10 Things You Must Know About American Eagle Jeans

  • By: Tiffany Peris
  • Time to read: 12 min.

Many people love American Eagle jeans for different reasons. However, the jeans are ‘expensive,’ so it is essential that once you have bought American Eagle jeans, you take good care of the jeans so that they last you a long time.

But you can’t take care of your American Eagle jeans if you don’t know how to care for the jeans – right? This article discusses American Eagle jeans in detail as it explains how to shrink, wash, stretch, and dry the jeans. Then, you can follow the tips given to ensure that you take good care of your jeans.

1. Do American Eagle Jeans Shrink?

The key factors determining whether American Eagle jeans will shrink are the fabric used to make the jeans and the conditions the jeans are subjected to. Moreover, if the jeans are pre-shrunk, the extent to which the jeans can shrink is limited.

American Jeans will shrink under specific conditions. The jeans are made from either 100% cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. When the jeans are subjected to high temperatures in the washer or dryer, they can shrink between 2 – 5% since they are pre-shrunk.

To ensure that you don’t shrink your American Eagle jeans, you should always wash your jeans as per the care label. If you cannot find the care label, you can wash the jeans in a gentle or cotton wash cycle. When drying your American Eagle Jeans in a dryer, dry the jeans either in cotton or a gentle cycle.

If you wash the jeans in a cold or warm water setting, the jeans will not shrink. This is because the cold water cannot apply any tension to the jean’s fabric fibers; hence, no shrinking can happen. However, if the jeans are washed and dried at a high-temperature setting, the heat will release the tension, thus making the jeans shrink.

2. Are American Eagle Jeans Preshrunk?

All American Eagle jeans are pre-shrunk or pre-washed. In addition, the jeans undergo a controlled process when they are being manufactured to ensure that they can prevent additional shrinkage once the jeans have been bought and are worn.

To pre-shrink the denim, the American Eagle uses a controlled process to ensure that the jeans are shrunk and cannot quickly shrink once they have been sold. The pre-shrinking process mainly involves three significant steps.

The first pre-shrinking process involves stretching the cotton fabric used to make the jeans. After that, the fabric is placed in an industrial dryer that blows hot air into the fabric while at the same time agitating it. Through this process, fibers can relax and get back to their initial shape. Lastly, the fabric is compacted with steam, and any air between the fibers is removed.

Thus, when shrinking pre-shrunk jeans, you must note that you can only shrink the jeans up to 3%, and in extreme cases, the jeans can shrink up to 5%. However, if the jeans are not pre-shrunk, they can shrink up to 10%.

If you want to know whether your jeans have been pre-shrunk, you can look at the care label. In most cases, manufacturers of jeans such as American Eagle specify on the care label whether the jeans have been pre-shrunk or not.

If the care label does not specify whether the jeans are pre-shrunk, you can go online and check the product description by the manufacturer or seller. Most of the time, the sellers and manufacturers of different jeans provide this information on their official websites.

3. How To Shrink American Eagle Jeans?

You need to have moisture, heat, and agitation to shrink jeans. The three elements are necessary for the jeans shrinking process since they constrict the strips of the jean fabric. As a result, the weave of the jeans fabric becomes tighter, resulting in the size becoming small. However, when jeans are washed in full compliance with the care label directive, you might get a negligible shrink or no shrink.

When American Eagle jeans are exposed to excessive heat as they are being washed or dried, they can shrink. The shrink, in this case, will be because the jeans are mainly made from cotton fibers, which makes cotton a natural fabric. Thus, since natural fibers shrink when exposed to heat, American Eagle jeans made from 100% cotton or a cotton-polyester blend will shrink.

However, it is essential to note that the shrink in American Eagle jeans is mainly between 2 -5% since the jeans are pre-shrunk. If the jeans are not pre-shrunk, they can shrink up to 10%. However, all American Eagle jeans are pre-shrunk, meaning that you cannot shrink them for more than 5%.

3.1 Shrinking American Eagle Jeans By Washing And Drying

One of the simplest ways to shrink your American Eagle jeans is using a washer and dryer. When using this method, the jeans will contact moisture and heat in the washer and dryer, thus causing the shrink.

To shrink American Eagle Jeans in a washer and dryer, you start by washing the jeans in the hottest water setting in the washer. Once the wash cycle has been completed, dry the jeans at the hottest temperature available in the dryer.

The trick here is to ignore the care label instructions, wash your jeans at the hottest water temperature, and then dry them at the highest dryer temperature. The tension in the fibers of your jeans will be released, making the fibers go back to their natural state, thus resulting in the jeans shrinking.

You can extend the drying cycle if you want your jeans to shrink further. Specifically, once the drying cycle has ended, you can add an extra 10 or 15 minutes to the dryer.

Take note that if you wash and air dry your jeans, you will get minimal or no shrinking at all since when wet jeans are left to air dry, the fibers loosen, making the jeans retain their initial size.

