What fabrics shrink during washing: what to do if the trouble has already happened

Anna OnishchenkoNews
How to stretch clothes that have shrunk during washing. Source: freepik.com

Laundry is an essential household process that each of us performs regularly. It may seem like a simple task, but sometimes things get deformed and become much smaller

Fortunately, there are several ways to restore things to their original appearance after shrinkage. Read more about them in the OBOZ.UA article.

Natural fabrics, such as linen, silk, wool, and cotton, are most susceptible to shrinkage. Their fibers can change their properties under the influence of moisture and temperature, swell, twist, etc. Therefore, you should always pay attention to the icons on the product label and follow the manufacturer's washing instructions.

Artificial fabrics are more durable and less deformable during washing, but you should not assume that they cannot shrink after washing. Viscose and lycra can shrink after the first contact with water. However, if an item has already been deformed, it does not mean that it cannot be saved.

What fabrics shrink during washing: what to do if the trouble has already happened


One of the most effective ways to return items to their original size is to stretch them. Jeans, pants, shorts, and T-shirts can be put on while they are still wet and moved around to allow the fibers to move apart. Thick fabrics can be pulled in the direction of the warp when ironing.

You can also hang wet clothes on a hanger to stretch them under their weight.


If your iron has a steamer function or you have a simple steamer, use it. This will help to restore the shape of the garment, but before doing so, read the label on the product and make sure that high temperatures do not damage the fabric.

Knitted sweater

You should not stretch a knitted sweater, as you can pull the threads out in such a way that it will be very difficult to put them back in place. Instead, use a baby shampoo.

Pour warm water into a bowl and dissolve the cap with the baby shampoo. Then put the sweater in the liquid and leave it for 20 minutes.

After that, wrap the item in a towel to squeeze out excess water and lay it out on a horizontal surface until it is completely dry.

What fabrics shrink during washing: what to do if the trouble has already happened


Make a solution of water and ammonia and soak your clothes for 12 hours. Then stretch it out and dry it on a hanger.

Woolen clothes

Wool garments shrink if they are washed in too hot water. Therefore, if you encounter such a problem, soak the clothes in cold water, stretch them on a horizontal surface, secure them with something heavy, and leave them for 8 hours.

You can also prepare a solution of water and vinegar. Add 2-3 tablespoons of acid to one bowl and soak the woolen garment for 30 minutes, periodically stretching it with your hands. Then you need to rinse the item and leave it to dry on a horizontal surface.

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