Should you dry corduroy in a dryer? (Explained)

Corduroy should not be tumble-dried due to the fabric’s delicate nature. They are prone to shrinkage and can become misshapen when exposed to high heat. It is best to air dry corduroy naturally by either laying it flat or hanging it up to dry.

If you must use a dryer, you should use the lowest heat setting and remove the corduroy from the dryer as soon as it is dry.

Although clothes drying machines are a great way to dry your clothes quickly and with minimal effort, they can be harsh on delicate fabrics, including corduroy.

Corduroy is a relatively sturdy fabric, but it has a tendency to shrink in a dryer due to heat.

Key Takeaways

  • Not all corduroy fabrics are pre-shrunk, so you should wash or dry corduroy in cool or warm conditions.
  • Corduroy fabrics are made using delicate fibers that should always be air-dried naturally to be on the safe side.
  • Alternatively, you can use a hand-held steamer to speed up the process of drying and remove wrinkles without any damage to your corduroy garment.
  • If you are using a dryer, always dry the fabric in the lowest possible settings and the shortest available cycle.

How do you dry corduroy fabrics safely?

Corduroy can shrink, wrinkle, and get creased if you don’t use heat sources like a dryer or iron correctly.

The best way to dry corduroy is to hang it up on a clothesline or drying rack, away from direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can place the fabric flat on a dry surface, such as a towel or tablecloth, and allow the fabric to air-dry naturally.

If you must use a tumble dryer, use the lowest heat setting and remove the corduroy fabric while it is still slightly damp and let it air dry further.

There are several methods that can be used to dry corduroy fabrics safely; let us take a quick look at some of the best and safest methods below.

Air dry

Air drying has many advantages and is the best method for drying fabrics, including delicate ones like corduroy.

Corduroy items that are air-dried tend to last longer than those that are tumble-dried because the tumbling action combined with heat can break down fibers over time.

Additionally, air drying your corduroy saves you money on your energy bill, as tumble dryers use a lot of energy.

Corduroy garments that are air-dried are less likely to develop wrinkles than those that are tumble-dried.

Also, letting your corduroy fabric dry in the air can help keep its color, since heat from dryers and sunlight can cause colors to fade.

Here are a few techniques or methods to air-dry your corduroy fabric naturally.

Clothesline or hanger

The most common method is to hang the corduroy fabric on a clothesline or a hanger in a shady spot in a well-ventilated area.

Just make sure to avoid using clothespins on your corduroy garment, as the force of the clips could leave permanent marks on the fabric.

Also, it’s important to hang the fabric away from direct sunlight to keep the fabric from fading.

Drying rack or towel

Wet corduroy garments can be dried by hanging them on the rack; just don’t overstuff them and try to find a spot near a fan if you can.

Check on the clothes periodically to make sure they’re drying evenly, and you can reverse the fabric inside out for even drying.

Depending on the type of corduroy fabric and thickness of the clothing, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to completely dry on a rack.

Another method is to lay a towel over the drying rack and then place your corduroy fabric over it.


If you are tempted to use a clothes iron to remove wrinkles or to boost the drying process, set your iron to the lowest heat setting, and it should do the trick.

It is very important to place a clean, damp cloth over the corduroy item you’re going to iron.

This will help protect the delicate fibers from direct contact with the iron and prevent damage.

You may also iron on the reverse side or the wrong side of the fabric to prevent cords and naps from getting damaged.

Also Read: How to Iron Clothes Without an Ironing Board?

How to safely dry corduroy in a dryer?

Drying corduroy fabrics can be tricky when it comes to using a clothes dryer, as they are susceptible to shrinking and wrinkling.

If you must use a dryer, set it to a low heat setting on your tumble dryer, and remove them while they are still slightly damp.

You can then either hang them up to finish drying or lay them flat on a towel to prevent wrinkles.

Use a laundry bag for extra safety, and throw in some laundry balls to keep things fluffy and wrinkle-free.

Note: Do not attempt to dry the garment completely; instead, remove the corduroy fabric from the dryer while it is still slightly damp and hang it up to finish air-drying naturally.

Final Thoughts

Corduroy clothes tend to shrink when exposed to high dryer temperatures, so it’s best to dry them on the lowest possible setting or to hang them up.

Also, the cords or ridges that run vertically along the surface of corduroy clothing can be damaged if you use an iron on them. So, instead of ironing directly on the fabric, use a pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric.

Lastly, you can use handheld steamers to remove wrinkles and keep them in shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will corduroy shrink in the dryer?

Yes, heat and the strong tumbling action of a dryer can cause corduroy fabric to shrink. Always follow the care label instructions to make sure you are treating the corduroy fabric correctly.

Can you wash corduroy bags?

Most corduroy fabrics can be machine-washed with either warm or cold water along with mild detergent. However, it’s important to read the care label carefully to confirm the right method of washing, as not all corduroy fabrics are the same. Some may be made of blended fabrics, and some are not, so washing instructions will vary.

How often should you wash corduroy pants?

The frequency of washing a corduroy pant will depend on how often it is worn and how heavily soiled it is. So, just wash your corduroy pants as and when required to maintain hygiene. In general,  washing your corduroy pants every 2 to 3 wears is a good practice.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)