How To Shrink Yoga Pants and Leggings? Simple DIY Hacks

If your favourite pair of leggings is all stretched out and you are wondering how to shrink leggings that are too big? then you are on the right page. We will here take you through a few simple DIY hacks that will help you to shrink your leggings to your right size and fit. 

Why Do you Need to Shrink Leggings and Yoga Pants ?

Fashion trends have once again come a full circle and now leggings have become a holy grail in clothing. Every woman possesses a pair of comfortable leggings which is her favourite and her go-to item of clothing in her wardrobe. 

However, there’s a perpetual problem that we face with leggings- with regular use and daily wash they tend to sag specially in the knee area and near the ankles.

And you are stuck between throwing away your favourite pair and not parting with them till their wear and tear. But how can you wear a saggy legging? There’s a trick!

There are simple tricks to handle shagging of leggings

Yes, you heard us right! There are tricks to deal with leggings from sagging and in this article we are going to talk about how to shrink leggings that are too big.

Instead of going to the tailor or buying a new pair, we are going to tell you how to shrink back those favourite pair of yours right at home and all by yourself. This will save both money and time.

There are a number of DIY ways you can turn your leggings back to being skin-tight with things you’ve got at home. So, let us not waste any more time. Let’s dive into it right away.

Heat is the Secret Sauce to Shrink Leggings to Size

To shrink saggy leggings, the secret behind it is heat. When heat is applied on stretchy fabrics they tend to shorten the threads making them to jump back to their original size. 

However, you need to understand the right amount of heat that needs to be applied and how it must be done. This will help tighten the loose threads of the fabric without destroying your leggings.

How To Shrink Leggings that Are Too Big? Detailed Tips and Tricks 


Use a Washing Machine and Dryer

We have already talked about how heat is the primary agent that helps to shrink your clothes. Therefore, you can use a washing machine and a dryer to shrink your best pair of leggings


All you need to do is wash your pair of leggings in a washing machine which you set it on a hot water wash and a hot water rinse cycle program.

The hot water primarily tightens the fabric yarns and prevents them from relaxing out. However, to deal with this problem most stretchy items usually come pre-shrunk, so using a combination program of heat, water and friction will serve the purpose of binding back your fabric.

If you really want to wash your pair then you can even use detergent in the same cycle which will not hamper the process of shrinking in anyway.


Once the program of heat, water and friction is decided upon choose the longest wash cycle setting that is available in your washing machine.

This is because the shrinkage of your leggings is directly proportional to the amount of water, heat and friction it receives- the longer the wash cycle, the better the shrinking.

This again happens because in a longer wash cycle setting the fabric gets a considerable amount of time to soak the hot water in in order to start with the shrinking process.


In the washing machine, the hot water and the friction against the fabric is what initiates the shrinking process. Once the washing and the rinsing is done, it is time to apply some dry heat to remove the excess water from the fabric.

If this is the first time you are trying your hands on shrinking your leggings at home; then make sure that you keep a regular check on them so that they do not shrink too much.

One very important point that you must remember while shrinking your leggings is that the shrinkage happens both ways- length and width. This process will make your leggings tighter and smaller.

If the fabric of your legging contains polyester, then you must also remember that polyester requires higher heat (155-178 F) to shrink and thus might need to run through 5-10 cycles to get the sufficient amount of shrinking.

When you wash your leggings in washing machine, the constant agitation and friction along with the heat and the hot water is what brings about the shrinking.

As mentioned earlier you should choose the longest cycle as it gives ample amount of time for the water to soak in. In case, you do not have a washing machine in your home, you can even take a pot of water and bring it to boiling and then soak the leggings in the boiling water for about ten minutes.

Once done press out the excess water. Or you can even soak it overnight in warm water. These will also serve your purpose of shrinking your leggings that have become saggy and baggy.


Use Electric Iron

Once the washing is done, you need an electric iron to further carry on with the shrinking process. Pre-heat your iron on low to medium heat and you are ready.

Remember not to use a very hot iron on leggings which have polyester or nylon as one of the fabric components. Too much of heat might warp or melt the fabric leading to destruction of your legging.


Once your wash cycle is over, bring out the legging from the washing machine and lay it out smoothly on the ironing board.

For this you also need a dish-drying towel to cover the first section that you are about to iron. This will ensure that the fabric does not get ruined in anyway while allowing optimum heat to pass through.

In case your legging is made of pure cotton fabric then you can skip the use of the dish-drying towel altogether.


And now we have finally arrived at the part where you need to do the ironing. Make sure to iron one-section at a time as you move it over the legging putting adequate amount of pressure.

This will help the water to evaporate drying up your pair of the excess water and then you can easily let the legging to air dry. However, while ironing you must ensure that you keep moving the iron or it will end up burning the fabric.

Also, remember not to use steam as the whole point of shrinking your leggings will be lost. 

Another alternative for an iron is a hair dryer. Using a hair dryer might take longer time, but the amount of heat will be sufficient.


Shrinking Without Washing

This is another good way of shrinking your saggy leggings which you can carry out in your home.


If you do not find the time to wash or rinse your legging, you can just sprinkle some clean water on it using a spray bottle to lightly moisten your legging. 

It shouldn't be like completely wet, but it needs to be soggy enough to carry out the next steps.


Then, using an iron, a hair dryer or clothes dryer dry your leggings. If you are using an iron, apply heat from low to medium. In case of hair dryer or clothes dryer use the hottest setting possible.


If you wish to shrink the waistband, then you should dampen it separately and then loosely hang it around a clothes hanger. Once it falls smoothly from the hanger, use a hair dryer particularly on the waistband to shrink it as per your requirement.

Concluding Thoughts


Stretched out and saggy leggings is a common thing. Stretchy materials are going to get stretched with regular use. So, the aforesaid ways are going to increase the shelf-life of the legging without sagging too quickly.

However, these ways are not going to prevent it altogether. In case you have ended up buying leggings a larger size, you can use these methods too in order to shrink them. So go ahead and shrink your favourite pair, you do not need to throw them right away!

Use these ways and methods and shrink your favourite pair of leggings that are too big and you are good to go!