Wool clothes are warm and comfortable, but they can be a little high maintenance. Wool can easily shrink after being washed incorrectly. . However, these consequences can be reversed quickly if you know how to stretch wool correctly at home.
Stretching the wool with added synthetic fibers
If you realize that you washed a smooth wool item with synthetic fibers incorrectly while it’s still washing or before the item has dried and shrunk, you should try to stretch it back out right away. This should be done in a basin or a bath filled with cold water where you can spread the item out, and let it stay in the water for 15 minutes. Then you need to gently and gradually squeeze it out, and make sure not to allow it to stretch under the weight of the water. Then lay it down onto an absorbent horizontal surface immediately, like a bath towel spread on the floor. When the towel becomes wet, replace it with a dry one. While it’s drying, periodically slightly stretch the clothing item with your hands. This might fix the unfortunate effects of washing wool at home
By the way, it is better to use an old towel for drying, one that you won’t feel too bad about discoloring, because after interacting with water, the dye from the wool is likely to stain the towel.
What should you do if you realized that a piece of clothing had shrunk after it has dried? There is a method you can use to stretch a wool item. You also need to soak it in cold water, but add hydrogen peroxide to the water. You need about two tablespoons for every 10 liters of water. And this time, keep the item in a little longer, about two hours. After soaking, repeat actions of the previous method: gently squeeze, place the item on a towel, and gradually stretch the material with your hands.
What do you do if a hat shrinks? You need to wet it in cold water, gently squeeze the water out, and put the hat over a glass jar of the appropriate size. After it dries, it will take the form of the jar, and you will forget it ever shrunk in the first place.
Stretching 100% wool
What do you do with clothing that is pure wool? The fix for shrinking this type of clothing is slightly different. You will need an iron that has a steam function. Place your shrunken item on the ironing board while it’s still slightly damp. If it is completely dry after washing, spray it with water from a spray bottle. The shrunken fabric should be covered with wet gauze or a thin cotton cloth that won’t bleed onto your item. Then slowly, carefully iron your item, gently stretching it as you go. Do not forget to put a towel between the cloth and the board so that they are not accidentally dyed.
Vinegar sponge. If you need to stretch the shrunken clothes only in certain places, use a sponge soaked in vinegar to wipe the spots you want to stretch, then hang your piece of clothing on a coat hanger or place it on a flat surface until it dries completely. Before using vinegar, drop a drop of it onto an obscure part of the item to make sure the vinegar won’t change the color of the fabric, or cause it to stain the towel or other things it comes in contact with.
Wash it again
There are several options for stretching wool using a proper wash:
- Washing with shampoo. Not everyone knows this, but you can restore the size of an item that has shrunk with a special shampoo for coarse hair. Its ingredients include substances that act upon the fibers of the fabric and can help it return to its original shape. To do this, wash the item in warm water adding similar shampoo, and after washing dry on a flat surface. You can use safety pins to keep the item in place.
- Washing in special solutions. You can return things to its original look using a solution of five liters of hot water, three tablespoons of ammonia or a glass of vodka, and one tablespoon of turpentine. Put the wool item into the resulting solution and leave it for one and a half or two hours. Then rinse it in cold water and proceed with the drying.
- Washing with fabric softener. When caring for tricky materials, don’t be too quick to dismiss fabric softener. It makes the fabric softer and more pliable for further stretching and drying. In addition, it contains substances that protect the color of the product, so that it cannot dye the surface you use to dry or steam the item on.
- Dry cleaning. What do you do if any of the above methods do not work for your favourite clothing? No matter what you try, , the simplest, most expensive and proven way to return wool to its previous size is dry cleaning. Sometimes after all the torment, it is a professional treatment of an item that can restore it to its previous size.
Now you know what you do if your favorite outfit has shrunk after washing, and you can restore its size. The main thing is not to make mistakes in the future.