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Does Dri Fit Shrink? (Read This First!)

Nike Dri fit is introduced with an innovative design, allows you to keep dry, work comfortably, harder and longer.

It is one of the popular choices among many. No wonder you may have myriads of queries on your mind about dri fit garments. Does it live up to what it claims?

We will be discussing one particular question of whether it shrinks under different conditions. To learn more about it, keep reading to find out.

Does dri fit shrink?

The dri fit does not shrink. However, if it is washed in hot water or dried excessively, there are chances for shrinkage. Dri fit is either 100% polyester or cotton/poly mix. Even though 100% polyester does not shrink, cotton increases the possibility when washed in hot water or dried.

Dri fit is unique for its high-performance microfiber construction. It supports the body’s natural cooling system. You will feel the wicking and dispersing of sweat all over and allow rapid evaporation.

Even after a heavy sweat dri fit ensures a lightweight and odor-free experience. The fabric also has antibacterial technology that keeps the odor at bay. 

We brought four different types of dri fit garments. The first three focuses on Nike, while the last one is from Under armor. 

Dri fit cotton:

The cotton Nike dri fit design has 58% Cotton, 42% Polyester. It is a soft tee and delivers a sweat-wicking performance. Also, it allows a great range of motion while working out. 

The design does not shrink. However, with warm water or if dried, you may experience shrinkage.   

Dri fit shirts: 

This dri fit from Nike is again soft, durable, and biodegradable. It comes with sweat-wicking technology.

The blend of polyester and cotton is 50-50 percent. The cotton goes through a preshrunk stage which helps reduce the chances of shrinking afterward. 

Dri fit shorts:

Nike dri fit training shorts feature a lightweight dry fabric. It keeps sweat away; keeps you dry during workout sessions. The fabric is 100% polyester and does not shrink. 

Under armour dri fit: 

Under armor is another brand that sells quality dri fit apparel similar to Nike. The garments stay dry even after a rigorous workout.

The products are polyester, with 95% cotton. Also, not prone to shrinkage. 

Can Dri Fit go in the dryer? Does dri fit shrink in the dryer?

According to Nike, you should not put dri fit garment in a dryer. They suggest air dry or tumble dry on low heat.

The high heat may reduce the performance of dri-fit and contribute to static cling. They also recommend washing the cloth inside-out to keep the colors from fading.

In addition, do not wring the excess water as it can distort the fabric. Again, do not use bleach, fabric softener, or dryer sheets or do dry cleaning. 

Dri fit is sensitive to heat. That is why Nike recommends ironing on cool settings if needed. You can avoid damaging the logos and other designs.

To dry dri fit garment in a dryer is not recommended. Though the low to medium heat may not cause shrinking, excessive heat can. Also, if the dri fit is 100 percent cotton, the chances of shrinkage increase. It is, thus, best to air or tumble dry.

What is dri fit material?

Dri fit contains high-performance, microfiber, polyester fabric. Though Dri-FIT is often made almost entirely of polyester, there is also the combination of the cotton mix-up. In addition, the types of material have several distinct differences. 

The dri fit material contains blended fibers of elastin and or cotton. It indicates that dri fit designs do not always mean 100% polyester. Hence, there is a possibility of shrinking when washed in hot water or dried excessively. 

The microfiber fabric helps maintain the body’s natural cooling system. It keeps away sweat from staying, allowing rapid evaporation. The clothes thus remain dry, making you feel comfortable even in rigorous working-out sessions. 

Since the dri fit garment is moisture-wicking and breathable, the body’s natural temperature regulation mechanism works effectively.

It is best for particularly hot and humid exercise and running conditions. Once again, the dri fit helps keep you warm throughout working out in winter. 

How do you shrink polyester Dri Fit?

If you think your dri fit garment has stretched, there are ways you can shrink it back. Using hot water is one way you can shrink your garments. Here we have discussed the process step by step to follow clearly.

Turn the garment inside-out:

Since we are using heat to shrink the dri fit, make sure you turn the garment inside-out. In this way, you can keep away colors from fading. Hot water tends to damage the dyes of fabrics soon.

Again, do not wash it in warm or hot water regularly, as it could result in fading colors. 

Another tip would be not to overload the washing process with too many cloth items. Some other clothes may bleed out colors ruining your dri fit t-shirt.

Wash the garment:

Wash the garment in hot water. You need to set the washing machine temperature to the hottest setting.

Also, turn on the longest wash cycle. The ideal temperature should be 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius. Again, you may use detergent. It won’t interfere with the shrinking process.

Dry immediately:

Transfer the cloth to the dryer straight away. Use the hottest setting and longest drying cycle.


Now check the garment if it has been reduced to your desired size. Before that, bring the dri fit shirt to room temperature.

If it didn’t shorten to what you wanted, repeat the washing and drying process. Remember not to overdo it. You may notice color fading if you do it too often.

How do I make my Nike Dri Fit shirt bigger?

It is hard to stretch synthetic polyester material. It contains stable molecules, which help retain the shape. Nevertheless, it is possible. Here we will be discussing how to extend dri fit that is a polyester and cotton-based garment. 

Submerge the shirt: 

Fill a bucket or sink with warm water. However, the water should not be too hot. It should be only warm to the touch.

Submerge the dri fit shirt into the water. If the water is overheated, it may warp the garment and shrink. 

Add hair conditioner: 

Add a small amount of hair conditioner to the water. An ideal amount would be about one tablespoon or 15ml in 1quart or 0.95l of water. Wisk gently. 

It will soften your garment. You can also use baby or gentle shampoo instead. 


Soak the garment for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure the shirt is thoroughly saturated. The combination of conditioner and warm water will tense threads result in lengthening. 

The process may take about 30 minutes. By then, the water temperature will drop down to normal. 


Take the garment out and rinse. Your shirt will be slightly damp but not wet. 

Avoid wringing or twisting if the garment is blended cotton with and polyester.


Now stretch your garment to your desired fit. Stress the fabric in every direction. 

When drying, use something heavy to stretch out the material. Once you are satisfied, smooth it out. To extract out remaining moisture, lay the shirt on a towel. 

Do Dri Fit shirts run true to size?

According to Nike, the dri fit shirts stay true to size. They recommend buying the exact size. However, it may not always be accurate.

Many consumers of Nike dri fit have reported that they tend to buy a size smaller than their usual fit. One size smaller is more comfortable when working out, practice and doing other activities. 

It is mainly because the dri fit t-shirts are designed roomier. Hence, if you wear a large size, you may want to get yourself a medium one. 

However, some designs from Nike dri fit are true to size. The non-compression pro combat dri fit, for instance, remains actual in size. Still, the shirts are not baggy and have a slight taper midsection. 

For under armour dri fit shirts, choose one size bigger than the usual. Various consumers tend to buy a fit that is a size bigger. It allows more comfort and may suit you perfectly. 

Final Thoughts

Dri fit apparels are a popular choice among many. The garment introduces no shrinkage and quick sweat evaporation. However, it may happen if you use hot water or excessive drying temperature. So to avoid such issues, it is best to follow the washing guidelines the manufacturers recommend.