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How to Unshrink a Wool Sweater

Accidentally shrink your favorite wool sweater? Well, this tip gives you instructions on how to unshrink that sweater in using your own kitchen sink

Unshrink a wool sweater in 6 steps

  1. You can stretch your sweater by soaking the garment in a tub and/or sink with a mixture of gentle hair conditioner (think Baby Shampoo) and lukewarm water for approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the water out of the tub/sink. Do not wring the sweater, but press the sweater against the side of the basin to drain the excess water.
  3. Remove the garment and lay it flat on a really thick towel that is very absorbent.
  4. Use another towel to blot the excess water away.
  5. Gently pull the sweater into the desired shape.
  6. Let the sweater air dry flat as hanging the sweater will put it out of shape.

Interesting fact: A similar procedure, called blocking, is used by high-end knit designers like St. John Knits to “stretch” garments to a larger size.

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Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

Any idea's for a favorite part wool cardigan that has sleeves that just continue to stretch? I washed in gentle/warm, and dried in the dryer. Soft, warm, and LOOONG sleeves! They are seriously 10 inches too long, I roll them up twice to wear around the house now.


Monday 23rd of April 2012

Many thanks for info, my favourite Lyle & Scott lambswool pullover went in the tumble drier and ex large went to a small. Followed the above instructions and is back to correct size.


Friday 17th of November 2006

Hi, You can unshrink your jeans by washing them again in cold water with gentle detergent, and letting them hang to dry. After they are dry, wear them a few times before washing them again. They’ll stretch out as you move around. I never dry my tight jeans in the dryer, they always shrink too much.


Wednesday 30th of November 2005

I have the same question - is there any way you can unshrink jeans?  my boyfriend put my 3 favourite pairs of jeans in the dryer on hot and I can hardly get into them now!  I think it may have been because they had elastic in them ........ any tips?


Tuesday 22nd of November 2005

Great idea, but does it work on jeans? I shrunk my favorite slouch jeans by leaving them in the dryer to long. Any ideas? Thanks

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