Does Fleece Shrink? Fleece Fabric & Its Shrinking Potential

Before we go to answer this question, let’s look at what fleece fabric is and how you can use it. Fleece is the type of fabric that has the dynamic and versatile quality that you can use to create various clothing items, such as hoodies, jackets, shirts, blankets, and more. One excellent feature of fleece is that it can give you enough warmth when you wear it. It’s good to wear during the night or during the cold temperature. Also, you can use this fabric during your exercises or during the time you just want to look more fashionable.

The fleece fabric can keep you warm because of its structure. It can keep your body warm because it can trap the air circulation under the fabric while keeping the outside air circulation at bay. This is one reason that many clothing stores use fleece as the primary material to make jackets or blankets, and it is also the reason to wear fleece clothing during poor weather.

Characteristics of Fleece

As a fabric, fleece has various significant characteristics when compared to other fabrics, and this is the reason fleece is being used to make various types of clothing. With fleece, you can enjoy the softness, warmness, and lightweight features of the fabric when you wear it. A jacket or hoodie often uses fleece as the primary material, and one primary characteristic of a fleece jacket or hoodie is that it keeps you warm while remaining lightweight when you wear it.

So, what are the characteristics of fleece? Here are the characteristics of fleece fabric:

  • Fleece is the fabric that doesn’t create wrinkles when you handle or wash it, so you can wash this fabric without worrying about ironing it later.
  • This is the fabric that comforts you while you wear it, and it doesn’t restrict your breathing when you wear clothing made of fleece.
  • It is also the fabric that gives you a warm and cozy feeling, which is one primary reason there are many jackets and blankets made from this material.
  • Fleece is the fabric that can dry fast after you wash it, whether by hand or with a washing machine, which can save you a lot of time when you need to wear the fleece clothing again.
  • You can wash fleece clothing items with a washing machine without worrying about damaging them, as it has a durable material that can resist damage when you wash them.
  • Also, it is important to know that fleece has the characteristic of being able to build up static electricity around its fabric.

Benefits of Using Fleece Clothing and Other Items

Many fashion retailers or clothing stores offer fleece fabric in various clothing items. You can find various sweaters, jackets, shirts, hats, blankets, and other clothing items made with fleece fabric. With a lot of benefits it offers, you can get lots and lots of comfort when you wear clothing items made from this material. Fleece is also easy to wash and quick to dry, so you can save time on its maintenance and keep it in the best condition when you wear it. Here are the benefits of using fleece clothing and other items:

  • The fleece clothing, such as jackets and hoodies, will give you the warm and cozy feeling that you can enjoy on various occasions.
  • The fleece clothing will protect you from the cold temperature outside, so you will keep your body warm and comfortable during cold weather.
  • Fleece clothing items will also give you the durability that makes them last longer, as they often won’t get damaged, even when you use the washing machine or when you give them rough treatment.
  • Often, you don’t need to iron your fleece outfits because they won’t cause wrinkles on the surface after washing or drying, so you can just wear it again after washing without ironing it first.
  • Fleece clothing items, such as jackets and hoodies, are also good for you to wear during exercises, as they don’t restrict your breathing while you wear them.
  • Last but not least, fleece clothing can also keep you in style, as there are various models of fleece clothing items you can wear to keep up with the current fashion trends.
Related  How to Use a Walking Foot on Sewing Machine?

Disadvantages of Fleece

Despite its many benefits, fleece fabric also has disadvantages you need to pay attention to. Just like any other fabric, the downsides of fleece might give you some problems if you don’t maintain the fabric well. For fleece clothing, these disadvantages might put you in some uncomfortable situations if you don’t know how to deal with them. Here are the disadvantages of fleece fabric you need to know:

