Laundry Tip of a Lifetime: How to Unshrink a Wool Sweater


Despite the tragedy of shrinking a wool sweater, the deed is reversible. Here is the best laundry tip; an easy step by step tutorial on how to unshrink a wool sweater.

Have you committed the laundry sin of [gasp] shrinking a wool sweater? In the name of absent mindedness, daydreaming or just a simple mistake — I know I have! And every time I pull out that miniature version of what used to be, like some magician’s bunny hat trick, an unpleasant emotion — somewhere between stubbing my toe and obligatory laughter — wells up inside me.

But despite the initial sorrow, all is not lost for you or that sweater. Here is an easy and fast way to unshrink a wool sweater. Try it out right now or bookmark this How To, and next time you find yourself needing to unshrink a wool sweater, we’ve got you covered.

1. First, fill a sink or bucket with warm water and dissolve a quarter-size amount of both shampoo and conditioner in the water.

2. Soak the wool sweater in the mixture for about twenty minutes. Move around at first so your sweater really absorbs the shampoo and conditioner.

3. After about twenty minutes, remove sweater and lightly ring the moisture out.

4. Next, stretch the sweater, pulling on all angles to loosen the fibers. (For true precision, but a bit of uncomfortableness, you can wear the sweater while stretching it. This will help mold the shape back to your size and fit.)

5. After the sweater is stretched about 2/3 it’s original size, lay it flat or hang over a chair to dry.

6. Lastly, once the sweater is dry, put on and lightly stretch out one final time.

Voila! Enjoy many more cozy days to come with that sweater!

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image: jenny

Juliette Donatelli

Working in the field of sustainability for over seven years, Juliette is passionate about its intersection within the fashion industry. Juliette began studying ecological conservation, and led consumer awareness campaigns around the world from water usage in southern California, riparian restoration in South Africa, food distribution in Paris and bison habitat in the Great Plains. She has launched her passion--consumerism and sustainability--into a place where it hits home--fashion. Juliette is the founder and editor-in-chief of, Director of Sustainability at Manufacture NY, and loves to read, dance, swim and enjoy the occasional glass of champagne.