Un-Shrink a Wool Sweater

Un-Shrink a Wool Sweater

Sometimes it happens to us all, in a careless moment we throw our brand new wool sweaters in the washing machine or dryer, shrinking them down about eight sizes and rendering it un-wearable to all but our children’s action man or Barbie Doll.

Luckily I have a contact with some inside knowledge on this matter so I asked my friend Mark Shenton owner of http://www.woolovers.com if there was a way to un-shrink a wool sweater, he started laughing even before I could finish my question.

Well people today’s your lucky day, I have used the information this Shenton character gave me and mastered the black art of wool un-shrinking and am here to share it with you.

Here we go….

When wool gets wet and warm, the fibres in the wool lock themselves together and don’t want to let go, resulting in shrinkage (you can get wool warm or wet, but not both), which kind of makes washing wool garments a dangerous business.

To un-shrink the wool, soak the garment in warm water with a mild soap for about 10 minutes. This unlocks the fibers in the wool. Then lay the garment out on some towels in a cool place. Stretch the garment out to its original dimensions. The stretching pulls the unlocked wool fibres away from each other. Allow it to dry. The absence of heat from the drying process allows the wool fibers to set in place without locking together and shrinking the garment again.

That it, long story short: you will have a brand new, fully functional sweater again.

>> Washing Your Wool Socks

The Author:

Aldo Ciarrocchi Researcher for Summit media – http://www.summitmedia.co.uk

Photo. Vlada Karpovich

2 thoughts on “Un-Shrink a Wool Sweater

  1. “When wool gets wet and warm … resulting in shrinkage”

    But to unshrink wool you recommend exactly getting the wool wet and warm.

    “To un-shrink the wool, soak the garment in warm water with a mild soap”

    Which pretty much sounds like what caused the wool to shrink in the first place when it was washed in warm water. Have you had occasion to verify this method? Why would it work?

    1. You’ve asked an insightful question! The procedures for shrinking and unshrinking wool share some similarities, but there are crucial distinctions.

      Shrinking wool occurs when the wool is washed in warm water, agitated, or dried with heat, causing the fibers to contract. This happens because the heat opens the scales on the wool fibers’ surface, allowing water to seep into the fiber. The wool fiber expands when it gets wet and then contracts as it dries.

      In contrast, unshrinking wool involves immersing the garment in warm water mixed with a gentle soap or baby shampoo. This process relaxes and softens the wool fibers, enabling them to be gently stretched back to their original dimensions. The absence of agitation or heat drying, which are the primary causes of wool shrinkage, is the key factor here.

      So, while both procedures involve warming and wetting the wool, the subsequent steps make the difference. In unshrinking, the wool is carefully stretched and left to air dry, while in shrinking, the wool is typically agitated and dried with heat.

      I trust this explanation sheds light on the process for you! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

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