How do you restore shrunken wool sweaters?


Quick Answer

To restore a shrunken wool sweater, remove it immediately from the washer or dryer. Prepare a gentle soap bath, soak the sweater, and remove the excess water. Use a cork bulletin board and push pins to reshape the sweater while it's drying.

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Full Answer

  1. Stop the damage

    Remove the sweater from the washer right away. If the sweater made it as far as the dryer, remove it and start the reshaping process immediately. The longer the sweater retains its new shape, the less likely it is you can restore it.

  2. Prepare a gentle soap bath

    Fill a tub with tepid water. Add 2 tablespoons of baby shampoo or other gentle soap. Swish to combine the soap and water.

  3. Soak the sweater

    Place the sweater in the soap bath. Gently move it around in the water until you feel it is thoroughly soaked. Leave the sweater in the water for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove excess water

    Remove the sweater from the soap bath. Do not rinse the soap out. Gently squeeze the wool to remove the majority of the water, and then place it on a large towel. Roll the sweater into the towel. Press the towel firmly, but do not wring.

  5. Shape the sweater

    Place the sweater on a cork bulletin board. Gently pull the sweater into a larger shape, securing with stainless steel push pins. Leave the sweater to dry for a few hours, and then check back. Stretch and pin the sweater again if necessary. Allow the sweater to remain pinned at least 24 hours, or until completely dry.

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