How to Shrink Pima Cotton

Shelly Schumacher

Pima cotton is known for its comfort and ease of wear, making it a great fabric for shirts. In its organic form, Pima cotton, which is also known as Subpima, is 50 percent stronger than other cotton varieties and is utilized for finer yarn counts.

This creates a fabric that has all the same properties as traditional cotton as well as an increased silkiness. Like standard cotton fabrics, Pima cotton also has the propensity to shrink the first time it is washed.


Check the item often during drying cycles as it can shrink very quickly.

  1. Place a pima cotton item such as a shirt in the washing machine. Set the machine to the highest water temperature.

  2. Allow the item to run through an entire wash cycle.

  3. Remove the item from the washing machine and place it in the dryer.

  4. Set the dryer to the highest heat setting and turn it on.

  5. Run the dryer for about 5 to 10 minutes, and then check the item for fit.

  6. Continue to dry the item if it is still too large. Check sizing every 5 to 10 minutes, repeating the drying cycle until an appropriate fit has been achieved.

  7. Allow the item to air dry if it is still wet after reaching the desired size.