Do Uniqlo Jeans Shrink?

Yes, Uniqlo jeans will shrink when you wash them. The reason is that Uniqlo Jeans are unsanforized which is a process where the jeans are preshrunk.

Sanforized jeans have gone through a process where they are shrunk before they are sold to the public.

The jeans are moistened, and run through a hot belt which shrinks the fibers in the denim (more about this in a bit).

Hence when you buy the jeans you get a fit that doesn’t change. You can always trust that the size you buy is yours and won’t get tighter when you begin to wear it.

Why Uniqlo Jeans shrink


To understand what happens that makes Uniqlo Jeans shrink after you buy it, you first have to understand the process of preshrunk jeans.

This process is called sanforization. The denim is fed into a sanforizing machine, it is moistened or steamed.

Two rotating cylinders compress the denim, literally expanding it. Later the denim is relaxed.

The amount of pressure that’s exerted on the garment determines how shrunk it would stay when the user begins to wear it.

The greater the pressure the less shrinking when the user begins to wear it.

Uniqlo Jeans goes through this process which means when you wash and wear it, expect it to fit tighter after.

If you are curious about where this process comes from, here’s a small history.

The man Sanford Lockwood Cluett is credited with the process. He patented it in 1930.

He used this process to prevent clothes from shrinking after you wash them. Sanforization makes it easier to buy the right size of jeans.

What To Do When Your Uniqlo Jeans Shrinks 

Very likely it wasn’t part of the plan to have your jeans shrunk. Furthermore, your jeans don’t quite fit anymore. If your Uniqlo jeans shrink you would likely want to unshrink it.

Follow these instructions to get your jeans back to normal:

Prepare Lukewarm Water

Get a clean spray bottle that’s out of commission. Wash it thoroughly to get the former chemical totally out. Fill it with lukewarm water.

Stretch the Jean Out

Lay the jeans on a plain and straight surface. Make sure the surface contains the whole jeans. Smoothen the fabric out so that it would be easier to use your hands on it.

Make sure the surface you lay it on is not slippery too.

Spray and Pull

Apply the lukewarm water on the areas of the jeans where you feel the tightness and pull those places in opposite directions.

Be sparing with the spray, don’t get the jean drenched. Make sure the stretching is even so that you don’t disfigure the look of the jeans.

Air it out

Next let the jeans dry out. Avoid direct harsh sunlight. You can leave the jeans to dry on a flat surface or simply hang it from the clothes line.

When the jean is dried try it on to make sure it is stretched.

Using Shampoo to Stretch Your Uniqlo Jeans

This procedure should relax the fabric of your jeans and get it to fit you properly again. Follow the following instructions:

Lukewarm Water

Pour it into a bucket. Let it be enough to allow you to submerge your jeans in it completely.

Pour Shampoo

Get any kind of shampoo and pour it in lukewarm water. Run the water and shampoo together to make it mix.

Work the Shampoo Water into the Jeans

Your aim here is to get the shampoo mix into the jeans. This helps to get the shampoo into the fibers of the jeans.

Squeeze the Water out of the Jeans

Now take the jeans out of the shampoo water and squeeze the water out. But squeeze gently, do not ring or squeeze excessively.

Roll the Jeans in a Towel

Get a towel that has been in use before so that the fibers don’t rub off on the jeans.

Lay the towel on the floor, overlap the jeans on it, roll the towel up with the jeans in it. Gently press on the towel so that the towel absorbs the moisture.

Pull on the Jean as it Dries

Now get a new towel that’s dry and has been in use before. Lay it down, lay the damp jeans on it and begin to stretch it until you are satisfied it is all stretched.

Allow to Dry

Leave the jeans on the towel and allow it to dry while on it. When they are dried, try them on to see if it’s now stretched out.

Another method:

This method you can apply if the jeans are not beyond saving. That is, if the jeans have not shrunk to the point where you can’t wear them again.

Fill a Bath with Water

Make sure the bath is big enough. Fill it with warm water. Make sure the bath is full to the point where your jeans can be submerged in it.

Put the Jeans on

If possible, put the jeans on. Leave it unbuttoned. Make sure the jeans are as high on you as possible.

Sit in the Bath

While wearing the jeans, sit in the bath and make sure the jeans are completely swallowed in the water while it’s on your body. You should be in the bath for at least 30 minutes or until the water is cold.

Dry the Jeans

When the water is cold and you are satisfied your jeans fit better, get out of the bath and pat the excess water down with a towel.

Hang the jeans to dry. Put it on when it’s dry to make sure you now have a good fit.

Important note: you are not trying to wash dirty jeans here. You are trying to get them to stretch. Using a hot water cycle doesn’t only end up shrinking the fabric the more.

How to prevent Uniqlo from shrinking 

The less you wash your Uniqlo the better they retain their fit and don’t shrink. On the Uniqlo website they provide the following tips to keep your jeans in shape:

Spot Cleaning

This is the art of cleaning just the spots on your jeans where there may be stains. You spot clean by using a toothbrush or washcloth with mild soap and water to remove stains.

Doing this means you only wash your jeans once every 10 to 12 rounds of wear.

Cold wash

This prevents your jeans from shrinking. As noted earlier, washing your jeans with warm water causes it to shrink or fading. Cold washing also allows you to use less energy.

Wash inside out

Before washing, turn the inside of the jeans out. This helps reduce incidence of fading.

Air dry

You will be tempted to use dryers for your washed jeans, resist it. Air dry instead. This helps your jeans keep it’s shape and fit and also reduces shrinking.

Wash by Hand

Jeans are tough materials. This is why you will be tempted to wash and dry in a machine. You should rather wash by hand in cold water.

If you must use a detergent, use a very mild one, and let the quantity be little. Let the jeans soak before rinsing it.

How Does Uniqlo Fit?

Uniqlo doesn’t come true to size. When buying one, make sure to size up. And it isn’t just the jeans you need to size up for. Most of Uniqlo’s garments come a little small.

This wouldn’t be an issue if not that after the clothes have been through several washes they tend to shrink.

Do Uniqlo Jeans run Small?

Yes, they run small.

But not so much that it is a huge detriment to enjoying the jeans.

When buying Uniqlo jeans you have to size up.

If you wear a waist size of 27, you have to size up to 28 or more depending on the fabric of the jeans.

It makes a lot of sense to assume that the thicker the fabric of the jeans the more shrinkage you will get when you wash it.

Do Uniqlo jeans stretch out?

Uniqlo jeans generally do not stretch out. Rather, they shrink.

The brand offers a variety of stretch jeans like the Ultra Stretch High-Rise Skinny-Fit Jeans below from their Masterpiece line of clothes.

You can always go for the stretch jeans available in their jeans line.

This denim was designed to provide all the stretch you can get from your jeans.

This jeans is their stretchiest ever. It was made with proprietary stretch thread.

The only time you can get your Uniqlo jeans to stretch is by following the stretching tips provided above for jeans that shrink.


Uniqlo has distinguished themselves as a brand that can be reckoned with in the world of denim production.

As they say, different strokes for different folks.

Uniqlo, as the name suggests, is the best brand to buy if you want a snug fitting jeans, or one that shrinks as you wash.

You can develop the art of buying one size bigger, then wash constantly until you get the snuggest fit.

So the shrinking thing isn’t such a cons, you only need to change your perspective about jeans and how it should be won.


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