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how to unshrink a sweater

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

Start by soaking the shrunken sweater in lukewarm water and a few squirts of baby shampoo (or another gentle shampoo) for about 15-minutes. And then let the resizing process begin.

With this step by step guide, you really can unshrink a sweater yourself - and save it from the dreaded rag pile.


Start With a Soak in Baby Shampoo

Soak the shrunken sweater in warm water and two tablespoons of baby shampoo (which relaxes natural fibers such as wool) for 15 minutes.

Gently work the shampoo into the fibers by hand to begin the softening-up process.

Remove the Sweater and Rinse

Remove the sweater from the soapy water, and rinse in cold water to remove the baby shampoo from the sweater fibers.

After rinsing, 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 very fibers you're trying to gently coax back into shape.

Roll in a Towel to Remove Excess Moisture

To remove any lingering moisture from your sweater, roll it in a towel.

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

Gently Pin the Sweater to a Corkboard to Unshrink

Pin the sweater to a large corkboard, stretching the neck, arms, and sides to size. Return to re-stretch, and re-pin the clothing or sweater every few hours. 

It will take several stretching and re-pinning sessions to return the garment to its original size. But If you adore that sweater, you'll be glad you took the time to pin, pin, and pin again.

Next time, make sure you know how to machine wash sweaters so that you won't need to go through the unshrinking process again. But the good news is: You can if you need to!