How to Unshrink Your Favourite Sweater's featured image

Unshrinking a Sweater in 8 Steps

Help! Due to a laundry day mishap, I shrunk my brand-new sweater! Is there anything I can do? You Asked, We Answered (with some tips to save the day!)

Shrinking a favourite sweater happens to everyone. But don’t donate it to Value Village just yet! While results may vary, depending on the fabric and how much the sweater has shrunk. There may still be hope. Natural fibres – wool, cotton, or cashmere – can be stretched back to size.

  1. Fill a bucket or a sink with warm water. Add three tablespoons of fabric softener, baby shampoo, or hair conditioner. Soak your shrunken sweater for one hour.
  2. After an hour, gently wring the sweater by bunching it into a ball. Don’t twist.
  3. Lay the sweater flat on a dry towel, then roll the towel up. Press down on your sweater burrito to squeeze out any excess water.
  4. Use cork board, blocking mat, foam board, or a piece of plywood to lay the sweater out flat. The board should be as big as the sweater. A blocking mat is specifically designed for this purpose and is used to finish knit pieces.
  5. Stretch the sweater out as close to the desired size as possible while you pin it in place. If you’re using cork, blocking board, or foam board, use T-pins or tacks. For plywood, you may have to use small tack nails.
  6. Be mindful of the shape the sweater takes as you pin it down to the board. Try to keep it symmetrical.
  7. Every 30 minutes try to stretch the sweater by re-adjusting the pins. If the sweater is drying too quickly, moisten it with water from a spray bottle.
  8. Once you can’t stretch the sweater any further, allow it to air-dry on the board.

Your sweater should be back to a size that fits! To prevent future shrinkages, separate delicate clothes by using an extra laundry hamper or add a garment bag to your current hamper.


Photo by Toa Heftiba Digital on Unsplash