  • Fleece fabric has the property of keeping the cold temperature outside, meaning that you can keep yourself warm while wearing clothing made from fleece fabric. However, fleece will also trap odor within it. So, when you wear a fleece clothing item, such as a jacket or hoodie, your odor will get trapped between the body and the clothing, meaning that it can be bad if you don’t use any deodorant or body odor repellent products while wearing this type of clothing.
  • Fleece is also resistant to water, so washing fleece clothing can be difficult sometimes. This can also apply to washing the stains on the fleece clothing. You might need to give some extra effort when trying to wash the stains on your fleece clothing. The washing machine might not help you either. So, sometimes, you need to wash the stains one by one if the washing machine can’t eliminate them all.
  • You can damage the fleece fabric when you expose it at a high temperature level because this fabric has a low melting point. So, your fleece clothing will get melted and damaged if you put it on a hot temperature or iron it at a hot temperature, which you cannot repair.
  • Petroleum is the source material to create fleece fabric, so it might not be friendly to the environment. When you wash the fleece clothing, the little waste from the clothing can pollute the water system if the water system has poor If many people do this, then it would create more pollution for the water system, which is quite bad for the environment. However, the environmental impact of fleece is quite low compared to other types of pollutants.

Is It Possible for Fleece to Shrink?

In its natural state, fleece fabric won’t shrink, whether you put it in the washer or in the dryer. However, when combined with other natural fibers, such as cotton and wool, fleece fabric can shrink. So, the fleece fabric itself is the synthetic fabric that doesn’t shrink, provided that it doesn’t get mixed with natural fabrics. However, natural fleece fabrics can shrink, and you can shrink the fabric more if you expose it to a hot temperature, such as when you put the fabric in the hot water temperature.

The level of shrinkage for this fabric will depend on how you treat it. When you put it in the hot water temperature, the fabric will shrink more when compared to the normal temperature. The reason for this is that the fleece materials will create a contraction during exposure to the hot temperature, causing the fabric to shrink. So, to prevent shrinkage for the fleece fabric, it is important to keep the water temperature at normal.

The Conditions that Will Make Fleece to Shrink

Shrinking is the problem you can experience with your fleece clothing, such as when the clothing uses a mix of fleece and natural fabrics, such as cotton and wool. With this combination, you can make the fleece clothing shrink when you handle it. It is important to read the label on the clothing item to see how you should handle it. The label on the clothing will also give you information about how to wash it and whether you should iron it. Here are the conditions that will make fleece fabric shrink:

  • The biggest reason for the fleece to shrink is heat or temperature. The higher the temperature, the more chances the fleece fabric will shrink when you expose it to such a temperature.
  • You can also shrink the fleece clothing when you wash the clothing items at hot water temperature. Drying the fleece clothing at a hot temperature can also cause it to shrink.
  • Synthetic fleece, such as polyester fleece, will not be prone to shrinking. However, natural fleece will have more chances to shrink when you expose it to hot temperatures.
  • Drying the fleece clothing under the sun will also cause the clothing item to shrink if you expose it for too long under the sunlight.
  • Remember, shrinking fleece clothing can cause color bleeding, so if you want to keep the colors on your fleece clothing nice and beautiful, you need to avoid shrinking it.
Related  How Can I Make My Pants Waist Smaller Without Sewing?

How to Avoid Shrinking Your Fleece Clothing?

Clothing made of fleece can shrink over time, such as when you dry it or wash it in a way that can cause it to shrink. The shrinkage may vary from one clothing item to another, but the fact remains that shrinking can happen for your fleece clothing. So, you might buy a fleece jacket today with the L size, and you might find it to become smaller later. Thus, it is important for you to keep your fleece clothing in good condition and in perfect size by maintaining it the proper way. Here are some tips to avoid shrinking your fleece clothing:

  • Wash your fleece clothing by reading the label first, so you will know the right way to wash it. The label will give you some important advice to treat the clothing item you have bought.
  • Wash your fleece clothing by using cold water instead of lukewarm water. The cold water will keep the clothing item at its tolerable temperature, so you will avoid shrinking it later.
  • It’s also the same when you dry it. You can dry your fleece clothing with the dryer, but you need to avoid overdoing it. Drying it under the sunlight might also give problems to your fleece clothing because if the sunlight is too hot, your clothing item can shrink.
  • When ironing the fleece clothing, you need to keep in mind to use the lowest heat setting possible, as it will keep your clothing item free from shrinkage.
  • Air drying is also one of the best ways for you to wash your clothing item made of fleece, and because this fabric is quick to dry, you don’t need to wait for a long time for it to dry using the air-drying method.
  • See if your fleece clothing has synthetic or natural fabrics. For synthetic fleece, you don’t need to worry too much about shrinkage, as it won’t shrink as much as the natural fleece fabric.

