Are Carhartt Shirts Pre-washed?

Carhartt is one of the best activewear clothing brands. Carhartt shirts in particular are known for their baggy look. They are made of duck cotton; hence, they’re easily distinguished for their comfort. 

Since it’s duck cotton, people usually think whether or not their pre-washed Carhartt shirt will shrink – the answer is, mostly NO! Carhartt pre-washed shirts do not shrink. Even if they do, the shrinkage will never be more than 5% the size of the shirt.  

If you’re planning to buy a Carhartt shirt that’s bigger than your regular size because you think even 5% shrinkage will be more, then you’re wrong. These shirts are already designed to be roomy. You can go a size up and down if you’re someone in between the sizes offered by Carhartt for their shirts.  

This article sheds light on everything you should know about the size guide of Carhartt shirts and whether or not they will shrink in a dryer. Dive in for details! 

Are Carhartt Shirts Pre-washed

What are Carhartt shirts made of: Are Carhartt Shirts Good?

Carhartt shirts are made of 100% duck cotton. They’re super comfortable. If your definition of good is non-allergenic, comfy and stylish, and durable, then yes, Carhartt Shirts are really, really good.

Did you know that there are as many as 30 different colors available in Carhartt shirts? What’s even better is Carhartt shirts do not fade even after multiple washes.

That said, every fabric has its limitations. With Carhartt shirts, that limitation is ideal washing temperature: always follow the washing instructions as mentioned by the seller. Usually, it’s recommended to wash Carhartt pre-washed shirts using cold water. 

Top 3 Advantages of Carhartt Shirts Over Other Workwear

It shouldn’t be rocket science that there are many, many brands in the market that manufacture workwear. Yet, out of the many, Carhartt prewashed cotton shirts are some of the best options. 

The three reasons that these shirts have been holding to their top spot for about 25 years now have been listed in the upcoming sections.

#1. They offer freedom of movement

This is probably the primary reason why many workers with tools prefer wearing Carhartt shirts to work. 

These pre-washed shirts allow a lot of room for movement. What’s even more encouraging is that they have spacious pockets that workers can (and do) use to keep a tool or two handy. 

#2. They are super comfortable

Carhartt pre-washed shirts are very comfortable. For starters, these shirts are breathable and lightweight. Some other noteworthy features that these shirts are so comfy are as follows:

• Since pre-washed duck cotton doesn’t shrink considerably, you don’t really have to worry a lot about what size is the right size. Follow the size chart provided and you should be good.  

• These shirts have stunning moisture-wicking properties. Hence, they won’t make you hot or cling to your body even if it’s hot.

#3. They’re actually stylish

Yes, these are workwear shirts. But that’s not all. Carhartt shirts are also manufactured to be stylish under the brand name of Carhartt WIP. 

Especially women who like oversized shirts, they’ll love Carhartt WIP shirts as streetwear. 

That’s not all! Nowadays, since these shirts are as much for fashion as they’re for practical purposes, they’re made in three fits:

      1. Original fit 
      2. Relaxed fit
      3. Slim fit 

So, no matter who you are (a man or a woman), no matter your purpose of buying a pre-washed Carhartt shirt (workwear or fashion clothing), and no matter your size, Carhartt shirts have all options!

Why are Carhartt clothes so big?

As we’ve already explained, Carhartt shirts are designed for comfort and freedom of movement since they’re for hardworking people, they’re big. 

The Carhartt shirts run large because larger size fits the purpose. However, the company does manufacture options for slim-fit crop tops (under the name of Carhartt WIP) if that’s what you, as a style diva, want.

Carhartt pre-washed shirts and their washing myths

When you’ve purchased a Carhartt pre-washed shirt, trying to shrink it considerably won’t give the results you might be looking for. By no means will the shirt reduce any less than 5% its size. 

Similarly, if you’re trying to unshrink a pre-washed Carhartt shirt, again, there’s a limit. You can expect the shirt to go a couple of sizes up. 

So, when you buy a Carhartt pre-washed shirt, buy the right size. 

Let’s now address the biggest washing myths in the form of questions below.

Will Carhartt shirts shrink in the dryer?

The answer is no. If the Carhartt shirt was already pre-washed, it won’t shrink. So, don’t try to tumble the shirt in shrilling hot temperature settings in your dryer again and again. It will only weaken the fabric.  

