How to Fix a Stretched Collar? –  3 DIY Ways to Shrink Shirt Collar

Last Updated on October 29, 2023

How to Fix a Stretched Collar? Do you have a beloved t-shirt with a stretched-out collar that you wish would fit properly again? At TheSewingStuffs, we’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through 3 simple DIY techniques to shrink your t-shirt’s collar without causing any harm to the fabric. Whether you’re looking to revive an old favorite or achieve a more fitted look, our methods will help you achieve the perfect fit.

How to Fix a Stretched Collar

So, How to Fix a Stretched Collar?

Method 1: The Boiling Technique

The Boiling Technique
  • Begin by soaking your t-shirt in warm water for about five minutes. This will help loosen the fabric fibers and make shrinking easier.
  • Fill a pot with boiling water and place your shirt in it, ensuring the collar is fully submerged.
  • Allow the shirt to soak in the boiling water for about three minutes, then carefully remove it and rinse it in cold water.

Repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the collar’s fit.

Method 2: The Ironing Technique

The Ironing Technique
  • Start by soaking your t-shirt in warm water for five minutes.
  • Place the shirt on an ironing board and cover the collar with a towel.
  • Iron the towel-covered collar until it’s dry. The heat and moisture will help shrink the fabric.
  • Remove the towel and assess the fit of the shirt collar.

Method 3: The Vinegar Technique

The Vinegar Technique
  • Mix equal parts vinegar and hot water to create a solution.
  • Soak your t-shirt in the vinegar-water mixture for about five minutes.
  • Remove the shirt from the mixture and rinse it in cold water.
  • Repeat the process as necessary to achieve the desired collar fit.

Bonus: How to shrink your Formal Shirt’s Collar

Washing and drying
  • Boil Water: Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil on the stove.
  • Apply Steam: Hold the collar over the boiling water for about five minutes, exposing it to the steam and heat.
  • Measure and Note: Measure the collar’s circumference before starting, so you can compare later.
  • Dryer Time: Place the shirt in the dryer on high heat for 20-30 minutes.
  • Check Fit: Measure the collar again after drying to see the shrinkage.
  • Enjoy the Fit: Put on the shirt and experience the improved fit.

This method works best for cotton or mostly cotton shirts. Enjoy your well-fitting attire!

(Note: Washing and drying the entire shirt on hot settings may shrink the collar along with the rest of the garment.)

Explaining the Vinegar Effect

Wondering how vinegar works to shrink fabric? The acidity in vinegar breaks down the fibers in cloth, causing them to contract and leading to overall shrinkage. Boiled vinegar water has a similar effect, helping you achieve the perfect fit for your shirt collar.


There you have it—a trio of effective DIY techniques to fix a stretched collar on your shirt. Whether you choose the boiling, ironing, or vinegar method, each approach offers a simple way to bring new life to your garments. If you have any questions or need further guidance, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Your perfectly fitted shirts await!

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