How to Stretch a Wool Sweater

Owning a wool sweater can be stressful, especially because it needs utmost care and attention. Any simple mistake like running it through the washer and dryer may cause shrinking. So you need to learn how to stretch wool and unshrink wool sweaters if you want to keep them in the right condition. 

Learning how to unshrink a wool sweater can be challenging especially if you don't know where to begin. Yet it's a must for anyone who wants to use wool clothes for a long time. Most people ask this question often, does wool stretch? It's simple, wool can stretch. You only need to learn how to stretch a wool sweater to restore it to its original condition. 

There are different ways you can use to revive your shrunken such as using warm water and a hair conditioner. While it requires a little patience, the process of reviving your wool clothes is worth it. 

Bottle of detergent with sweaters in container

Does wool stretch?

Often, many people wonder if wool can stretch. Whether or not wool can stretch solely depends on the wool used to knit the sweater. Different types of wool, such as merino wool, have a tendency to stretch if you're careless when washing them. Wool also can felt and shrink if you're not careful when washing them. If you bought your wool sweater from the store, it's always necessary to follow the instructions on washing wool correctly. If the sweater shrinks or stretches after following their instructions, you can return it and launch a complaint.

How to stretch your wool sweater

It’s normal for wool sweaters to shrink if you’re not careful when washing them. In the first place it is important to follow the rules on how to wash wool correctly. Fortunately, learning how to stretch shrunken wool can help you restore them to its original size is easy. Here is how to stretch out a wool sweater and return it to its original form: 

Step 1:

  •   Put two tablespoons of hair conditioner into a sink full of warm water, and stir until the conditioner disperses fully. The conditioner will help soften your sweater’s wool fibers, making it easy to stretch. You can also use baby shampoo or fabric softener if you don’t have any hair conditioner at home. The method can also work for other wool clothes, including coats, pants, and shirts.
Sink full of warm water

Step 2:

  •   Let the wool sweater soak in the water/hair conditioner solution for 10 to 20 minutes. This is enough time for the water/conditioner solution to saturate and soften your garment's fibers. However, a large sweater would take 30 minutes to soak fully.
Washing sweater in a sink

Step 3:

  •   Lift off the sweater from the sink and squeeze it gently to remove any excess fluid. As you remove the sweater from the sink, you should let the fluid drip off, then gently squeeze any extra fluid. Be careful not to wring the sweater as you could cause more damage to the fibers. Also, avoid rinsing the sweater because doing so will remove the conditioner from the fibers, making it difficult to stretch. 
Washing sweater in a sink

How to un-shrink a wool sweater

Unshrinking wool sweaters can be stressful for people who don’t understand what it takes.

However, you can learn how to unshrink a wool sweater to save you during desperate times. Here are simple tips on how to unshrink wool sweaters: 

 Step 1: Soaking the sweater

  •   Ensure to fill a sink with lukewarm water, add nearly 1/3 cup of hair conditioner, and stir for the components to mix completely. 
  •   Put the shrunken garment in the water/conditioner solution and ensure to submerge it completely. Then leave the wool sweater to soak in the water/conditioner solution for about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on its size. Allow the water to drain off from the sink but don’t remove the sweater from the sink. Press the water out of the soaked sweater but don’t wring it out as this could damage its fibers.  
Sink filled with warm water

Step 2: Stretch the sweater

  •   Remove the sweater from the sink, place it on a large towel, and smooth it out. Roll the sweater in the towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess fluid. Once you do this correctly, the sweater will be damp. You should gently unroll the sweater from the towel, lay it flat on the towel, and stretch it to its original shape and size. Please avoid too much stretching, as this could destroy the sweater’s fibers. 
Sweater on towel

Step 3:  Leave it to dry

After stretching the sweater to its original shape using your hands, lay it flat and let it air dry.

Following these steps correctly can restore your sweater to its original form.

Sweater flat drying

Conclusion

So you can stretch a  wool sweater easily using the tips mentioned above. You'll never have to worry anymore if your wool sweater shrunk, especially now that you have learned how to stretch a wool sweater to make it bigger.