Tips to Keep Your Fleece Clothing in Good Condition

Your fleece clothing needs regular maintenance to keep it in perfect condition. Fleece clothing can give you softness and comfort, but over time, the softness and comfort might wear away. This is the reason you need to keep your fleece clothing in good condition, so you can keep its softness and comfort for the long term. Taking care of the fleece clothing is something that you can do with ease, so there are no complicated steps required from you to keep it in its perfect state. Here are some tips to keep your fleece clothing in good condition:

  • For fleece clothing items, such as outerwear, you don’t need to wash them too often, as you might cause them to shrink later.
  • Follow the label to ensure that you are washing and drying the clothing items in the proper ways.
  • Before washing, check for the stains on the clothing items, and if possible, treat the stains first. Make sure that you have removed most of the stains before washing the clothing items.
  • Wash all of your fleece clothing items together to avoid any problems with other clothing items you have.
  • You need to use only cold water to wash the fleece clothing items, and you need to use a mild detergent for these items. Also, on the washing machine, you need to choose the soft washing mode to keep your clothing items in the best condition.
  • Dry your fleece clothing by hanging it, and you need to avoid putting your clothing items under direct sunlight.
Related  Thread Colors for Sewing: How it Affects the Appearance of Clothing?


  • How bad can fleece shrink? The shrinkage of the fleece fabric will vary depending on the fibers or the materials that make it. For polyester material, you can expect the fleece fabric not to shrink when you wash it at a hot water temperature or dry it at a hot drying temperature. However, for the natural material, you can expect the fleece fabric to shrink when you expose it to hot temperatures. The shrinkage will vary, but it could be up to a quarter of the original size.
  • Can you put fleece in the dryer? Yes, you can put your fleece clothing items in the dryer. However, to avoid shrinkage, you need to ensure that the dryer doesn’t have a temperature that is too hot for the fleece fabric. It should be at a normal or cooler temperature when you use the dryer to dry your fleece clothing items. You should not overdo it, so dry the clothing item just as you need it (for a few minutes) and remove it from the dryer right away.
  • Should fleece be pre-washed? You can sew a fleece fabric without pre-washing it, provided that it is synthetic fleece material. However, for natural fleece, you should pre-wash it before, as it might shrink later. Pre-washing the fleece fabric will give you an idea about how to sew it so that it won’t come out as awkward when the shrinkage happens later.
  • Does washing fleece ruin it? Washing fleece doesn’t ruin it. Please note that only natural fleece will shrink. However, if you wash your fleece fabric with cold water, there will be no problem with washing your fleece clothing items. Washing fleece will ruin it only if you use water at a hot temperature, and only if you expose the fleece fabric too much in the heat. It can shrink your fleece clothing items, and therefore ruin them. So, avoid washing your fleece clothing with hot temperature water, and always read the label on how you should wash or dry your clothing items.


So, can you expect your fleece fabric to shrink? Well, it depends on the type of fleece fabric you have. The natural fleece fabric will shrink at a high temperature, while the synthetic fleece fabric won’t shrink. This is the reason it is important for you to look at the label of your clothing item to find out how you can wash or dry it so that you can avoid shrinking it.

Also, it is very important for you to separate fleece clothing items from clothing items made from different fabrics. This is to avoid any problem during the washing or drying process, as not all fabrics will have the same characteristics, such as durability, elasticity, stretchiness, and so on.