Does Polyamide Shrink? Full Guide

Published by Enaam Siam on May 7, 2023 | Last updated on May 20, 2023

Polyamide is a synthetic fiber made from polymers derived from petroleum. Also known as Nylon, is a synthetic polymer that was first produced in the 1930s. It’s made by the reaction of a dicarboxylic acid with a diamine.

It is commonly used in various industries, including textile manufacturing, automotive, and industrial applications. Known for its durability, strength, and excellent moisture-wicking properties, polyamide is a popular choice in activewear, hosiery, swimwear, and outdoor gear. However, one question that many people ask is, does polyamide shrink? 

Therefore, in this CleanersAdvisor guide, we’ll explore the characteristics of polyamide fabric and whether it’s prone to shrinkage.

Visit our CleanersAdvisor guide to read more about Non Toxic Laundry Detergents that that is free from harsh chemicals that can cause polyamide shrinkage.

What is Polyamide?

Does Polyamide Shrink

Polyamide, commonly known as Nylon, is a popular synthetic fabric used in various applications such as clothing, swimwear, and lingerie. While it offers excellent durability, comfort, and elasticity, a common concern among users is whether polyamide shrinks or not. 

Discovering the Unique Characteristics of Polyamide Fabric

Polyamide, also known as nylon, was initially developed as a substitute for silk, but it quickly gained popularity due to its durability, elasticity, and versatility. Polyamide fabric is resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and UV rays, making it an ideal material for various applications.

One of the advantages of polyamide is that it is a hydrophobic material, meaning it repels water. This property makes it suitable for activewear and swimwear, as it can wick moisture away from the skin and dry quickly. Polyamide also has excellent stretch and recovery, which allows it to retain its shape even after repeated use and washing.

Properties of Polyamide

Polyamide is a lightweight, strong, and elastic material. It is also resistant to abrasion and chemicals, making it ideal for use in a variety of applications. It is commonly used in the textile industry to make clothing, hosiery, and swimwear. Polyamide fibers are also used in the production of carpets, tire cords, and industrial fabrics.

How is Polyamide Made?

Does Polyamide Shrink

Polyamide  is made through a process called polymerization. During this process, a dicarboxylic acid and a diamine are combined to create a polymer chain. The resulting polyamide can then be spun into fibers, which are used to create a variety of products.

Does Polyamide Shrink

Polyamide is a thermoplastic material, which means that it can be melted and reformed into different shapes. However, this property also makes it susceptible to heat, which can cause the fabric to shrink.

In general, polyamide is not prone to shrinkage unless exposed to high temperatures, such as those in the dryer or when ironing. The shrinkage of polyamide can vary depending on the specific type of fabric and the conditions under which it’s washed and dried.

For instance, polyamide blended with cotton or other natural fibers may shrink more than pure polyamide. Additionally, fabrics with a higher percentage of polyamide may be more resistant to shrinkage, as the synthetic fibers are less prone to deformation.

Factors that Affect Polyamide Shrinkage

Several factors can affect the shrinkage of polyamide fabric. Some of the most common include:

  1. Heat: Heat is one of the most significant factors that can cause polyamide to shrink. The fabric should not be exposed to high temperatures, such as those in the dryer or when ironing. It’s best to hang dry polyamide garments or use the lowest heat setting on the dryer if necessary.
  2. Agitation: Agitating polyamide clothing in the washing machine can cause it to shrink. To minimize shrinkage, it’s best to wash polyamide clothing on a gentle cycle and avoid using a dryer.
  3. Chemicals: Some chemicals in detergents and other laundry products can cause polyamide clothing to shrink.
  4. Water Temperature: Water temperature can also affect the shrinkage of polyamide fabric. Hot water can cause the fibers to contract, leading to shrinkage. To prevent this, it’s recommended to wash polyamide clothing in cold water or at the temperature recommended on the care label.

How to Prevent Polyamide Shrinkage?

Follow these tips to prevent polyamide from shrinking:

  1. Do not use fabric softeners, as it can damage the fabric’s elasticity. Use a gentle detergent that is free from harsh chemicals that can cause shrinkage.
  2. Use cold water when washing polyamide clothing to avoid heat damage.
  3. Wash polyamide clothing on a gentle cycle.
  4. Use a low heat setting on your dryer.
  5. Always follow the care instructions on your clothing label.
  6. DON’T use bleach, it can damage polyamide.

Is it Possible to Stretch the Shrinkage of Polyamide Fabric?

Polyamide garments that have shrunk can be stretched to their original size in some cases. The process involves soaking the garment in lukewarm water containing a small quantity of fabric softener for about 30 minutes.

Then, the garment should be gently stretched back to its original size and hung or laid flat to dry. It is worth noting that this technique may not be effective for all types of Polyamide fabrics and may not entirely restore the garment to its original size.

How to Care for Polyamide Clothing?

To handle the polyamide clothing well, follow these tips:

  1. Wash it in cold water with a gentle detergent.
  2. Avoid high heat drying and air dry or use a low heat setting.
  3. Do not bleach or use fabric softeners containing harsh chemicals.
  4. Iron at a low temperature if necessary.

Polyamide vs Polyester: Which Shrinks More?

Image Does Polyamide Shrink Does Polyamide Shrink
Chemical structureLong-chain synthetic polymer made of amidesLong-chain synthetic polymer made of esters
Water absorptionAbsorbs moisture easilyHydrophobic, resists moisture absorption
Heat sensitivityCan’t withstand high temperaturesCan withstand high temperatures
ElasticityGood elasticity and stretch recoveryLow elasticity
ShrinkageShrinks more than polyester when exposed to heat or water
Shrinks less than polyamide when exposed to heat or water

Does Polyamide Shrink FAQs


Polyamide is a durable and versatile synthetic fiber that is commonly used in various applications, including textiles, automotive, and industrial products. While polyamide is not prone to shrinkage, exposure to high temperatures can cause the fabric to shrink.

To prevent shrinkage, it’s important to follow the care instructions on the garment label, avoid high heat, and use gentle washing and drying methods. By understanding the unique characteristics of polyamide fabric, you can ensure that your garments and products remain in excellent condition for years to come.