How to Soften a Canvas Shirt

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Loosen up the canvas content in heavy shirts with household items.
Loosen up the canvas content in heavy shirts with household items. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Canvas materials are commonly woven into heavyweight shirts. Although initially stiff feeling, this cotton weave is quite durable -- even more so when wet. However, in order to increase the comfort level of the garment, you'll probably want to soften it up a bit before placing it in regular rotation.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • White vinegar
  • Fabric softener
  • Dryer balls

Set your machine to cool water, and small load size.

Add 1/2-cup of white vinegar to the machine. Toss your canvas-based shirt in the machine.

Stop the machine while there's still water and vinegar mix in the tub. Allow the shirt to soak overnight.

Re-start the machine, letting the water drain and rinsing out the old water.

Re-wash the shirt, this time adding a 1/2-cup of fabric softener to the load. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.

Toss the shirt in the dryer on medium heat with two or three dryer balls. The balls let you use a lower heat setting, while the impact of the balls increases the softening action.

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