Do Lee Jeans Shrink?

The Lee is a brand of well-known denim jeans. They are very durable fabrics styled and made with quality, innovation, longevity, and durability.

Of course, it’s natural for jeans to undergo shrinkage as a result of being worn and washed but at Lee, the jeans only increase in length and they feel tighter.

Although through the help of innovation, design, and the fact they’ve made it easier to help you find your perfect fit, they still shrink.

They are usually made of 100% fabric and before production, each and every roll of the denim fabric is checked for dimensional stability and the percentage of the shrinkage in length and width is usually determined.

The Lee jeans shrink 6% to 9% after the first wash and they feel tighter after every wash and wear which is why you are expected to keep shrinkage in mind when buying a pair of Lee jeans.

Why do Lee jeans shrink?

It gets really annoying when you get a new pair of jeans only to discover that they’ve shrunk within a few months later. Lee jeans like other jeans and clothing are susceptible to shrinking.

This typically occurs most times when they are worn and washed several times. So why does this phenomenon happen?

They are not pre-shrunk

It might sound obvious and absurd but the most important to know about the Lee jean is that most of them are sanforized (pre-shrunk) and most of them are not so for the ones that are not pre-shrunk, it is very natural for them to undergo shrinkage.

Excessive heat

One of the reasons why these jeans shrink is because they are usually exposed to heat. It constricts which leads to the shrinkage of the fabric of the jean.

Washing and drying

The fibers in the Lee jeans are made of long molecular chains which are bound together by hydrogen bonds.

Washing and drying all the time results in the pulling and stressing of the hydrogen bonds and when this occurs, it causes the jean to shrink.

Presence of polyester

Polyester is very important in the production of Lee jeans because it makes them more elastic.

They feature a combination of fabrics and materials like polyester which is susceptible to shrinking.

It has the tendency to cause the jean to shrink but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll cause your jean to shrink 4 to 6 times after being washed, but you should expect them to shrink after a long period of time.

Drying consecutively

One of the mistakes we all make is drying our Lee jeans two or Kore times. Drying them consecutively may sound harmless to you but it contributes to shrinking.

100% cotton blend and hot water

The Lee jeans are made of 100% cotton and cotton is known to shrink whenever you wash it with hot water.

When you wash the Lee jeans, they tend to shrink because the cotton is made up of plant fibers. Plants remain unstable when they come in contact with heat or when they get too hot and the same thing applies to plant-based cotton.

How do you fix a shrunk Lee jeans?

The Lee jeans are made differently and the factors listed above cause them to shrink. Luckily there are ways to fix a shrunk Lee jeans.

If they get too tight

I mentioned above that when the Lee jeans shrink, they reduce in size so if you fall under this category, as long as you follow the steps below properly, I can assure you that you can bring your jeans back to shape.

  • Spray warm water on the areas that are tight.
  • Then stretch it and then lay the jeans out on the floor.
  • Use your hands to manually stretch the jeans while they are wet. Pull the areas that are tight to reshape the fabric.
  • You can stretch and pull them in any direction you want and you must constantly reapply the warm water.
  • Lay them flat to dry.

The warm water will help and loosen the jeans bit by bit and hang line/dry the jean when you’re done.

If they increase in length

You might be wondering how possible it is for a shrunk jean that has increased in length can go back to normal. I mean there’s truly no better feeling in the world than wearing a Lee jean that fits perfectly just follow the steps below.

There are three methods to getting your Lee jean back to a full size down and they include:

The boiling method

This is done by putting your jean in boiling water(ensure that the temperature is very hot).

  • Put water in a pot big and wide enough to contain your jean on a stove.
  • Carefully put your jeans into the water to avoid splashing of any kind.
  • Leave it for about 20 to 40 minutes.
  • Turn off the stove and carefully remove your jean from the pot using tongs or any other instrument.
  • Leave them to dry

The washing method

This method is similar to the above.

  • Gather your shrunk stretched jeans
  • Put it into the washing machine and increase the temperature to the highest and hottest temperature.
  • After washing, put them in the dryer.
  • After it must have dried properly, you can put them on.

The ironing method

This is the easiest step but it is time-consuming. You can iron the areas that are shrunk by applying a little amount of cold water and by doing this, you can watch slowly how your jean get back to shape.

How to prevent Lee jeans from shrinking

Of course, shrinking is common in Lee jeans, in any case, there are certain ways you can prevent your jeans from shrinking.

Buy pre-shrunk Lee jeans

Instead of going through the stress of battling with shrunk jeans, you can easily buy the pre-shrunk jean.

When choosing a pair of Lee jeans, read the tag on them to know what exactly it is made of.

For instance, the traditional denim jeans are made of some materials and fabrics, some of these materials are susceptible to shrinking.

To avoid the stress of having to fix a shrunk jeans you should focus on buying a pre-shrunk jean from and you wouldn’t have to worry about it shrinking in the nearest future.

Wash with caution

You might be surprised to know that you can prevent your Lee jeans from shrinking by washing them inside out.

The outside of the jean is usually susceptible to shrinking because it is one of the delicate parts of the jean. Start by taking a few minutes to turn your Lee jeans inside out before washing them.

Dry once

A common mistake people make is drying jeans consecutively (two or more times). Do not forget your jean in the dryer and don’t dry your jean with the hope of removing the wrinkles from them.

Drying your jeans constantly causes them to shrink so to prevent this, line dry once.

Buy high-quality Lee jeans

To prevent shrinking, it is worth knowing that choosing high-quality Lee jeans will lower the chance of shrinkage.

People feel that the fact two pairs of jeans look similar, they are the same but they don’t know that the same pair of jeans doesn’t necessarily mean they are the same type.

There are different qualities of Lee jeans along with different levels of craftsmanship. However, if you choose quality jeans, you could get a custom sizing that specifies your own body measurements to get the jeans that fit right without shrinkage or are less susceptible to shrinkage.

Always avoid hot temperature

The more exposed your jean gets to heat, the more it becomes susceptible to shrinking. Drying the Lee jeans in hot temperatures can shrink it up to 20%.

The Lee jeans are made of durable fabric but to prevent shrinking, you cab freeze clean it oftentimes to keep them looking nice and to avoid shrinkage.


Some time ago, cotton clothing used to shrink but Lee found a solution even though it was a bit of a hassle, and Lee came up with the sanforized jeans which had gone through a compressive shrinking process.

Unlike your regular kind of jeans, the Lee jeans are cool pairs of jeans that anyone could wear. Ranging from a mom to even a child, it all comes down to our preferences.

No one wants to bring out a jean from the closet just to find out that it has shrunk especially when we’ve pictured a perfect fit in our head.

The Lee jeans tend to shrink as time goes by which is why you should always buy jeans that you can barely fit into as time goes by, they will eventually become the right size but it is very important to prevent shrinkage with the steps I’ve written above.

A good pair of Lee jeans can last you a decade but a little maintenance from time to time won’t cost much.


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