to heat, such as in hot water washing or tumble drying.

Pro tip: To minimize shrinkage when washing 60/40 cotton/polyester blend clothing, use cold water and air dry or tumble dry on low heat.

How to Prevent Shrinkage

How to Prevent Shrinkage

If you’re wondering whether your 60% cotton, 40% polyester blend clothing will shrink, the answer is usually yes. However, there are a few tips to follow to prevent or minimize shrinkage after washing and drying.

1. Read the care label on your clothing item to determine the appropriate washing and drying instructions. Avoid high heat settings, as heat can cause shrinkage.

2. Wash your clothing in cold water with a gentle detergent. Use a delicate or hand wash cycle, and avoid using bleach or fabric softeners.

3. After washing, reshape the clothing item and lay it flat to air dry, instead of using a dryer. If using a dryer, choose the lowest heat and shortest cycle possible.

By following these steps, you can prevent or minimize shrinkage of your 60% cotton, 40% polyester blend clothing items, ensuring they last longer and continue to fit well.

Alternatives to 60% Cotton 40% Polyester

If you’re looking for alternatives to 60% cotton 40% polyester fabric, there are plenty of options available that offer different benefits and suit various needs. Here are some alternatives you can consider:

100% Cotton: This fabric is an excellent option if you’re looking for something soft, breathable, and comfortable. Cotton also holds dye well, making it great for printing designs and artwork.

100% Polyester: Polyester is durable, wrinkle-resistant, and quick-drying, making it an excellent fabric for sportswear and outdoor gear.

Cotton-Polyester Blends: If you want a fabric that combines the best of both worlds, you can choose a cotton-polyester blend with a different ratio such as 80% cotton, 20% polyester or 65% polyester, 35% cotton. These blends offer varied levels of breathability, softness, and durability, depending on the ratio.

Keep in mind that the shrinkage of the fabric can be affected by the quality and weave of the fabric, laundering conditions, and drying process.


After conducting thorough research, it can be concluded that the shrinkage of a 60% cotton, 40% polyester fabric is minimal if proper care is taken during washing and drying.

While both cotton and polyester can shrink, the blend of the two materials helps to minimize shrinkage. Washing in cold water and avoiding high heat when drying can prevent shrinkage in this type of fabric. Additionally, following the care instructions on the garment tag can help to prevent shrinkage and maintain the quality of the fabric over time.

In summary, a 60% cotton, 40% polyester fabric is a durable and shrink-resistant option for clothing and household items as long as proper care is taken in washing and drying.

Connor Goodale

Connor is the owner and chief editor of Archive Avenue, a website dedicated to fashion and lifestyle. Connor has always had a passion for style and fashion. He created this website to share his unique view of the fashion world.

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