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Unshrinking a Wool Sweater, it works!

Category: Some Thoughts | Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:05 pm

Last Xmas I bought myself a very fitting wool sweater (80% lamb's wool). Guess what happened a few months back... you guessed it I washed it in a warm wash. It wasn't so fitting anymore. So I resigned it to the clothes rack and there it stayed until I learned yesterday that you can unshrink a wool item. I scarcely believed it so I thought it was worth a try. It worked! Here's what you do:

1/ Fill a bath with warm water (not boiling hot!)
2/ Add shampoo to the water (about 2 hair washes worth) and mix it in
3/ Soak the wool item in the warm water for 30 minutes
4/ Take the wool item from the water and wring it dry as much as you can
5/ Lay out some newspaper on the floor and then placed the wool item onto it.
6/ Stretch it back to its original shape (you'll have to use your judgement for this, alternatively you could put it on and stretch it while on you but remember it is wet by now :))
7/ While it drys you may just give it a few tugs here and there at 1 hour intervals to make sure it is retaining its new unshrunken shape
8/ When it is dry, cross your fingers and try it on

I'm cannot guarantee that it will work for you but if an item is no longer wearable you have nothing left to lose by trying. Glad to have my wonderful wool sweater back!

Last edited: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:08 pm

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toni wrote on Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:18 pm:

Being in Texas, we don't wear wool sweaters that much.
I have started knitting a sweater from wool for Lisa for the one day a winter she might get to wear it, I will have to make sure she knows to give it back to me if it shrinks.

That is the procedure for blocking them when you finish knitting and sewing them together and for drying them after handwashing but never thought about that being a cure for the shrinking problem.


eileen wrote on Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:57 pm:

Well done Frank. I've used that method myself and it really does work.

May I suggest though that you use blotting paper or something similar if it's a light coloured sweater as the print from the newspaper can leave marks on your woolies.


Frank wrote on Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:49 pm:

Blotting paper, great idea Eils. Definitely better than newspaper.


Biita wrote on Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:18 am:

Great news there, since I shrunk 2 wool sweater by, um, we'll call it an accident. Now I can have them back! Thanks for the info, living in the Arctic, we use lots of wool sweaters.

ladybiker wrote on Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:04 pm:

Is there a way to unshring linen?


Frank wrote on Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:08 pm:

Hi LadyBiker, I'm afraid I have no idea about linen but I do suggest you put your question to the community in the forums, they may know a thing or two about it :)

Forums are here:


Palm Tree wrote on Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:24 pm:

WHile I am doing my catch up I stumbled across this blog entry.

Great tip I must say.
And I also cannot help but wonder - I am in the same predicament as ladybiker. I have a linen pant that just will not fit. (I got too fat over the winter - hee hee - It is all the comfort food).

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