How to Fix a Sweater That Has Shrunk

When your sweater has shrunk more than a size or two, you might as well cut off the arms and use it to keep Fluffy warm next winter. But if your sweater has become just a bit too snug, try these steps to return it to its original size.

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons baby shampoo into a sink full of warm water. The shampoo will relax natural fibers like wool.
  2. Soak the sweater in the shampoo-and-water mixture for 15 minutes.
  3. Without rinsing the sweater, take it out of the soapy water and roll it in a towel to remove as much moisture as possible.
  4. Spread the sweater onto a large corkboard, pulling it into the size and shape you want.
  5. Fasten the sweater to the corkboard using pins, being careful not to snag the sweater.
  6. Return to the sweater every several hours, restretching and repinning it as necessary, until the sweater is dry.

To avoid shrinkage in the first place, don't machine-wash your sweater unless the label specifically says you can. Even if you use cold water, the agitation may cause the sweater to shrink.

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