Do Lululemon Leggings Shrink? (Wash, Dryer + More)

Do Lululemon Leggings Shrink

Do you know if Lululemon leggings shrink? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

When purchasing clothing, there are a number of considerations, not the least of which is the possibility of shrinkage.

And if you’re purchasing higher-end brand name clothing like Lululemon, you definitely want to know if your leggings are going to shrink before you purchase a pair.

So, do Lululemon leggings shrinks? Lululemon leggings are made from synthetic materials and pre-shrunk, so they shouldn’t shrink under normal circumstances. However, Lululemon manufacturers caution that improper care may still cause leggings to shrink by as much as 2 percent.

For more details on how to prevent shrinking in Lululemon leggings, read on.

Do Lululemon Leggings Shrink?

Lululemon leggings – part of their line of performance athletic wear – are designed to wear comfortably and last for a long time. Part of the process includes minimizing the possibility of shrinkage.

To lower the chances of having their clothing shrink when it’s worn and washed, Lululemon sells all their leggings pre-shrunk, on top of being made with synthetic fibers that are less susceptible to shrinking in the first place.

Even so, it is possible for your leggings to shrink under certain circumstances – most notably incorrect washing procedures.

What Might Cause Lululemon Leggings to Shrink?

Lululemon leggings aren’t supposed to shrink in the wash, but manufacturers say that exposure to high temperatures during laundry may cause shrinkage of up to 2 percent of the original size.

– Washing in hot water is one way shrinkage can occur.

– Drying at high heat also increases the risk that your leggings will shrink.

Why Does Hot Water or High Heat Cause Shrinkage?

When clothing is made, fibers are stretched to form the threads and woven together in their stretched state to form the complete garment.

Hot water, or high heat during the drying cycle, can cause the tension of the fibers to relax, allowing them to return to their naturally shorter state, like a rubber band being released.

Why Doesn’t Pre-Shrinking Prevent Later Shrinkage?

Even with preshrinking, some tension remains, to allow garments to maintain their shape during wear.

Repeated exposure to hot water and high-temperature drying can wear down the fibers until that last bit of tension is relaxed.

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Are There Any Reasons I Would Want To Shrink Lululemon Leggings?

You can actually use the small remaining 2 percent of possible shrinkage to your advantage in certain circumstances.

If your leggings are a little bit too large.

Sometimes, you can get caught in a position where one size is a little too small, but the next size up is a little bit too big.

At that point, buying the larger size and shrinking them a little bit may be a better option that trying to squeeze into too-small leggings

– If something stretches a little bit

The strong synthetic Lycra fibers in Lululemon leggings aren’t supposed to stretch, but sometimes even the best fibers can lose a little bit of their shape.

If this happens, you can use selective area shrinkage to try and reverse the stretched-out area and bring it back into shape.

– If you lose weight, but don’t want to purchase new leggings.

If you wind up losing weight, or even just toning up, it’s a common problem to find your clothing a little bit loose.

Rather than looking for a new wardrobe, you can try deliberately shrinking your clothing to keep them fitting comfortably.

Are There Any Methods Aside From Running A Hot Laundry Cycle to Induce Deliberate Shrinking?

If you’re actually trying to shrink your lululemon leggings, you may not want to simply toss them in the washer and dryer and hope for the best.

Boiling Water: Soaking your leggings in boiling water can help the fibers relax and shrink, but also allow you to control the temperature and length of exposure.

Hair Dryer: For trying to shrink small areas, as in cases of stretching, using a hair dryer at high heat can allow you to selectively shrink different sections of your leggings.

Iron: An iron, especially a steam iron, can be used for selective area shrinkage, or for working to shrink the whole garment. This method gives you better control over the process of shrinking your leggings.

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About Deliberately Shrinking My Leggings?

Always check the care tag and the materials before making attempts to avoid or induce shrinking. This will tell you the best methods to use for maintaining or changing the shape of your leggings.

How Can I Prevent My Lululemon Leggings From Shrinking?

If you don’t want your leggings to shrink, there are certain steps Lululemon recommends taking to keep your leggings in tip-top shape.

– Wash your leggings with other synthetic fibers, and never with towels.

Towels often shed little bunches of fiber called ‘pills’ that will adhere to your leggings and make them look worn out before their time.

Likewise, other fabrics not only have different wash requirements, but rougher fabrics may snag and wear at the fibers of your leggings.

– Be sparing with your detergent.

Too much detergent can actually damage the fibers. You really only need enough to clean the grime and sweat from your clothing.

– Avoid fabric softener.

Fabric softener can damage some of the moisture wicking properties that keep your leggings in top condition.

– Wash your clothes in cold water

The fabric will last longer and hold its shape better if you wash it with cold water and gentle cycles as opposed to warm water.

Synthetic fibers prefer cold water, so keep that in mind when you’re doing laundry.

– Air dry when possible or use a low heat cycle if you use the dryer.

The best way to dry your lululemon leggings is to let them air dry. If you need them to dry quickly, be sure to set your dryer to a low-heat cycle before you throw your leggings in.

If you do accidentally wash or dry your leggings on a higher heat, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll shrink, but it’s best to be careful.

What Can I Do If I Accidentally Shrink My Lululemon Leggings?

If you do accidentally shrink your leggings, that doesn’t mean it’s an irreparable issue.

Lululemon leggings are sold with a promise that any shrinkage will not exceed 2 percent, which means it’s relatively easy to reverse.

To reverse accidental shrinkage, the following steps are recommended:

  1. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and a gentle soap
  2. Soak your leggings for about 30 minutes
  3. Gently remove clothing from the water.
  4. Lay out on a flat towel to let the majority of the water to drain out
  5. Move to a second dry, flat towel
  6. Allow to air dry.

Once your leggings are dry, you can check the fit and repeat the process if necessary. You’ll just need to be careful not to overdo the reversal process.

What Should I Do If I’m Trying To Unshrink My Leggings and Overdo It?

All fabric has a certain amount of give, and tolerance for stretching and possibly shrinking.

If you overdo an unshrinking process, you can use one of the more controlled methods, such as a steam iron, to shrink it back down again.

However, you should be careful not to attempt shrinking or unshrinking your Lululemon leggings too much.

Too much shrinking or unshrinking can damage the fibers, and destroy the qualities that make Lululemon leggings such high-quality articles of clothing.

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Final Thoughts

The high quality synthetic fibers and pre-shrinking process used to provide a shield that should prevent your Lululemon leggings from shrinking, even if you accidentally wash them on a hot cycle.

On the other hand, if you do shrink them, or if you want to adjust the size just a little bit in either direction, there are methods you can use to make sure your leggings fit just right.

You’ll just need to be careful not to compromise the integrity of the fabric in the process.



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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