Another method for unshrinking a sweater
- Fill a sink with cold water and a half cup of fabric softener.
- Soak your favorite sweater in the solution for 30 minutes.
- Remove the sweater and wring out the excess water
- Place it in a dry place and stretch the sweater back to its original dimensions.
- Hang the sweater in a cool place until it dries.
This method has worked for me twice for my favorite obey sweater. It's now a tiny bit smaller and doesn't have the same stretchiness that it used to, but it's completely wearable and not noticeably small when I wear it.
How it works
Wool fibers are like giant columns of styrofoam coffee cups lying side-by-side. When the wool gets wet and warm simultaneously, the big columns slide past each other, locking tighter. Because of the shape of the fibers, the fibers can’t slide the other way to expand again because of the ratchet shape of the fibers. The solution is to first soften the fabric, allowing them to loosen and return to their original shape after physical stretching.