3.2 Shrinking American Eagle Jeans By Boiling

You read that right; you can boil your jeans and successfully shrink them. This method is ideal for people who don’t have a washer or a dryer in their home and want to shrink their jeans.

Boil water in a large pot. As the water starts boiling, carefully put your jeans in the boiling water. Use a large wooden spoon or tongs to ensure that your jeans are fully immersed in the boiling water. Leave the jeans submerged in the boiling water and let the water continue to boil for 25 minutes. Again, ensure that the jeans are fully immersed in the boiling water for 25 minutes.

After 25 minutes, remove the jeans from the water and throw them in the dryer. Dry the jeans using the hottest temperature setting available on your dryer. Once the drying cycle is over, you can add 5 or 10 minutes to the dryer if you need the jeans to shrink further.

If you don’t have a dryer, you can air-dry your jeans. However, note that you will not have a considerable shrink, as with drying in a dryer, since the fabric will not shrink further when air drying. Thus, if you have no dryer and want a considerable shrink, you should boil your jeans for an extended period (45 – 60 Minutes).

If you want to ensure that you never shrink your jeans in the wash, always wash the jeans in cold or warm water and dry them at very low temperatures in the dryer, or just air dry them on a clothesline or a flat surface.

3.3 Shrinking A Specific Section Of Your American Eagle Jeans

You might find that your American Eagle jeans fit you well, but a specific section of the jeans is somehow loose. For example, you might need to make the waist of your jeans tighter while leaving the other parts intact.

In such cases, shrinking a specific section of your jeans would be the best option. You will need to use a fabric softener, water, a spray bottle, and a dryer to shrink a specific section of your jeans.

Mix fabric softener with water in a ratio of 3:1. Put the solution in the spray bottle and shake well to mix. Spray the area you want to shrink until it is adequately soaked. Ensure that the parts of your jeans that you don’t want to shrink are completely dry.

Throw the jeans in the dryer and dry them using the hottest drying cycle. When the drying cycle completes, the specific section of the jeans you soaked with the solution made from softener and water will be shrunk.

If you don’t have a dryer, you can use an iron or a hairdryer to dry a specific section of your jeans that has already been soaked with a fabric softener and water solution.

4. Why Do My American Eagle Jeans Shrink?

Jeans shrink mainly due to fiber content, excess moisture, heat, and agitation. If you wash your jeans while strictly complying with the care instructions given on the care label, your jeans will not shrink.

Your American Eagle jeans shrink because you have washed and dried them in the wrong setting. Indeed, the jeans will shrink if you wash them in boiling water and then dry them in a very hot, dryer setting.

If you are sure that you have washed and dried your jeans in the correct wash and dry cycle, but your jeans have still shrunk, you need to have your washer and dryer checked by an expert since that shows that your washer or dryer is not well calibrated.

To ensure that your American Eagle jeans do not shrink, always wash and dry your jeans in cotton or a delicate wash and dry cycle.

5. Can You Put American Eagle Jeans In The Dryer?

Yes, you can put your American jeans in the dryer. However, you need to ensure that you use the correct dryer settings so that the jeans don’t shrink. Dry the jeans in a delicate or cotton drying cycle, and the jeans will not shrink.

Even if jeans can shrink in the dryer, the shrink only happens when the fibers of the jeans are subjected to high-temperature heat in the dryer. So if you dry your jeans using the right temperature, your jeans cannot shrink.

American Eagle jeans are made from 100% cotton or a cotton-polyester blend.  Cotton starts to shrink at 130 degrees Fahrenheit, while the cotton-polyester blend shrinks at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, you can put your American Eagle jeans in the dryer as long as the temperature in the dryer is not above 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

The dryer’s cotton or delicate drying cycle heat does not surpass 130 degrees Fahrenheit hence the reason you need to dry your American Eagle jeans in cotton or delicate drying cycle.

6. Do American Eagle Jeans Stretch

Jeans can, at times, be unpredictable. You wear them today, wash them, and put them in the closet, hoping to wear them in the future. However, when you try your pair of jeans that fit you well in the past, you find them loose or too tight. This is because the jean’s fabric can either shrink or stretch.

American Eagle jeans can stretch. The jeans are made from 100% cotton or a cotton-polyester blend, and these fabrics can stretch. When you wear jeans made from cotton, the cotton fibers eventually break, thus stretching the jeans. Likewise, modern polyester is stretchy, implying that your American Eagle jeans made from a cotton-polyester blend are stretchy.

If your American Eagle jeans are tight, you can stretch them to make them comfortable. To stretch the jeans, you can heat them, wet them, or do squats.

To stretch your jeans by wetting them, lay them on a flat surface. Spray the American Eagle jeans with warm water so that the fabric is damp but not soaked with warm water. You then use your hands to pull the jeans fabric apart and stretch them gently. You can step on the jeans to have a good grip and stretch them as desired for increased stretch.

