how to unshrink a sweater


Relax! It is possible to unshrink a sweater that someone (not you, of course) popped into the dryer and that is now small enough for little Bruiser to wear.

And all you'll need to do is help your clothing fibers relax, too.

Here's how to stretch that sweater gently back into shape with the help of a little baby shampoo and a cork board.


  1.  hand wash the sweater in warm water and baby shampoo.

Start the resizing process by soaking the shrunken item in a sink or bucket full of warm water and about two tablespoons of baby shampoo.

Gently work a few drops of baby shampoo into the fibers by hand, taking care not to stretch any of the fibers during the softening-up process.

About 15 minutes should allow enough time for the shampoo to relax the sweater fibers enough so that you may begin the letting-out process.

  2.  remove sweater from the soapy water and rinse.

Remove the sweater from the soapy water. Rinse in cool water to remove the baby shampoo.

Gently press or squeeze the sweater, moving from the sleeves to the collar area and working your way down, pressing out any remaining moisture as you go. Don't wring - this can damage and even break the fibers you're trying to gently coax back into shape.

  3.  roll the sweater in a towel to remove remaining moisture.

Follow your rinse and squeezing routine with a roll in a clean, dry towel to remove any lingering moisture from the fabric.

It's important that the clothing's fibers contain as little moisture as possible when you begin the resizing process.

  4.  gently stretch and pin the sweater to a cork board.

Pin the garment to a cork board, stretching the neck, arms, and sides as taut as possible without damaging the fibers. Let it be for at least an hour.

  5.  re-stretch and re-pin every couple hours.

Return to re-stretch and re-pin your garment every few hours.It will take several stretching and re-pinning sessions to unshrink the garment, and ease it back to its original size.

If you adore that shirt or sweater, you'll be glad you took the time to pin, pin, and pin again.

Next time, make sure you know whether to wash clothes in hot, warm, or cold water so that you won't need to unshrink your clothes again. But the good news is: You can if you need to!

Get tips on how to wash a sweater here.

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› How to Unshrink a Sweater

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