How Do You Unshrink a Wool Sweater?

unshrink-wool-sweater Credit: shadowplanet/CC-BY-2.0

Shrunken wool sweaters may be resized to fit again through a careful process of soaking, blocking and drying. Although time consuming, the process is not difficult. Supplies needed are a few standard household items for the process, such as baby shampoo or hair conditioner and towels.

  1. Soak sweater

    Mix about 1 quart of warm water and a small amount of baby shampoo or hair conditioner in a tub. Thoroughly immerse the sweater in the mixture for at least 15 minutes. This allows the fibers to begin relaxing. Make sure the sweater is completely covered in the water.

  2. Remove from mixture

    Gently remove the sweater from the mixture, and squeeze or press to remove excess liquid. Do not rinse; the solution is relaxing the fibers. Press the sweater between thick towels to remove as much liquid as possible. Rolling the sweater up in several towels and pressing to remove moisture is another option.

  3. Resize sweater

    This process is called blocking. Spread the now-damp sweater out onto a dry towel. Gently stretch into the desired shape and size, and secure it with clothes pins or weighted objects to hold it into the correct position. If you aren't sure what dimensions the sweater needs to be, use a similar clothing item from your closet as a guideline. Allow the sweater to thoroughly air dry. Repeat this process as necessary to further adjust the sweater's size and dimensions.