You will need a hair drier to stretch American Eagle jeans by heating. Set the hair dryer to a medium setting and turn it on. Place your jeans on a flat surface and heat them with the hairdryer. Once you have heated the jean, you will use your arms and hand to stretch your American Eagle jeans.

If you want to stretch American Eagle jeans by squatting, you start by putting on the jeans. You then have to do squats wearing the jeans so that when you bed during the squats, your jeans will be stretched. You should do the squats for 3-5 minutes. After the squats, you will notice that the jeans have been stretched slightly. If you need the jeans to stretch further, you can stretch them by heating or wetting them.

7. Do American Eagle Jeans Stretch Over Time?

The main factors determining whether jeans will stretch or not are the type of fabric used to make the jeans and the jeans’ conditions. For example, jeans made from a stretchable material and are tight-fitting will stretch more than jeans made from the same material but fit loosely.

American Eagle jeans stretch over time since the cotton and polyester fabric used in the jeans transform and form to the body of the person wearing them. For that reason, you will find jeans running slightly small, perfectly fitting you over time as the jeans stretch.  

8. How To Wash American Eagle Jeans For The First Time?

To keep your American Eagle jeans in good condition, you need to ensure that the jeans are washed once they become dirty. If you are not sure how you can wash your new jeans for the first time, here is a procedure that you should follow.

Step 1: Zip up the jeans and turn them inside out

Even though your jeans will most likely be dirty on the outside, it is essential to note that the inside part of the jeans is filthy since it has oil and sweat as it is the one that was in contact with your skin.

By turning the jeans inside out, you will ensure that the part of the jeans that has the most dirt is thoroughly cleaned. On the other hand, by zipping up your jeans, you will ensure that the zip will not be attached to any part of the fabric.

Step 2: Load the jeans into the washing machine

After you have removed, turned your jeans inside out, and closed the zip, you will proceed to load the jeans into the washing machine. You can add other dark colors to the wash. However, note that since your jeans are heavy and will hold a lot of water, you should not have more than three pairs of jeans in the washing machine at once.

Step 3: Put Detergent

Put detergent that is specific to dark-colored clothes in the detergent compartment. You can also add half a cup of distilled vinegar, as vinegar can set colors and prevent your jeans from bleeding.  

Step 4: Select cotton or gentle wash cycle and turn on the washer

Select cotton or gentle wash cycle in your washing machine setting. Any of the two settings are ideal for American Eagle jeans since they will ensure that your jeans will not shrink. You must confirm you have selected the correct wash cycle since you might shrink your jeans if the wrong cycle is set.

Step 5: Dry the Jeans

Once the wash cycle is complete, you can dry your jeans in a gentle or cotton drying cycle. Alternatively, you can also air dry your jeans by hanging them on a clothesline. If you choose to air dry your jeans, ensure you dry them away from direct sunlight to avoid sun fading.

9. How Often Should You Wash American Eagle Jeans?

Washing jeans regularly is not a good thing since, apart from causing color fade, washing jeans regularly can also have a devastating impact on the environment. Indeed, Levi’s CEO has been quoted by USA Today to have noted that regular washing of jeans contributes to energy use and climate change.

The less you wash your American Eagle jeans, the better. If your jeans do not have any visible dirt, you should wash the jeans after every 8 – 10 wears. Otherwise, you should wash the jeans whenever they are dirty.

If your American Eagle jeans have visible dirt but are not smelling after a few wears, you can spot clean the jeans instead of washing them in the washer. By spot cleaning, you ensure that your jeans are not frequently washed, and this helps extend the lifetime of your jeans since the agitation of clothes in the washer also reduces the lifetime of clothes.

To spot clean your American Eagle jeans, place the jeans on a flat surface such as a craft table, floor, or ironing board. Apply a small amount of laundry detergent to the dirty spot. Using a lightly damp cloth, blot the dirt until it’s clean. Ensure that you blot and not scrub since if you scrub, you will be pushing the dirt deeper into the fabric, which can make things worse.

10. How Long Do American Eagle Jeans Last?

Various factors determine how long jeans last. For example, if you wash your jeans frequently, they will not last long since jeans wear out in the wash. Likewise, if you wear a specific pair of jeans for a long time consecutively, that pair of jeans won’t last long.

In everyday situations, the average lifespan of American Eagle jeans is 2 – 3 years. However, take note that other factors will significantly impact the lifetime of the jeans. For example, jeans worn once a month and jeans worn twice a year can’t last the same time.


American Eagle jeans are made from 100% cotton or cotton-polyester blend and can thus shrink or stretch. You can either shrink or stretch your jeans using the methods given.

I hope that you will take good care of your American Eagle jeans so that the jeans last you a long time.