How to unshrink a wool sweater

Wool sweaterIf you travel a lot you have to use different washing machines and dryers. And if you are like me – you end up destroying a lot of your clothes. To be completely honest this time (yes, this time only, shut up) was all my fault.

I took my beautiful new wool sweater and put it in the washing machine. Then I put it in the dryer. It shrank. It shrank down in half of its original size.

I went through all of the stages of grief: denial (it might just look smaller, let me try it on first), anger (why am I such a bloody blonde sometimes?), bargaining (well, maybe it wasn’t such a nice sweater after all; nobody wears gray these days, right?), depression (that’s it, I am not going to shop ever again) and acceptance (that’s fine, I can always buy a new one).

Stacked sweatersAfter talking to my sister and couple of my friends, I realized a lot of them had a similar problem at least once. Instead of giving my beautiful new sweater to my 2-year-old niece or throwing it in the back of the wardrobe never to see it again, I decided to find a solution.

And here it is: a life hack I am kindly sharing with you.
First things first: you can get wool warm or wet, but DO NOT do both. When wool gets wet and warm, the fibers in the wool lock themselves together. The result: your sweater shrinks.

So, how to unshrink it? Soak the sweater in warm water (not too warm) with a mild detergent for about 10 to 20 minutes. This will unlock the fibers. The next step is to put the sweater on a hanger in a cool place. The third and the silliest step is to stretch it. Pull the sweater in all directions. Yes, pull it. Stretch it until it gets to its original size. The stretching pulls the unlocked wool fibers away from each other. The final step is to let your saved sweater dry in a cool place.

Yay! You have saved your beautiful sweater. Wear it proudly – it suffered enough.

Image courtesy of marin and John Kasawa at


One thought on “How to unshrink a wool sweater

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s