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Madewell Jeans: Do They Shrink? (Let’s Find Out!)

Many great companies that sell great jeans fail to prevent the majority from shrinking, Though there are brands like Old Navy which don’t shrink, let’s find out on which scale Madewell jeans fit.

do madewell jeans shrink

The current generation of Madewell jeans is prewashed which means they will not shrink either in cold, warm, or hot water or even drying in low heat. However, there’s a way to shrink all Madewell jeans and the sole reason is that every pair they sell is primarily made of cotton, up to 99% and 1% is elastane. Now if we go by the fact that 99-100% cotton shrinks very quickly in the first wash to about 3-15% then why do Madewell jeans not show any significant shrinkage?

After researching all these facts Mary Pierson, a denim expert on the Madewell brand says ‘Back in the day, people complained that their jeans shrunk up to 3% on the first wash, but since the 1980s Madewell is using a lot of washes in denim which don’t result in much shrinkage’. Moreover, their new generation jeans are made with stretch denim which doesn’t allow them to shrink or bag out.

How To Shrink Any Madewell Jeans?

As we have said the majority of Madewell jeans are made of 99% cotton which is shrinkable doing certain tricks, but, what about the rest? I would say they can also be shrink to some extent – maybe that would be insignificant yet the potential is there. Why I am saying this is rest of the jeans sold by Madewell are made of over 60% cotton (including recycled quota), not more than 30% is polyester, and the rest is secondary stretchable material like elastane to provide a stretch factor for better body-hugging silhouette than regular jeans.

There are jeans where less than 35% cotton is used and still, they can shrink because of over 50% viscose material. As mentioned in this article Viscose is one of the highly shrinkable materials. One such example is Women’s Madewell Roadtripper Jeans followed by Men’s Skinny in Kenney which does not have more viscose than women’s example but 66% cotton counters it.

Nonetheless, whether the jean is made entirely of cotton or blended with synthetic materials you will not be able to see any shrinkage if you wash Madewell jeans in favorable laundry conditions. You need to go a bit extreme which I will demonstrate now.

Checklist to shrink any Madewell jeans:

  • Have around 4-5 liters of water and start boiling it, once the water is hot put single jean in it and let it boil aggressively.
  • After a few minutes of aggressive boiling, let the water cool to the point where it is in the range of very warm to hot.
  • Now remove the Madewell jeans from the pot and without squeezing any water put them in the tumble drier.
  • Dial the drier to the highest heat setting available for maximum cycle count.
  • Once the cycle count is completed, take out your jeans that are now shrunk smaller than their previous length and width.
  • If you did this in the 1980s then your jean may shrink up to 20-25% as there was not much technology to preshrunk the fabric but the current generation of Madewell jeans may only yield up to 5-10% of shrinkage as their jeans are now heavily prewashed to reduce the shrinking possibility as much as possible so that their customers will have the consistent fit for years.

How To Stretch The Shrinked Madewell Jeans To Fit Loose?

Your beloved Madewell jean may have become smaller than needed and now you may wanna the cure. Even if you have not tried shrinking them learning the trick would be helpful for future reference.

To stretch your Madewell jean, wash them in normal water and line dry the jean, also consider hanging some weight on both of the jean’s legs using clippers and so. When you line dry the jean with added weight at the bottoms the mass of the jean tend to draw downwards and result in an extension of the length of the jeans.

Concluding With Best Advice:

It is the saying of ancient to learn the fitting of your clothes before buying so you don’t have to regret it later and waste your time and resources to shrink them. That’s why I highly recommend that you do some research on how Madewell jeans fit, are they tend to sit loose or tight on the legs. And then correct the size of the Madewell size chart so that you don’t have to go through all these headaches.

If you still end up with ill-fitting jeans then refer to Madewell’s return policy to replace them with the fit that you may think will fit better or if that’s not possible then a professional tailor could be your best bet.

The point is to have the shrinking process as the last option as during the process your jeans may shrink awkwardly and not from the places you wanted, the wear and tear that a long laundry cycle causes to any Madewell jean will reduce its usable lifespan compared to those that are washed as per care label of jeans and don’t wash them often.

Lastly, if you are a man/women worried about the shrinking of Madewell jeans then kick the worry because no Madewell jeans will shrink if they are washed in cold, warm, or hot water (use hot water only in case of stains), and even tumble drying in low setting (though line drying is the best option). Also, you can iron the pair in low heat. So have your peace!