There’s something special about a good sweater. Comforting and warm, sweaters can quickly become garments we get attached to. So what happens if they start to get a little worn out, and the sleeves and shape get a little too big? Shrinking sweaters by washing sweaters smaller is a great trick to save that closet favorite and help it fit nicely again. We’ll have a look at how to wash cotton sweaters smaller, but also at how to shrink wool sweaters. Let’s get started!
Wool sweaters can stretch and get out of their original shape more easily than we’d like. A thrift store find can be made to fit you perfectly, however, if you shrink wool sweaters so they fit. Ordinarily, you’d probably want to avoid shrinking sweaters, but it can be a useful tool if you find that they’re just not fitting the way you want them to. Let’s look at how to shrink wool sweaters.
Think about how much smaller you want to shrink your sweater. If you’ve bought a thrift store sweater only to realize that it’s simply too big, you might want to consider washing wool smaller. To do this, put your sweater on a warm wash with a suitable wool detergent.
However, washing wool smaller is usually something to do if the sweater you want to save is much bigger than you want it to be. If you just want to shrink wool sweaters a little, try spraying your wool sweater with water so it is lightly moist and then throw it in the dryer for five minutes. Keep checking on your sweater to see that it doesn’t shrink too much—but this method should help shrink your sweater little by little.
Please bear in mind that washing wool smaller is a bit of a risky business! You might end up shrinking the sweater too much or changing the texture of the wool. You can minimize these risks by acting carefully and by putting the sweater in a pillowcase to protect it. However, there is no guarantee that it will work—for that, the best thing to do is to take your sweater to a tailor who can advise you on how best to save your garment, but it’ll cost money and time to do this, too.
Wool can be a bit temperamental, but cotton is a lot sturdier. However, the same rules apply as above. Heat will shrink a cotton garment, just like it does with wool; you just need more of it! To wash cotton sweaters smaller, try using the hottest cycle on your washer and drying the cotton sweater on high in the dryer. You may want to check your sweater occasionally. It’s easier to keep shrinking a sweater, rather than reshape it after it is too small! Again, shrinking cotton sweaters also carries the risk that your sweater might become too small or get damaged, but it is a good emergency technique to try to save your favorite sweater!