How Much Do Jeans Shrink In Length?

How Much Do Jeans Shrink In Length? On average though, the length of jeans is most likely to shrink up to an inch or at best, an inch and a half.

You should note though that the extent to which a jean shrinks in length is to an extent, determined by the kind of fabric used in making it. Some fabrics are less prone to shrinkage while others are.

However, if jean is preshrunk, you would not be able to get any significant shrink out of them. Not in the length, width, or anywhere else.

Would a Jean stretch out at the waist?


One of the parts prone to really stretching out on jeans is the waist area. Now, the technique that revolves around a jean stretching is pretty simple – any area that experiences a lot of strain and tension is more prone to stretch. 

One of such areas on a jean, is the waist. In your every range of motion, the waist is faced with a lot of strain, causing it to relax and loosen a bit.

the more you wear the jeans and wash them, the more it stretches out. Additionally, the capacity for denim to stretch varies from one kind of denim to another. So, to get accurate stats, you have to factor that in, when making a purchase.

What to expect from new jeans – to stretch or shrink?

Realistically, jeans stretching or shrinking totally depends on how you treat them. As a rule, jeans washed in hot water will get them to shrink. So, washing new jeans using the hot settings will see them shrinking in size. However, if they are preshrunk, there would be a limit to how far they would shrink.

All things being equal, if jean is maintained properly, they would naturally stretch. As a rule, a new jean would stretch out a bit after the first wear and would continue to stretch even more as you continue to wear them frequently.

 You would most definitely; experience specific areas of the jean stretch out. These are areas that are prone to a lot of strain and tension like the waist for example. 

Are jeans supposed to feel tight when new?

 Ideally, if you get your exact size of jeans, they are bound to feel tight and slightly uncomfortable at first. This is as a result of the sturdy and highly durable fabric that these jeans are made up of.

The good thing is that you do not have to go through the extra process of having them softened or loosened. This would naturally and swiftly happen. 

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You will notice upon your next wear that, the jeans that were formally tight and fit to your body have loosened up a bit. This was made possible as a result of the strain and tension it was put through during the first wear.

Will jeans shrink after I wash them?

Generally, jeans would definitely shrink if you wash them inappropriately. Washing using the hot water settings and placing it to dry with your dryer set to the highest would get your jeans to shrink.

However, if the jeans you have are preshrunk, they would not shrink as significantly as others that are not. This still does not make it okay to wash them this way. If you do, the only thing you would achieve is less shrinkage and worn-out jeans.

If you intentionally set out to shrink your jeans, it is possible for you to achieve about 6 – 10% shrinkage and sometimes, upon the very first wash too.

Facts about 100% cotton denim that you should know

When jeans shopping, the first thing you should do before making a purchase is to check out the care tag to familiarize yourself with its make-up.

Below are a few things about the 100% cotton denim that you should know about. This will greatly assist you in making very informed choices that will guarantee optimum customer satisfaction for you at the end. They include the following:

  1. We have different people with different preferences and that applies to Jeans too. Some like it tight-fitting while others prefer it loose. If you belong to the former category, do not get your exact size with the hope that it will expand someday. Go for a size up or two sizes up depending on how lose you will like them to be on you.
  2. For those that like tight-fitting jean, purchase your regular size. Not a size smaller hoping it will stretch, the fit is never the same. The size of your 100% cotton denim jean will mold perfectly to your body and give you that perfect, cozy fit. Yes, they may be a little tight at first but will lose about an inch more to rest perfectly on your body.
  3. Length of the jean is not likely to shrink more than an inch. Having this in mind will make you know the exact length to purchase.

How to get your jeans stretched out

If you prefer your jeans free and had the unfortunate experience of getting the tight and rigid ones, do not beat yourself up and no, you do not have to toss them away. Here are a few tips that you can apply to get them stretched out. I call it the “Break in Process.”

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Do some vigorous activities while in them

Okay, relax now. I am not really saying you should go lift a mountain in them, a few exercises or dancing can do the trick.

Some squats, a few lunges, and press up will work just fine, and yeah, some salsa moves won’t be a bad idea too.

Wear them as you go about your daily chores

The more movements you have in those rigid jeans, the faster they stretch out. Any kind of movement at all, you can even wear it and walk around the house.

The moments where you will have to bend down to pick up something, go on a treadmill, jump to reach something, or just merely walking up and down the stairs will help to break them in. As you move around, the fabrics experience a lot of tension and strain that force them to stretch out.

Bathe in them

Yep, you heard right. I know this actually sounds funny but it works like nothing you have ever known. Get into your bathtub filled with warm water wearing stiff jeans; I say warm water because using hot or semi-hot water even though it would work still, would have the length shrinking as well.

Okay, chill in the bathtub for about half an hour. You can get a book to read while you are at it. It would keep you engaged so, you would not have to second guess the process midway due to boredom. 

When the timing has elapsed, get them out and allow the water to drip off. Please see that you do not squeeze them but allow the water to drip out itself. This may take a while so; get them hanged over your bathtub and momentarily forget them there. 

When the dripping has reduced, have a big towel placed beneath it and another one above it and match around it to get the excess liquid out. Once the excess liquid is out, put them back on and allow it get completely dried on your body.

I know this is highly uncomfortable but, no pain no gain right? These are the temporary pains that you need to go through to get your jeans stretched out fully. Thankfully, the pain is very short-lived. 

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Follow up with constant wearing

You must have started seeing visible progress upon or even before the third step. But, if you want them to further expand, simply follow up with constant wearing of the jean. The more you wear, the more the fibers get more and more relaxed and the jean itself stretches.


Will kind of jeans do not shrink?

If you are particular about getting jeans that do not shrink, you should make it a point of duty to, first of all, check out its material composition.

There are specific materials that do not shrink much like the cotton blends for instance. A jean made with 80% cotton blended with 20% polyester will not shrink much. At best, you can only get a 3% shrink out of it and that would only happen if you intentionally set out to do so.

Preshrunk jeans too are a perfect and reliable choice for you. 

How Much Do Jeans Shrink In Length – Conclusion

Most of the Levi jeans are preshrunk during the course of production. This clearly explains why they hardly ever shrink significantly upon subsequent washes. If you are particular about getting jeans that shrink to fit, you can opt for the ones in the Levi shrink to fit collection.

The jeans produced in this particular collection, were deliberately not made to pass through the preshrinking process. With them, you experience a far more significant level of shrink, up to 5 inches if you wish.

You should note though, that a jean cannot shrink more than 5 inches and if it so happens, it would be considered an anomaly in the world of denim.

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