See also: Will a Carhartt Jacket Shrink in the Dryer?

Do Carhartt shirts shrink in the wash?

Again, no! You can’t shrink pre-washed Carhartt shirts in the wash. If you think putting the shirt in shrilling hot water will help, you’ll be up for a rude surprise. 

Sellers usually have a caution that pre-washed Carhartt shirts shouldn’t be washed at temperatures more than 70°C. Usually, cold water is the best for washing Carhartt shirts. 

How to take care of your pre-washed Carhartt shirts?

1.) Don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

2.) Don’t starch your pre-washed Carhartt shirt (at least, don’t starch it too often).

3.) When you tumble dry in the dryer, set the heat to low or medium. 

Carhartt Shirts Size Chart for Men


      • Chest – 34 to 36 inches
      • Waist – 28 to 30 inches
      • Hip – 34 to 36 inches.


      • Chest – 38 to 40 inches
      • Waist – 32 to 34 inches
      • Hip – 38 to 40 inches


      • Chest – 42 to 44 inches
      • Waist – 36 to 38 inches
      • Hip – 42 to 44 inches


      • Chest – 46 to 48 inches
      • Waist – 40 to 42 inches
      • Hip – 46 to 48 inches


      • Chest – 50 to 52 inches 
      • Waist – 44 to 46 inches
      • Hip – 50 to 52 inches


      • Chest – 54 to 56 inches
      • Waist – 48 to 50 inches
      • Hip – 54 to 56 inches


      • Chest – 58 to 60 inches
      • Waist – 52 to 54 inches
      • Hip – 58 to 60 inches


      • Chest – 62 to 64 inches
      • Waist – 56 to 58 inches
      • Hip – 62 to 64 inches


      • Chest – 66 to 68 inches
      • Waist – 60 to 62 inches
      • Hip – 66 to 68 inches

Carhartt Shirts Size Chart For Women

X-tra Small

      • Bust – 33 inches
      • Waist – 27 inches
      • Hip – 36 inches


      • Bust – 34 to 35 inches
      • Waist – 28 to 29 inches
      • Hip – 37 to 38 inches


      • Bust – 36 to 37 inches
      • Waist – 30 to 31 inches
      • Hip – 39 to 40 inches


      • Bust – 38 ½  to 40 inches
      • Waist – 32 ½  to 34 inches
      • Hip – 41 ½  to 43 inches


      • Bust – 41 ½  to 43 ½ inches
      • Waist – 35 ¾ to 38 inches
      • Hip – 44 ½ to 46 ½ inches


      • Bust – 45 ½  to 47 ½ inches
      • Waist – 40 ¼  to 42 ½ inches 
      • Hip – 48 ½  to 50 ½ inches

1X Plus 

      • Bust – 44 to 46 inches
      • Waist – 38 ¾ to 40 ¾ inches 
      • Hip – 46 ½ to 48 ½ inches

2X Plus

      • Bust – 48 to 50 inches
      • Waist – 42 ¾ to 44 ¾  inches
      • Hip – 50 ½ to 52 ½ inches

3X Plus

      • Bust – 52 to 54 inches
      • Waist – 46 ¾ to 48 ¾ inches
      • Hip – 54 ½ to 56 ½ inches


1. Do Carhartt 100% cotton shirts shrink?

If the shirts are pre-washed, then, mostly no! Even if pre-washed 100% duck cotton shrinks, it’s not more than 5%.

2. Do Carhartt run big or small?

Carhartt shirts usually run bigger. Their original purpose is to provide freedom of movement to workers. Hence, keeping in mind that nothing should restrict the movement, these shirts are made loose and baggy.

3. Why are Carhartt shirts so long?

Comfort is the first reason, obviously. The second reason is that they were originally designed as workwear garments. Lastly, they’re meant to be tucked in. Hence, they’re usually long.

4. Where are Carhartt shirts made?

They’re made in the USA and Mexico.

Concluding Thoughts

Pre-washed Carhartt shirts that are made of 100% duck cotton do not shrink in the dryer or in the wash. Even if there’s any shrinkage, it’s not more than five percent. 

The best way to find a Carhartt shirt that’ll fit you is to buy one closest to your size (if your size runs between the sizes offered by the brand). 

Bear in mind, as long as you don’t wash your pre-washed Carhartt shirt at temperatures more than 70° C, the color won’t fade and the shirt will last. 

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

Related Posts: